Bears-Packers rivalry divides Naperville couple

January 20, 2011 7:53:10 AM PST
The Soldier Field showdown between the Bears and Packers on Sunday is dividing families.

The rivalry is so intense one Naperville couple may not watch the game in the same room or the same house. That's because one is a Bears fan and the other is rooting for the Packers.

Kristen and Bill White discovered their football rivalry while dating.

"I think the conversation came to a screeching halt. I had to rethink my priorities. I didn't think I would be dating, much less marrying a Packer fan, that's for sure," said Bill White.

At the wedding, Kristen's father mentioned it during the toast.

"That was like Bill's one fault that my dad could find in him, is the fact that he's a Bears fan," said Kristen White.

"He's always challenged me to never try to convert her. And I tell him, we don't want you on our side anyway," said Bill White.

Don Beebe understands that fierce rivalry. Beebe, a six-time Super Bowl player - twice with the Packers as a wide receiver - now coaches varsity football at Aurora Christian. He's invited the team, mostly Bears fans, to watch the game at his home.

"As coach, I always have the last say," said Beebe.

But Bears fans - even former players - want the last word.

"This is a Hollywood script, this weekend, this game. It's to get to the Super Bowl. This is their time, this is their chance to win," said Keith Van Horne, '85 Bears linesman.

At the White's home, Wally, who's named after Walter Peyton, is now stuck in the middle. He has two jerseys. On Sunday, it's still not clear which on he'll sport.

"He will definitely have the correct, the Packers jersey on," said Kristin White.

"No, I think it'll be the Bears," said Bill White.

Instead of staying home, the Whites may watch the game in neutral territory - at a bar.