January 22, 2011

Chicago versus Green Bay — the cities.

Cliff Christl — author of "Mudbaths & Bloodbaths: The Inside Story of the Bears-Packers Rivalry"compares the Illinois city of 3 million to Wisconsin city of 100,000:
Chicago might have more skyscrapers than Green Bay has elevators. And while the Second City overflows with magnificent museums, five-star restaurants and renowned universities, in Green Bay, life centers around much simpler pleasures like Friday night fish fries and 25-cent rides at the Bay Beach Amusement Park.

Many Chicagoans would tell you that the differences basically boil down to urbane vs. hick.... But... Green Bay's shoulders might not be as broad as Chicago's, but both are Midwestern cities built long ago on paper making and meat packing by a wide range of European immigrants. They sprouted, albeit on different scales, as heavily Catholic, blue-collar and bibulous strongholds.

Then there's the other kinship they share: football....
Go to the link for lots of colorful details about the rivalry, which has been relatively "civil" in recent years, partly because since the mid-1960s "when he Bears have been good, the Packers have generally been bad, and vice versa."  This year, then, is a momentous exception — especially exciting for the people of the northern half of what — look at a map — is properly termed the Wisconsin column of the United States.

26 comments:

AllenS said...

I have a lot of friends from Chicago, and while they choose the Bears over the Packers, when they decide to buy a cabin, they don't stay in Illinois to buy one.

AllenS said...

I'm having trouble with the second link.

Ann Althouse said...

@AllenS It's working for us. There are 2 links. One to the book and the other to the WSJ article.

HT said...

I've only been to Chicago once, but at the time I found the people extremely friendly. It didn't strike me as a place where they divide people into sophisticated and not. It seemed so downhome, I'm surprised to hear people would readily put people into an urbane and hick camp. That seems like the harsh behavior of the east. I'm for the Packers (more defined QB, like the stadium, name, colors and town, though I've never been). There's a lot to like about Chicago too, it's just that I think GB plays with more style and consistency.

The Drill SGT said...

Green bay has the only owners in the league that an honest person could like.

AllenS said...

Must be something on my end then. Still can't see the 2nd article from the WSJ.

ricpic said...

Chicago is way ahead of Green Bay...in corruption.

The Drill SGT said...

Ever seen a picture of GB (the town) during the middle of a home game?

you can almost see tumbleweed rolling down the streets as though it were the unused set from a Western movie or maybe a scene out of some SF movie. eerie deadness...

rick said...

It's great to see the Pack play da Bears for the NFC championship. As a lifetime Steeler fan, it reminds of the rivalry we have with hated (oops, make that strongly abhor) the Ravens.

Green Bay looks like the stronger team going in.

traditionalguy said...

As one of Wisconsin's conquered territories, the Atlanta folks support Green Bay all the way. It's in the bag for the Packers. Cutler is a spoiled brat that usually self destructs. Now, go out there and win one for the Vince.

Class factotum said...

I liked the line about the GB church having an early Mass so everyone could get to the game. Almost nobody was at Mass the afternoon of the Rose Bowl. Football > God here.

Milwaukee is pretty much shutting down tomorrow at game time. Not a good time to go shopping. Or Sunday school. All canceled.

AllenS said...

I have to go to a funeral tomorrow. That is at 2 pm. The visitation starts at 1 pm. I'll go to the visitation only. It's also going to be bitterly cold outside. Not good.

Anthony said...

Some talking heads on ESPN yesterday said the recent trend of the teams being relatively more civil to one another -- though not necessarily the fans -- has more to do with free agency than anything else. Back then, players would (supposedly) spend most of their careers with one team and so they could dislike each other more readily because they were always playing against one another. These days a lot of the players and coaches have probably just as often been on the other side.

