5 reasons the Packers will beat the Bears (and 1 reason why they might not)
Today,Brett Favre joins Tony Canadeo,Don Hutson,Bart Starr,Ray Nitschke and Reggie White as the only Green Bay Packers to have their jersey numbers displayed on the Lambeau Field facade.
I’ll be in the stadium to celebrate the occasion,perched way up in the new south end zone seats with my wife. Some people might snicker at my seats and wonder if I’ll be able to even see Favre (and,of course,Bart Starr) from so far away. To those people,I say,”Welcome to my world.” I followed Favre and the Packers from a distance for most of No. 4’s career.
Watching the Favre ceremony from the nosebleeds is completely appropriate for my situation. Heck,I’d call it a luxury.
Growing up in small-town Minnesota,I didn’t have cable TV until my junior year of high school around 1998. The only time I could watch the Packers before that was if they were on the local network TV affiliate. That happened twice per year when the Packers played the Vikings,and a couple other times per year for national games of the week (more often once Favre became a star).
Even when I got cable,it only meant a couple of extra Packers game per season since we didn’t have whatever was the equivalent of the Sunday Ticket package back then.
In fact,I can remember becoming a Packers fan when Don Majkowski was still the quarterback,then wondering what the heck happened to the Majik Man when one day the Packers showed up on my screen and some guy named Favre was throwing passes.
Every now and then if the Packers were on Fox and the weather was decent,I could pick up a snowy feed using a gigantic metal arrow that sat atop our old-school TV antenna that rose way above the roof our our house. Otherwise,I was SOL.
I followed Favre and the Packers not by watching every play of every game on my giant 60-inch TV using the NFL Sunday Ticket package like I do today,but by anxiously awaiting the Green Bay score to scroll across the bottom of the screen while the rest of my family watched the Vikings. Of course,there were no smart phones or social media feeds back then,so I bought the newspaper every Monday to get more context about whatever happened during Sunday’s Packers game that I was shut out from seeing.
Imagine that,reading a newspaper to find out what happened in a football game!
For important games that aired on Fox,I’d go hang out with my grandmother in the nursing home. She had a tiny television — maybe 17 inches — that got Fox in crystal clear and allowed me to watch the game without having to squint through a snowy screen like at home. Thank you,grandma (and the nursing home staff who put up with the weird kid hanging around watching the Packers).
College was the same story. We didn’t have satellite in our apartment and I couldn’t have afforded Sunday Ticket if we did. At least the Internet came along by then so I could feed a little bit more of my Packers’ fix.
So yeah,sitting up high for tonight’s ceremony is not a big deal. Distance didn’t stop me from becoming a Packers fan and it isn’t going to stop me from honoring Favre — the man who provided me with so many great childhood memories,even if they came via snowy television screen or newspaper print.
Oh yeah,the Packers are also playing a football game tonight. Here are five reasons why they’ll win.
Sure,Jay Cutler is playing better lately,but he’ll have at least one game-altering screw up against the Packers like he always does. Mark it down.
The Packers fill up an injury report like few teams in the NFL can,but the Bears have some key players banged up as well. Matt Forte,Alshon Jeffry and Maretllus Bennett are all questionable as I write this. If Bennett is out,that’s huge since the Packers have no clue how to cover a tight end,let along a tight end as talented and imposing as Bennett.
Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!
The Bears allow almost 124 yards per game reusing,bad enough for 25th in the NFL. Shhhh……you hear that? That’s the Eddie Lacy train picking up a head of steam and heading right toward the middle of the defense. Look out! On another note,if J.C. Tretter plays center tonight,check out his girth compared to Lacy’s. Lacy appears to outweigh his own center by a good 15 pounds.
Things were far from perfect in Minnesota — especially in the passing game — but the Packers appear to be getting back on the right track. The short week will impact both teams,but the Bears are on the road on the night when Green Bay is retiring Brett Favre’s No. 4. Chicago’s injuries,struggles on run defense and overall vibe from the Favre buzz will make a short week feel even shorter for the Bears.
The Packers have never lost with me inside Lambeau Field. I don’t expect my good fortune to end tonight.
Return of the skill players
If Jeffry and Forte return and Bennett is healthy enough to play,the Packers better be careful. Those three players are no joke. Combine them with Good Jay Cutler,and who knows what could happen.