No team gets Bears fans more worked up than Green Bay. Yet recently the Detroit Lions have crawled deeper beneath Chicago's skin. RedEye asked Bears fans to take stock of their emotions surrounding their NFC North rivals.
1. Describe your emotions during the week leading up to a Bears-Lions game. (For the Lions fan, flip Bears-Lions to Lions-Bears. For the Packers and Vikings fan, swap out Bears for their team.)
MATT CLAPP, 29, Denver, @dabearnecess
Probably 90 percent of the time in the week leading up to a Bears-Lions game, my thoughts are, "The Bears better not lose this." And the Bears have actually won nine of their last 10 games vs. the Lions. But it makes me a train wreck in the week leading up to it, because it feels like a must-win. And I hate watching a game with that feeling.
But this year is different. The Lions are 2-1 and I really believe they're a legitimately good team; they really scare me, especially at home. To me, on paper, this is the Bears' toughest game yet. So it's definitely not a normal pre-Bears-Lions feeling.
CURTIS SHAW FLAGG, 28, Belmont Gardens, @curtisshawflagg
The week leading up to a Bears-Lions game I usually have a roller coaster of emotion. It begins with excitement, noting that the Bears have a 96-65-5 edge over Detroit in the history of the two franchises. Then I remember Megatron, so the excitement turns into nervousness as I recall the "tuck rule" that allowed the Bears to squeak by three seasons ago. After I digest that, I also think of how pretentious head coach Jim Schwartz seems and it turns into all-out vitriol. Sheesh.
PHIL KIJAK, 32, Lakeview, @kilphijak
A mix of bloodlust and sympathy. The Lions are a bitter rival, yet I wouldn't mind seeing them finally win a Super Bowl. I feel like their fan base has earned it, but not at the expense of a Bears Super Bowl berth.
LESTER WILTFONG JR., 43, Kenosha, Wis., @wiltfongjr
The Lions have been historically bad, save for a few of the Barry Sanders years, so I've always thought the Bears would come out victorious. The last few years however, these two teams have played some competitive games. There's been some bad blood, with "the TD that wasn't" from a couple years ago, the Suh shenanigans and Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, who is just so easy to dislike.
MARTIN MacPHERSON, @beardownuk
Always nervous. The NFL is all about parity and this is a division game that could put the Bears in a great position for the postseason already.
PETER KREMIDAS, LIONS FAN, 31, Roscoe Village, @Pkremidas
I'm always nervous. Week to week I have no idea what team will show up. Sometimes they're awesome. Other times they're the Lions. Matthew Stafford is having a great year though.
TONY THE PACKERS FAN, @allday427, 31, Rogers Park
Packers-Lions week is no big deal. They are the least-feared divisional team since Tampa Bay left. They are undisciplined and find ways to beat themselves. Their secondary has been so bad for so long that you can spot them two touchdowns and still expect to win easily.
G THE VIKINGS FAN, @generalspeaks, 33, Gold Coast
My emotions leading up to a Vikings-Lions game is that of the favorite. I expect to win but with the Vikings' illustrious past, the thought of losing always creeps in. We've beaten them so much that it's like that guy you always beat in 1-on-1 and he finally wins, it makes you questions yourself. To sum it up I feel like we SHOULD win, but this is the Vikes we're talking about.