History buff: It's rare for Bears, Packers to be good at
Roy Taylor knows his Bears.
The 39-year-old Yorkville resident has collected hundreds of
tapes and highlight reels of Bears games, documented accounts of every Bears
season since he started going to games at age 8, and created a website
dedicated to Bears history that started as a class project at Illinois
Institute of Technology in Wheaton in 2000.
Bearshistory.com and the associated chicagobearsweblog.com
have received as many as 10,000 hits per day, Taylor said.
He's also author of Chicago Bears History, a 128-page book
published in 2004. One major theme about the Bears and Packers has emerged from
his research: "When the Bears have been good, the Packers have been bad. When
the Packers have been good, the Bears have been bad," Taylor said. "It's always
been that way."
As long as he's been alive, the Bears and their bitter rival
have been in the playoffs at the same time only twice: this season, and in
That's what makes Sunday's NFC Championship game so rare and
unique, he said. The two rivals, who have played each other since 1921, have
been consistently inconsistent.
The Packers won NFL championships in 1929, 1930 and 1931, and
the Bears won the next two. The Packers became good again in the late 1930s
until the Bears “had their most famous dynasty,” according to Taylor, in which
they won titles in 1940, 1941 and 1943 and earned the moniker "Monsters of the
The only time the two teams faced each other in the
postseason, the Bears won.
On Dec. 14, 1941, the Bears played the Packers on a 16-degree
day at Wrigley Field, and notched a 33-17 victory. They then moved on to the
NFL Championship where they defeated the New York Giants.
The Bears captured the NFL Championship in 1963, but under
coach Vince Lombardi, Green Bay was the team of the ‘60s, winning five
But in most recent history, the memories of Brett Favre's
dominance over the Bears are too hard to erase for many Bears fans.
Taylor calls it the Bears' "darkest era." With Favre at
quarterback, the Packers beat the Bears 18 out of 22 times.
It's because Taylor remembers those dark days all too well
that he never considered selling his two tickets to Sunday's game, even though
he says he could probably quadruple his money. At 2 p.m., he'll be in his north
end zone seats, surrounded by some 61,499 other fans in what many call the
biggest game of the 90-year-old rivalry.
"How many years have we watched terrible Bears teams?" Taylor
said. "(It's) probably the only time in a lifetime to see the Bears and Packers
in an NFC Championship."