Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers: A Lions Fan's Guide to the NFC Championship
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Aw, man. This is the last thing we wanted to see.
The Vikings have already gotten theirs, the Lions saw to that personally with a win that sent the Vikings to the NFC North cellar.
But the other two? Well, there are only two teams still playing in the NFC, and those are the Bears and Packers. Lions fans have been unable to witness the joy of defeat for either of their division rivals in the playoffs.
Now, one will lose, and one will make a Super Bowl.
How do we deal with this? Choosing between the Packers and Bears is like choosing between burning to death or drowning: Either way, you're not going to like the outcome; it's just a matter of which one makes you the least uncomfortable.
But more than likely, you're going to watch the game. You have to. So I've compiled a handy little guide to help any Lions fan still suffering through this postseason to get through the upcoming Packers-Bears game.
I know who I'm going to pull for from here on, but I won't tell you who to pick. There are pros and cons to giving support to either team, so you can either pick which team you like better, or which team you hate worse.
Who do you hate less?
Here's what to consider.
2010 Outcomes vs. Lions
19-14 Bears (Week 1)
24-20 Bears (Week 13)
28-26 Packers (Week 4)
7-3 Lions (Week 14)
What Not to Hate:
—Devin Hester's pretty fun to watch when he's not playing against your team.
—Fullback Brandon Manumaleuna's name is fun to say. It's even more fun to listen to announcers attempt it.
—Defensive tackle Anthony Adams is pretty high on my list. Of course, that list is in alphabetical order...
—Lovie Smith seems like an alright guy, doesn't he? I'll rip him later, but he still seems like a decent guy personally.
—Todd Collins, the Bears' backup quarterback, went to Michigan back in, like, 1965 or so. If you needed another reason to hope Jay Cutler sustains another dozen sacks and a phantom concussion in this game, there you go.
—Can't help but to like fan favorite John Kuhn. A fullback-turned-short yardage running back who started seeing time when the Packers lost Ryan Grant this season, Kuhn went to Shippensburg University. It's in Pennsylvania. Don't pretend you knew that.
—To his credit, Aaron Rodgers hasn't publicly dissed the Lions since the playoffs started.
—They have a player with the last name Zombo, and a player with the first name Atari. Sadly, they are not the same person.
—Bryan Bulaga's face. It's like Santa Claus shaved his entire head and moved to Iowa.
—This is the team that eliminated the Philadelphia Eagles from the playoffs; therefore, you can thank them for the fact that Mike Vick is not monopolizing every pregame, postgame and highlight show anymore.
What to Hate:
—The coaching staff. Aside from Lovie Smith, who is still decent in my book, we have Rod Marinelli, Mike Martz and Mike Tice. Two have had mostly unsuccessful coaching tenures in Detroit, and as for the other? Well, who really likes Mike Tice? Really?
—Brian Urlacher. I'm sure he's a fine guy and I know he's a good football player. But how sick are you of Bears fans calling him underrated? Isn't there a point where a guy becomes so underrated, he's overrated? Because I'm pretty sure that point was five years ago.
—Julius Peppers. He was only doing his job, but he was responsible for Matthew Stafford missing half the season, and Jeff Backus' only real low point of the year.
—The "Process of the Catch" game. If that play turns out differently, with everything else staying the same, the Bears don't get a first-round bye, and therefore have to play a team with a winning record before advancing to the NFC Championship game. Unlikely that things play out the same.
—Aaron Rodgers. He's not quite as cocky and unlikeable as Jay Cutler, which is a plus. He's not Brett Favre, which is a plus. But then, those two guys didn't take potshots at the Lions just for kicks, either.
—Consider: do you want to hear Packers fans crow about "Titletown" for the next eight months?
—A.J. Hawk is from Ohio State. Clay Matthews is from USC. Is it possible they have a player that went to a college that everyone hates even more?
—Charles Woodson. This is half and half, though. If you're a Spartan at heart and hate Woodson and everything Michigan stands for, there you go. Even still, you can still take some joy in the fact that Woodson won the Heisman instead of Peyton Manning.
—The Lions still haven't won at Lambeau since 1991. That should be reason enough.
Worst Case Scenarios:
If the Bears Win it All:
—We might get an update on the Super Bowl Shuffle.
—Rod Marinelli, two-time Super Bowl champion.
—At least they'll keep Lovie Smith around to run the team back into the ground, like he did after their last Super Bowl.
—We'll get to see if Jay Cutler has it in him to be even more smug and self-satisfied.
—The Lions will need two Super Bowl wins to catch up to the mighty Bears' all-time mark...but still only one to pass the Vikings.
If the Packers Win it All:
—It will be the first time the Lions beat an eventual Super Bowl winner in the regular season since they beat the "Greatest Show on Turf" St. Louis Rams 31-27 on Nov. 7, 1999. It will also be the first time since 2003 that the Lions beat an eventual Super Bowl participant during the regular season. The Lions beat the Oakland Raiders 23-13, before they went on to lose in the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
—Refer to above for issues with "Titletown."
—Brett Favre is gonna feel really dumb.
—With the big lockout looming, it's possible that the beginning of football as we know it and the end of football as we know it will both be characterized by a Packers Super Bowl win.
—Nick McDonald of Grand Valley State University will have as many Super Bowl rings as both Manning brothers, Drew Brees, Joe Namath and most important of all, one more than Jay Cutler. Sure, those are all quarterbacks, and McDonald is a rookie third-string guard, but that's what makes it so great.
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