I remember blocking this [Bears] linebacker ... all the way past the running back and I fell to my knees. He yanked my helmet off and my helmet was laying on the ground in front of me. He reached down and grabbed my helmet and swung it like he was going to hit me with it, and he did, right in the mouth and knocked out two of my teeth. And I said, `Well, that's what Bears week means.' There was not any real animosity about it, people do things in the spur of the moment.
2 of 9Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images
It was our most important game all our years, and it's been that way for years and years all the way back to Halas, who, incidentally, Lombardi thought was the greatest. He always respected Halas as being the No. 1 man in the history of the league, and I think that too.
3 of 9Bill Smith/Getty Images
It's like any rivalry you have in college. I don't care who you lose to, who you beat. Make sure. You beat. The Packers.
4 of 9Vernon Biever/Getty Images
With these two organizations, you don't have to manufacture any dislike, it's ingrained in the players. When you think about this game you think of Soldier Field, you think of Lambeau Field, you think of 20 degrees below, cold weather, you think of tough guys, you think of harsh conditions; that makes the rivalry better.
5 of 9John W. McDonough/SI
If you lose to the Bears, it's like a black cloud on the state until you play them again. It's the one game that you put everything into it. The intensity of the way you played them was unmatched compared to any other team.
6 of 9Al Tielemans/SI
It's like a rivalry in high school. The hated teams from 20 miles away... you gotta beat 'em, hated everything about them; they're good guys, but you hated them because they wore a different uniform. The first time I was taken back by it. I'm a rookie, not knowing what to expect, and all of a sudden, this venom comes out of everyone.
7 of 9Chuck Rydlewski/Icon SMI
If you come across any Bears fans during Packer week, the first thing that's coming out of their mouth is, Beat the Packers. Even when the season starts, I'd be walking down the street, Bears fans will come up to me and they'll say, You know what? Just as long as you guys beat the Packers, you guys are okay in my book. The fans really understand the tradition and the meaning behind it. That's what it's all about.
8 of 9Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images; John Biever/SI
I told Jay Cutler when he arrived to the Bears, "This game is important and you need to know what you're getting into." He just kind of looked at me like, Mills doesn't know what he's talking about. But after he played in that first game and then the following year I went and talked to him again, he said, you're right, that game's a different game and you need to respect it.
9 of 9Bob Rosato/SI
It's amped up, but it's not nasty. Playing those guys twice a year, you really get to know them. We knew it was going to be competitive, but in my opinion, when we played there was nothing dirty, nothing after the whistle. It was good clean football.
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