Tuesday, September 5, 2006

It's Not Alway Glory When the Bears Play the Packers

Being a Bears fan, one becomes accustomed over time to glorious heights and soul crushing depressions. Many of the latter have been at the hands of our Green Bay enemies, and today I'd like to write about one in particular.

It was the 1980 season opener, and the Bears who were coached at the time by the less than legendary Neil Armstrong found themselves coming off of a decent year in 1979 when they lost the NFC wild card game to the Eagles. While it would be an over statement to say that hopes were high - the 1970's were a tough time to be a Bear fan - it was a new decade and the previous season gave us some hope.

The 1980 opener was a tense one that went in to overtime. Things looked grim though as the geekiest looking player in the history of the NFL, Chester Marcol - tortoise shell glasses and all - lined up to kick the game winning field goal. Suddenly, a giant Bear hand looms high in the trajectory of Marcol's kick.......it's blocked! Bear fans begin the glorious rapture of celebrating a renewed lease on life when the unthinkable.....no the unfriggin' believable happens.

The ball, which moments ago looked to be harmlessly bouncing away from the goal posts, was in actuality deflected right into the chest of a very startled Marcol. Chester, who didn't need to be told what to do, runs 25 yards into the end zone for the game winning score. The awful moment is pictured above. Game over. The Bears go on that season to post a disappointing 7-9 record, with the only salvation being that they beat the Packers 61-7 in the second game of the season in what was the most lopsided victory in the history of the rivalry. Bears scout, Bill Tobin who had previously worked for the Packers revealed that the Bears had stolen that Packer signals.

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