The one thing about this Sunday's NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, no matter which side you're on, is this: You'll never forget it.
If your team wins, they're going to the Super Bowl. If your team loses, the fans of the winning team will never let you forget it. Ever.
We're like that, even when the games don't especially matter. In 2006, The Bears played the Packers in the last game of the season. The Bears had already locked up home field throughout the playoffs, the Packers weren't going to the post-season.
The Packers won that last game, and my voicemail was filled with messages from gloating Green Bay fans, hooting about the way they whipped up on the Bears. It's an animosity that defies reason. I've always liked to think that Bears fans are just a little classier about the whole thing (Yes, I'm sure you have a story about someone you know, that disproves my theory), mostly because of geography.
For the most part, when a Bears fan walks out of wherever they were watching football, they're in a place. A metropolis, filled with restaurants, clubs, museums; a place that teems with vitality. I don't want to get all Carl Sandburg about it but it's Chicago, heralded in song, poem, and story.
When a Packers fan leaves whatever place they watched the game at, they're in Wisconsin. In winter. The only thing the surrounding area offers is hypothermia. It tends to make you fixate more on the sporting event you just witnessed, when there's nothing much to distract you.
And Chicago fans? Don't be afraid to bring up the past, the '85 Bears etc. Because I promise you, every single Green Bay Packers fan will tell you they used to go to Soldier Field when Brett Favre was routinely dominating the Bears. And I further promise you, they'll use the phrase 'Lambaugh Field South'.
But don't let it bother you. It's all they know.
Later today, we'll have more quotes from the Bears players and coaches, along with all the news, notes, injuries and insults. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, there's a poll. Give us your pick for Sunday's game. Right now the Packers seem to be the popular choice.
Keep your eye on SB Nation Chicago, we will be keeping you updated on all the week's NFL news along with live reports during every game. Add @sbnchicago and @BabylonDon1 to your Twitter account, and be informed of every 2011 playoff update on SB Nation Chicago