The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears have played each other more than 100 times over through the years and to say there is a dislike between the two clubs cannot be stated enough. The two teams recently played for a chance to go to the Super Bowl, and the Packers held on to defeat Chicago on the Bears' home turf amid some reports of fan clashes and horrid bets between others. If anyone tells you that football is "just a game" between these two teams, they clearly are doing it with little perspective.
That said, there has been at least a little bit of equal time given to the rivalry (as the Bears have their own set of great moments). These three discs include some recent Packer wins, but by recent I mean they were in the last 15 years, and apparently, nothing of note has happened for the last several. The game rundown is as follows:
11/12/1995 - Brett Favre threw for five touchdowns, including two each to Robert Brooks and Edgar Bennett as they defeated Chicago 35-28.
12/9/2001 - The Packers' defense held the Bears to less than 200 total yards en route to a 17-7 victory.
12/7/2003 - Ryan Longwell kicked four field goals and Mike McKenzie returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown as the Packers won 34-21 and started a winning streak that propelled them to the playoffs.
Now for obvious reasons the Championship game could not be included on the set, mainly because the set was released months before. That said, the 2001 and 2003 games were both last-season must-win games that the Packers needed to propel themselves into the playoffs. It is definitely strange to see Packers quarterback Brett Favre in younger and happier times as he is leading the Pack to victory. And for all of the recent talk about current Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's heart in being taken out of the NFC title game, maybe Bears fans want quarterbacks Erik Kramer and Kordell Stewart back? Because that's what you'll see here.
However, what you won't see (much like the release of the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins rivalry set I reviewed) is an introduction to the rivalry for outsiders of it. I know how long both teams have been in the NFL, I know how they've played one another seemingly countless times, but for an entry level NFL fan who might not be familiar with it, why is the rivalry special? What set it apart from others?
That remains a failing of these discs unfortunately. I'd like to know the intricacies and nuances of the feud similar to an Ohio State-Michigan echelon in college football, but I've seen an excellent special that discusses why at many different levels. Until NFL Films/Warner takes the next step with that, these sets remain OK without being good.The Disc:
Full-frame for each of the games, which isn't a surprise considering the age of the games. The obligatory disclaimer of "any flaws in the material are in the source" starts at the beginning of each game, but the viewing experience is fine, albeit a little jarring because it's in full-frame. They're straightforward reproductions of the games to disc.Audio:
Two-channel stereo sound. Like the video, there's nothing new or abnormal to be expecting from these. I could have sworn I heard the rear channel here and there in the games, maybe it was my imagination or maybe I was a little drunk, I don't know.Extras:
Like the Packers? Like the Packers beating their biggest division rival in key moments of a longtime rivalry? Then Packers Defeat Bears is the thing for you. I can't stress enough that the Pack's recent NFC Championship game is NOT included here, only the best stuff that happened on their home turf. If you wear various styles of cheese-shaped foam on your head then you'll want to have this.