Frankly, I've never been much of a Packer fan (Wisconsin native here), although I generally root for them over anyone else. Well, not generally, I always do. When I was a kid they had past their glory days and just sucked, so I couldn't really figure out what people loved them so much for. To my young eyes, they were a sucky, boring team with a dumb "G" on their helmets. Me, I liked the Vikings (for shame, I know!) mainly because they were then called the Purple People Eaters, and I rather liked purple. I also had a fetish for the Cowboys for whatever reason, although I still think Bud Grant and Tom Landry were great coaches. I don't much care for pro ball though; they lost me at the Icky Shuffle.

Oh, and we called them FIPs.

rsb said...

Anthony, Anthony, Anthony... say it isn't so.

BT said...

As a longtime Chicagah guy, I will never forgive the Packers their Charles Martin moment. Otherwise I think that they have been a great organization. I just wish I had it in me to wish that the same thing would have happened to Farve or Rodges--but it is hard to hate either of them. I must be getting old. Anyway, Da Bears will prevail tomorrow 28 to 21.

What do you call 53 people sitting around a TV watching the Super Bowl?

The Green Bay Packers.

rsb said...

Wisconsin native here - Green Bay will win against Bears. Usually a close game by these two no matter what the stakes - Pack by 4.

rick said...

The other reason I like the Pack is a win would be another small slap in the face to Brett Favre.

Original Mike said...

"I liked the line about the GB church having an early Mass so everyone could get to the game."

I was a kid in Madison in the 60s. We would go to mass Sunday morning, Father Nicholas would include the Packers in his parting prayer and then we'd go home, set up the TV trays in the living room and watch the Packers over Sunday dinner. I remember the emotions when they played the likes of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts at season's end in the playoffs or games with playoff implications. My mother was the big Packer fan of my parents. And my younger brother turned into a Packer fanatic who absolutely hates the Bears. I hope they keep the sharp objects away from him tomorrow if the Packers lose to the Bears.

Michael said...

I usually prefer college football because the unexpected can happen much more frequently, like the SC-Notre Dame game where Lienart scored with no time left. That was his last big moment.

However, I have been a Bears fan since growing up in Chicago. They are always tough even when they have no offense. This year, I would like to see them play the Jets in the Super Bowl because my other favorite is Mark Sanchez. He played one season as starter at SC, went to the NFL in his junior year, pissing off Pete Carroll, and is now headed for the Super Bowl.

I have wondered if Sanchez heard any rumbles of the Reggie Bush scandal brewing and that is why he left.

David said...

It's going to be colder than a witch's one, plus the crappy field in Chicago, all of which is perfect.

As a Packer fan, I'd like to predict a green-gold victory, but I think the Bears are better than given credit for.

Anthony said...

After the game, I will root for anyone over the Jets or Steelers.

Mr. D said...

The church story reminds me of something I heard years ago. Greg Landry was the quarterback of the Lions in the late 60s and early 70s. He's Catholic and was in Green Bay for a game, so he ducked into a church near the hotel for Mass. He reported that the priest urged everyone in the congregation to pray for a big Packer victory.

Trooper York said...

It has always amused many of the old guard of the NFL that the field that the Green Bay Packers play on is named Earl Lewis “ Curly” Lambeau field. Earl got his nickname for his unfortunate habit of spitting out short curly pubic hairs when he returned from the men’s room during NFL management meetings. On one memorable occasion he gobbed a handful of pubes on Art Rooney’s bagel at breakfast and a new nickname was born.
(Is That You Bubba?, Nicknames of the NFL , Doris Kearns Goodwin, Sporting News Press 2010)

Trooper York said...

Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston was one of the best offensive tackles to ever play the game but he is a legend in NFL circles for being the first player to shave his nutsack.
(Is That You Bubba?, Nicknames of the NFL , Doris Kearns Goodwin, Sporting News Press 2010)

Trooper York said...

Herbert Allen Adderley was an All Pro cornerback for the Green Bay Packer and the Dallas Cowboys which is sort of like someone who was a Hari Krishna but changed and became a Scientologist. His nickname “Herb” was not a diminutive for his first name but rather referred to the copious amounts of marijuana he would smoke during halftime.
(Is That You Bubba?, Nicknames of the NFL , Doris Kearns Goodwin, Sporting News Press 2010)

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