Bears to play Pack for NFC championship

January 17, 2011 8:33:02 PM PST
For Chicago Bears fans, it doesn't get much better. It's going to be a postseason showdown at Soldier Field.

The Bears and Green Bay Packers will face off Sunday for the NFC championship after the Bears victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Sunday's NFC championship game against the Packers will be the first time the arch rivals have met in the postseason since 1941.

Were you (or someone you know) at the 1941 Bears-Packers playoff game? Are you hoping to be one of the few Tuesday to snag a Sunday ticket? We want to hear your Bears stories. Email us here.

Sunday, Quarterback Jay Cutler got a 58-yard touchdown pass on the first drive to Greg Olson, who ran for two scores, including one in the third quarter that put the Bears up 28-0. The Bears won it 35-24.

"The Bears let the Packers in and will show them the way out. That's how it's going to work," said fan Lamont Garrett.

One group of football fans didn't sleep Sunday night. On Monday morning, they continued to celebrate the Bears' victory with breakfast at the White Palace Grill in the South Loop. And there was even a Packer fan at the table.

"The friendship transcends," said Packer fan Brandon Lerno.

"It's true. It really is. Come a week from now, Sunday afternoon, we're probably not going to be seeing much of each other, but come Monday, we'll place a couple bets, see who gets bragging rights," said Bears fan Erik Mothersbaugh.

"I'm really excited. I can't wait to see them. I know they're going to the Super Bowl. This is our year," said Bears fan Leticia Yanez.

"I'm just giggling this morning. How could you not be? I'm giggly. It's Bears-Packers, baby!" said one radio host.

The calls kept coming in Monday morning on ESPN 1000 Radio.

"I can't believe the guys are saying the Bears have to play a perfect game to beat these guys, assuming that the Packers are going to play a perfect game," said one caller.

Radio show host Mark Silverman said he doesn't think we've ever seen a single game in our back yard that will be as hyped as Bears vs. Packers.

"To beat your rival, Bears and Packers, this is equivalent to -- I think the only thing that would trump this is a Cubs-Sox World Series," Silverman said.

Tickets through Ticketmaster ranged in price as of 11 a.m. Monday from about $130 to almost $600.

Kickoff will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will be tough to come by, but there are a limited number going on sale Tuesday through Ticketmaster starting at 2 p.m.

Trash talk in Antioch, near Bears-Packers border

There's no shortage of fans for both teams in Antioch, Ill., a town close to the Wisconsin border.

One Antioch resident explained, you have to be pretty thick skinned living there, because showing allegiance to one team means inviting taunts from fans of the other. Still it's all in good fun, as people there seem to enjoy the rivalry.

Many establishments proudly have a bias toward one team or the other, like the Lake Area Barber Shop, owned by a Packers fan. Bears fans, however are among the regulars, which can make an already spirited barbershop conversation even more amped up.

Paul Lehecka and Ryan Davis have been friends for nearly 10 years. "Most of the time the time we don't watch Bears-Packers games together."

The first post-season matchup between the Bears and Packers since 1941 has fans at Anastasia's restaurant already declaring their favorite team the winner-- and Super Bowl bound.

"They're good people, the Bears fans," said Matt Vanlerberghe, Packers fan. "Hopefully, they'll be smiling for us Packer people on Sunday when we get to the next level."

"Don't make the trip to soldier field. Stay home and stay warm with your cheese and your crackers and your bratwurst, and let us enjoy this day," said Sean Hebior, Bears fan.

The Bears won that 1941 Western Section championship game 33-14. But Packers fans are quick to point out that their team has more Super Bowl wins.

Fans react Sunday to victory

Whether outside Soldier Field or inside a crowded sports bar, Bears fans were celebrating the Monsters of the Midway.

"It was exciting out there; we were hollering 'Da Bears!' all day. Da Bears!" said one fan.

Despite the stumble last season where the Bears failed to live up to their potential, diehard fans say they never gave up hope that the Bears would get back to the Super Bowl.

"I've always said, 'Believe, Jay Cutler, that's gonna bring us to the Super Bowl.' All the time this last year, I always believed in Jay Cutler. He's the smartest quarterback we have," said one fan.

"It's been a really amazing season; there's been some beautiful highlights and devastating disasters, and the bottom line is we're here and we're winning," said another fan.

Walter Peyton's son Jarrett, who watched the game from a downtown sports bar, said he looked to his father for a Bears victory.

"I sat at home last night and I prayed to my dad saying, 'Please, just a little bit of snow,' because I know Seattle does well with rain but not snow. And it's funny that he answered my prayers because I saw some snow at the beginning of the game," Peyton said.