The Packers and Bears truly have the greatest rivalry in sports.
Go all the way back to the beginning.
The Packers were founded in 1919, the Bears (starting as the Decatur Staleys) were founded in 1920, the year the NFL started (although it was then known as the American Professional Football Association).
When the league was just a group of teams, they played each other.
When the league divided into conferences, they were in the same conference.
When the league went to divisions, they were in the same division.
Even with multiple division realignments and expansions, the Packers and Bears have stayed in the same division, right next to each other, throughout the history of the league.
Since then, they have played each other 196 times. The Packers lead the series 96-94-6 (they were tied going into last season). The total combined score among those contests is 3,377 to 3,377. It does not get any closer than that.
Then there’s how these teams stack up against the rest of the league:
- The Packers have 13 championships, the most of any franchise. The Bears have 9, the second most of any franchise.
- The Bears have 26 Hall of Famers, the most of any franchise. The Packers have 20, the second most of any franchise.
- The Bears have 749 wins, the most of any franchise. The Packers have 737, the second most of any franchise.
So here are two teams, that have been together from the very beginning, who are the two most successful franchises in the league by pretty much any definition.
How great is that? There is truly nothing like it in any other sport.
My favorite part is that they are the two northernmost teams in the NFL that play outdoors on grass.
That’s what football is really about.
I’m so pumped for the season to start with these two teams, both embarking on a season with high hopes, clashing in prime time.
Kickoff can’t come soon enough.