Keeping Your Enemies Closer: Who Is the Green Bay Packers Biggest Rival?
There's always something special about an immense rivalry in the sense that nothing else matters except that very moment.
It doesn't matter where you're playing, what your record is, or how nasty the weather is. It is about the inimitable opportunity to reign supreme over the organization you despise.
The stadium atmosphere and passion left on the gridiron is simply indescribable.
Rivalries are so severe that things start to get personal.
Since 1919, the Green Bay Packers have had three main rivalries: the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and Minnesota Vikings. More likely than not, when the Packers meet up with any of these teams, it's guaranteed entertainment.
Chicago Bears Rivalry
Considered by some to be the biggest rivalry in all of football, Chicago and Green Bay always find themselves squaring off in prime time.
Combined, these two teams have 21 NFL championships.
For all the animosity associated with this rivalry, there is also a profound appreciation for one another. In fact, the rivalry is so special that George Halas, founder of the Chicago Bears, opted for the Packers to remain a part of the league when they were almost kicked out for using three college players in 1921.
Vince Lombardi always turned things up a notch the week before the Packers went to battle with the Bears. He even went as far as making his players switch jersey numbers and play different positions, just in case Halas happened to be spying on them.
In all the years Halas and Lombardi coached against each other, they never once shook hands after a game.
Many years later, the rivalry lives on.
Bears current head coach Lovie Smith stated that beating the Packers was one of his main goals, along with winning the NFC North and Super Bowl.
There's no questioning that as long as the NFL is in existence, the Bears and Packers will continue to represent one of its most heated rivalries.
Dallas Cowboys Rivalry
It all started back in the 1967 NFL championship game famously known as the "Ice Bowl."
The temperature was 13°F, with wind chills as cold as -40°F, making it the coldest game in NFL history. It was so unbelievably cold that an elderly fan actually froze to death in the stands.
Surviving took precedence over winning.
The Dallas Cowboys were also unfortunate to be playing in 1960, the beginning of the Lombardi legacy.
The rivalry went on hiatus for nearly thirty years, but heated up again in the 1990s, an era primarily dominated by the Cowboys.
The Cowboys took full advantage of their opportunity to get revenge on the Packers, defeating the Packers seven times from 1992 to 1996, including two playoff games. All seven games were played in Dallas, but when it was finally time to face off in Lambeau, the Packers pummeled the Cowboys 45-17.
As it turns out, the current starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys happened to grow up in Burlington, Wisconsin.
Nowadays, both teams find themselves among the top contenders in the NFC, and they will continue to battle not only for superiority, but for bragging rights as well.
Minnesota Vikings Rivalry
With the Bears struggling to find success ever since their Super Bowl run in 2006, it's no surprise that the Packers-Vikings rivalry was taken to a new level.
The fact that their once beloved quarterback now wears purple makes Packer-Nation bitter.
The Vikings also have a tendency to sign former Packers players: Darren Sharper, Ryan Longwell, Brett Favre, and, most recently, Michael Montgomery.
Favre's signing with the Vikings had Packers fans around the world furious.
Randy Moss mooning the Lambeau crowd was nothing compared to Favre joining forces with the enemy.
Moving into the 2010 season, the Packers will do everything in their power to assure that Brett Favre regrets his decision to sign with the Minnesota Vikings.
Rivalries have and will always play a vital role in why this sport is so special.
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