Chicago Bears

Study Up, Bear Down: What Fans Should Know Ahead of Bears-Packers Season Opener

Thursday's game not only marks the start of the NFL's 100th season, but it is also the Bears' centennial season

Editor's note: NBC 5 will have continued live coverage from Grant Park throughout the day Sept. 5. Tune in live here or watch in the player above.

Bears fans are anxiously awaiting the team's home opener against their biggest rivals the Green Bay Packers Thursday, but before game day arrives in Chicago, fans may want to study up on their knowledge of what's been going on. 

Why is this Bears-Packers game such a big one?

Thursday's game not only marks the start of the NFL's 100th season, but it is also the Bears' centennial season. The game will mark the first time in franchise history the Bears have opened the NFL season on Thursday Night Football.

The last time the Bears and the Packers met at night at Soldier Field was 2010. The Monday night game ended in a 20-17 Bears victory.

The last time the Bears and Packers met in Week 1 for consecutive seasons was 1980 and 1981. 

How are the Bears celebrating their 100th season? 

The team has planned numerous events leading up to the home opener and throughout the season. 

Following this summer's convention in Rosemont, the Bears on Tuesday unveiled two massive statues at Soldier Field honoring legends George Halas and Walter Payton. 

As the Chicago Bears prepare to kick off their centennial season, the team honored two of the greatest figures in franchise history with 12-foot tall statues outside of Soldier Field.

The Bears are also honoring their rich history by using their 10 home games (two preseason games and eight regular season games) to honor the 10 decades of team history, including Payton, Bronko Nagurski, Brian Urlacher and more. The team will also give away special-edition bobbleheads at each of the games to honor the players. See the full schedule

Oh, and there's a giant 7-foot-tall bobblehead of Mike Ditka. Da Coach had been sitting at Millennium Park for fans since last week, but was moved to Soldier Field ahead of the big game. 

See Da Coach as a 7-foot bobblehead in Millennium Park. 

The NFL is also celebrating in Chicago.

The NFL is also joining the celebration with a massive party in Chicago's Grant Park before and during the matchup. Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor and Rapsody are among the celebrity performances slated for the big pre-game event and watch party.

Small But Mighty: Young Bears Fans Show Their Love for the Team

The massive celebration, presented by EA Sports Madden NFL '20, will feature appearances by Bears legends, photo opportunities with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and all 53 Super Bowl rings. See more info here

NBC 5 will have live coverage from inside the celebration all day long beginning at 4 a.m. Watch it live here

Are there other fan celebrations happening in the city?


Timothy O’Toole’s Pub in the Streeterville neighborhood will transform a private bar room into “Swerski’s” starting Sept. 5.

See Inside 'Swerski's,' the Bears Superfan Pop-Up Bar Coming to Chicago

The ode to the beloved “Saturday Night Live” skit will offer a Bears-themed food and drink menu, photo backdrops and props, merch, including a Swerski’s koozie, and more. The pop-up will continue through football season.

Now for the real fun - the facts fans should know ahead of Thursday's game. 

What's the deal with the Bears-Packers rivalry?

The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have been doing battle for nearly 100 years, and as a result there are some truly fascinating numbers that have come out of the league's most historic rivalry. 

The rivalry is the oldest in the NFL and dates back to 1921. Last season, Chicago dropped a 24-23 decision in Week 1 at Lambeau Field but defeated the Packers in Week 15 at Soldier Field 24-17. That same victory marked their NFC North division championship.

The last time the Bears and Packers met in Week 1 for consecutive seasons was 1980 and 1981. This game will mark the 199th meeting between the two teams. 

House Divided: See How a Die-Hard Bears-Packers Couple Decorated Their Home

Since 1940, the Bears and Packers have played in the season opener on 27 different occasions. The teams are dead even in those games, going 13-13-1.

Despite playing for 100 seasons, the Bears and Packers have only reached the playoffs in the same season on four occasions. 

See more facts about the rivalry here.

What should fans watch for?

The Chicago Bears heard plenty of talk about their possible regression during an offseason brought on by Cody Parkey's double-doink field goal miss.

Their solution for backsliding following a 12-4 season is how much they believe in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's development.

It's up to Trubisky to do more than manage an offense. He needs to lead the Bears' bid to a repeat as NFC North champions to remove pressure from other aspects of the team. 

Still, several key members of last year's team will be wearing new uniforms in 2019. Here's a look at what the team will look like as they take the field for the first time this season. 

It was a busy off season for the Chicago Bears as they look to defend their NFC North title. Several key members of last year’s team will be wearing new uniforms in 2019.

What about a kicker?

The Chicago Bears have had a busy offseason in trying to replace kicker Cody Parkey, and we've been recapping the whole thing.

2019 Chicago Bears Kicking Derby: A Timeline

Most recently, the Bears waived kicker Elliott Fry, leaving Eddy Pineiro as the lone kicker on the roster.

Whether things will stay that way remains to be seen. Stay updated on the kicking situation here

What else should I know? 

If you're heading to a game this season, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for some of these famous Bears fans - maybe there will be a celeb sighting at Soldier Field! 

Speaking of Soldier Field, have you seen the new food and drink options at the stadium? Here's a guide of what's new and where you can find it. 

Chicago Bears fans will be able choose from several new tasty options at Soldier Field this season. NBC 5’s LeeAnn Trotter reports. 

Also... if you're going to a game, maybe learn the fight song first.

Think you know the Bears’ fight song? We quizzed fans to see if they could sing the lyrics and this happened. Send us your best fight song video to and Bear Down! 

Finally, whether you're a diehard Bears fan or just a Chicagoan looking to join in on the fun that is Da Bears, we're counting down to Game Day by putting together a list of 10 facts each day for 10 days that will impress just about anyone. 

Here's a look at the list so far. 

Part 1: The Bear Necessities: 10 basic facts about the team, and the players now patrolling Soldier Field. 

Part 2: In The Beginning: 10 facts about the team’s founding, original owner George Halas, and the first big star the team was able to sign in the 1920s.

Part 3: There's No Place Like Home: 10 facts about the places where the Bears have played football. 

Part 4: Weathering the Storms: 10 facts about the Bears' relationship with Mother Nature. 

Part 5: DA BEARS: 10 facts about the Bears through the eyes of American pop culture. 

Part 6: 10 for the Record Books: A look back at some of the remarkable, and odd, NFL records set or held by Bears players. 

Part 7: Leaders and Legends: A look at some of the interesting records held by Bears players from years gone by. 

Part 8: Sweetness: paying tribute to one of the greatest Chicago Bears players of all time with 10 factoids about running back Walter Payton.

Contact Us