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posted: 12/13/2012 5:37 AM

Nice to see Bears' Marshall gets Packers rivalry

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  • Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, here making a catch against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, says Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers is personal.

      Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, here making a catch against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, says Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers is personal.
    Associated Press

 
 

Maybe Brandon Marshall really does get it just 13 games into his career as a Bears wide receiver.

"I don't like the Green Bay Packers," he said Wednesday afternoon in anticipation of the Bears-Packers game in Soldier Field on Sunday.

Marshall sounded sincere, unlike all the other Bears who over time insulted the Packers with a heap of blah, blah, blah.

Also unlike Lovie Smith, who said Priority 1 was beating the Packers before he ever played them as Bears head coach.

Smith sounded like he was saying what ownership wanted him to say. Players sound like they're saying what fans want them to say.

Marshall was specific: He was offended by what Packers players blurted about him and quarterback Jay Cutler after a lopsided Green Bay victory in September.

"So this is personal for me," Marshall said.

He was so convincing that I thought he was about to break into a standup routine of "dumb Packers" jokes.

Like, you know, the one about the two Packers who wind up on separate sides of a creek while hiking.

Packer No. 1: "How can I get on the other side?"

Packer No. 2: "What do you mean? You are on the other side."

Or like the Packers player who has energy-efficient windows installed in his Green Bay home.

Salesman: "Sir, it's been months and you haven't made a payment yet."

Packer: "But you promised me that these windows would pay for themselves in a year."

Marshall resisted the temptation. He merely mentioned Green Bay defensive backs Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson belittling him and Cutler.

We down here already have our own reasons for disliking those guys up there.

For me it's because of growing up with the Bears and later receiving a bogus speeding ticket in Wisconsin.

For others it's having a blind date with somebody from Waukesha and being stood up waiting to hook up at the border.

For others it's the experience of getting drunk and barfing up Old Milwaukee, rancid cheddar and brats.

Most players don't harbor animosity because they don't understand the history of the Bears-Packers rivalry.

They don't feel the frustration of the Bears struggling to find a quarterback while the Packers had Bart Starr, Brett Favre and currently Aaron Rodgers.

They don't feel the pain of Packers thugs roughing up Bears darlings like Walter Payton, Matt Suhey and Jim McMahon during the 1980s.

They don't feel the disgust over a world-class city like Chicago being embarrassed by a team from a last resort like Green Bay.

Brandon Marshall might or might not be aware of any of that. But one Bears-Packers game was enough to provide him with his own grudges.

Similarly to most Chicagoans, Marshall talks like he's a scratch and the Packers are his itch.

"I heard what they said," Marshall said.

Perhaps he also heard or read that Green Bay has beaten the Bears five straight times, including in an NFC championship game.

"I'm not going to use the word hate," Marshall said. "But I really dislike the Green Bay Packers and their players."

Regardless, what the Packers said and how Marshall responded will have no bearing Sunday. The better team will win, and most signs point to that being the Packers.

Whatever the outcome, though, it was comforting to hear that for whatever reason at least one Bears player cares about this game like all bitter Bears fans do.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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