ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy as Clay Matthews #52 looks on after winning Super Bowl XLV 31-25 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Clay Matthews;Aaron Rodgers
The Tribune's Brad Biggs pointed out a scenario that might be a little hard to swallow, Bears fans. It's likely that the Bears will kick off the season at Lambeau Field come September. That means the Bears will have to sit and watch as the Packers celebrate their Super Bowl win in front of their fans and Green Bay.
Y'know, the Super Bowl championship that the Bears could have prevented twice?
Biggs analyzed the home opponents for Green Bay, noting that the NFL gives the honor of the first home game of the season to the Super Bowl champs. Only two opponents have teams good enough and markets big enough to be a draw for the Thursday night, season-opening game: Chicago and New Orleans. (Full disclosure, NBC would benefit from the matchup in ratings.)
Though the NFL could choose to match up the last two Super Bowl champs, they would be crazy to pass up on the ratings bonanza of Chicago vs. Green Bay.
The Bears-Packers playoff game was the highest-rated NFC championship game since 1997, and the NFL could push the game both as a continuation of the longest-running rivalry in the NFL and as a rematch of the NFC championship game. Not to mention, that would give commentators plenty of chances to rehash Jay Cutler's knee problems, and camera operators ample opportunity to zoom in on Brian Urlacher gritting his teeth through the Pack celebration.
The Bears will find out in April if this scenario plays out, and if they get a chance to stop the Packers championship celebration. Considering that they whiffed on their two shots from preventing the celebration in the first place, they should relish the opportunity to spoil the Packer party.