This is a different NFL than the NFL of the 1960s or even the 1980s, for that matter.
In those days, the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears generally disliked each other. Today, members of the two teams in the NFL’s most storied rivalry like to slobber all over each other.
Case in point: the Aaron Rodgers/Jay Cutler mutual admiration society.
Here’s Rodgers on what a swell guy Cutler is.
“My little brother, if you don’t know, goes to Vanderbilt and Jay obviously went there. And Jay was great with transition, helping my little brother get to know Nashville and actually helped kind of talk him into going there,” Rodgers said Thursday. “I talked to Jay, asked him what he thought about Vanderbilt and relayed that to my little brother. As a big brother, I’ve much appreciated the way that he’s treated my little brother and helped him feel comfortable at Vanderbilt. That goes a long way as far as the respect level between the two of us.”
Here’s Cutler on what a great player Rodgers is.
“Good player, really good player. Playing at a high caliber. Did it last year. He looks like he’s going to be back on track this year,” Cutler said. “A lot of weapons over there, from tight ends to receivers to running backs. They spread it out a lot and do some similar stuff that we do, create match-ups. He’s able to find them. He can move around well. So he’s definitely one of the top quarterbacks in the league.”
I’ll be honest. This makes me sick.
These are the Chicago Fucking Bears we’re talking about. They may not be the scum of the NFL — that would be the Minnesota Vikings — but they are damn close.
I understand it isn’t politically correct to trash the opponent, even when they are a hated rival. I get it that it will probably hurt your potential endorsement value if you say anything negative. I am fully aware you will probably be fined by the league if you really start talking some shit.
That doesn’t mean I have to like it.
No, it’s clear that everyone is a pussy in today’s NFL because that’s the way the league wants it. Family-friendly is what today’s NFL is. Gotta have the widest possible audience. Don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Unfortunately, the cost of that direction are the true characters of the game. The NFL doesn’t have and never will have any true characters ever again. Sure, Chad Ochocinco may be outspoken, but is he really controversial?
Maybe I’m becoming a relic of another era, but I miss the bad boy Oakland and later Los Angeles Raiders, with degenerates like Ken Stabler, Dr. Death and Lyle Alzado. Those guys wouldn’t even be allowed to play in today’s NFL.
Likewise, I miss the Packers/Bears rivalry that seethed hatred from both sides.
I like Ditka giving the ball to William “The Refrigerator” Perry to run in from the one-yard line. I like Charles Martin throwing Jim McMahon to the ground like a rag doll and ending his season. I also like McMahon calling Wisconsin women fat and ugly, and I like Ken Stills blowing up Matt Suhey three seconds after the whistle just because Suhey was wearing a blue helmet.
Now that’s a fucking rivalry!
I will still want to rip the throat out of every Bears fan I see on Monday night, but it would be a hell of a lot more fun if the players were into it like they used to be.