Who’s Been More Miserable Over The Last 30 Years? Bear Or Packer Fans?
On paper this seems like a farcical question, but hear me out.
The Packers have enjoyed 30 years of uninterrupted Hall of Fame quarterback play. They have dominated the division, their number one rival, and get to play at a beautiful NFL stadium.
The Bears on the other hand have been a dumpster fire of an organization. Ownership either doesn't care about their fans or are too inept to properly run an NFL team and they play in a (formerly beautiful) dump that's regularly regarded as one of the worst in the league.
However, when you dig into the emotions of the fan base, it's actually a lot closer than you probably think.
Let me explain.
To Anyone Under The Age Of 40, The Bears Have Never Been Great
I'm 42 years old. I have very faint memories of the 1985 Bears. I was in first grade. I watched football with my dad but A) I didn't really know what was going on, 2) I had nothing to judge this team against, and D) my bedtime was before halftime of the Super Bowl.
Since then, the Bears have been good a handful of times but never great. There have been some years that they got hot, maybe won a playoff game, and ONCE advanced to the Super Bowl (with Rex Grossman as their QB!.) Any success the Bears had during the year felt like when you found 20 bucks in your jacket. You weren't expecting it but were excited that it happened.
Never in the last 30 years were the Bears expected to win the Super Bowl. The most we have ever expected out of the Bears was "They should make the playoffs, and have a shot at winning the division." They usually didn't and that's what we were conditioned to expect.
In the last 30 years the Bears have:
- Made the playoffs 7 times
- Lost their first playoff game 4 times
- Lost the wild card game 2 times
- Lost the division game 3 times
- Lost the conference championship game 1 time
- Lost the Super Bowl 1 time
It didn't help that the roster of quarterbacks for the Bears over the last 30 years has looked like this:
In a gif:
How Could It Get Worse That That?
Let's take a look at the list of Packer quarterbacks in the same time frame.
Now that's a list you can work with. That's a list that you can WIN with. At least that's a list you SHOULD win with.
That's 30 years of having one of the best if not THE best quarterback in the league. In those 30 years the Packers have:
- Made the playoffs 22 times
- Lost their first playoff game 7 times
- Lost the wild card game 5 times
- Lost the division game 8 times
- Lost the conference title game 6 times
- Lost the Super Bowl 1 time
- Won 2 Super Bowls
The Packers have more conference title games played in the last 30 years than the Bears have playoff appearances.
I was mildly bummed when the Bears lost the Super Bowl in 2006. Did we expect them to make the Super Bowl before the season? No. It wasn't until the Bears had the miracle against the Cardinals in the Devin Hester game that Bear fans thought they might have a shot at a title.
When they actually made the Super Bowl, were Bear fans confident they would actually win it? No. May I remind you that Rex Grossman was the quarterback going up against Peyton Manning.
Conversely, the Packers have multiple gut-wrenching playoff losses over the last 3 decades.
[The NFL is blocking this video from being shared, you can watch it here]
Tennyson famously said:
'Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all'
That might be true when it comes to personal relationships but when it comes to fandom, I'll take apathy over crushed dreams any day.
Look at these Packer fans filing out of Lambeau Saturday night after being stunned by the 49ers and their old friend Robbie Gould.
I haven't thanked the McCaskey's for much during my lifetime as a Bear fan but I do thank them for protecting me from ever feeling like this.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go monitor how the Bears will mess up the hiring of their new GM and head coach. Whoever it is, I'm sure they'll keep the expectations low.
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