Detroit cornerback Chris Houston (front) celebrates after helping to… (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune )
No team gets Bears fans more worked up than Green Bay. Yet recently the Detroit Lions have crawled deeper beneath Chicago's skin. RedEye asked Bears fans to take stock of their emotions surrounding their NFC North rivals.
1. Describe your emotions during the week leading up to a Bears-Lions game. (For the Lions fan, flip Bears-Lions to Lions-Bears. For the Packers and Vikings fan, swap out Bears for their team.)
MATT CLAPP, 29, Denver, @dabearnecess
Probably 90 percent of the time in the week leading up to a Bears-Lions game, my thoughts are, "The Bears better not lose this." And the Bears have actually won nine of their last 10 games vs. the Lions. But it makes me a train wreck in the week leading up to it, because it feels like a must-win. And I hate watching a game with that feeling.
But this year is different. The Lions are 2-1 and I really believe they're a legitimately good team; they really scare me, especially at home. To me, on paper, this is the Bears' toughest game yet. So it's definitely not a normal pre-Bears-Lions feeling.
CURTIS SHAW FLAGG, 28, Belmont Gardens, @curtisshawflagg
The week leading up to a Bears-Lions game I usually have a roller coaster of emotion. It begins with excitement, noting that the Bears have a 96-65-5 edge over Detroit in the history of the two franchises. Then I remember Megatron, so the excitement turns into nervousness as I recall the "tuck rule" that allowed the Bears to squeak by three seasons ago. After I digest that, I also think of how pretentious head coach Jim Schwartz seems and it turns into all-out vitriol. Sheesh.
PHIL KIJAK, 32, Lakeview, @kilphijak
A mix of bloodlust and sympathy. The Lions are a bitter rival, yet I wouldn't mind seeing them finally win a Super Bowl. I feel like their fan base has earned it, but not at the expense of a Bears Super Bowl berth.
LESTER WILTFONG JR., 43, Kenosha, Wis., @wiltfongjr
The Lions have been historically bad, save for a few of the Barry Sanders years, so I've always thought the Bears would come out victorious. The last few years however, these two teams have played some competitive games. There's been some bad blood, with "the TD that wasn't" from a couple years ago, the Suh shenanigans and Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, who is just so easy to dislike.
MARTIN MacPHERSON, @beardownuk
Always nervous. The NFL is all about parity and this is a division game that could put the Bears in a great position for the postseason already.
PETER KREMIDAS, LIONS FAN, 31, Roscoe Village, @Pkremidas
I'm always nervous. Week to week I have no idea what team will show up. Sometimes they're awesome. Other times they're the Lions. Matthew Stafford is having a great year though.
TONY THE PACKERS FAN, @allday427, 31, Rogers Park
Packers-Lions week is no big deal. They are the least-feared divisional team since Tampa Bay left. They are undisciplined and find ways to beat themselves. Their secondary has been so bad for so long that you can spot them two touchdowns and still expect to win easily.
G THE VIKINGS FAN, @generalspeaks, 33, Gold Coast
My emotions leading up to a Vikings-Lions game is that of the favorite. I expect to win but with the Vikings' illustrious past, the thought of losing always creeps in. We've beaten them so much that it's like that guy you always beat in 1-on-1 and he finally wins, it makes you questions yourself. To sum it up I feel like we SHOULD win, but this is the Vikes we're talking about.
2. How do you feel after your team loses to the Lions? How do you feel after they beat the Lions? (For the Lions fan, flip this with the Bears.)
CLAPP: Beating the Lions is more of a sigh of relief than anything. And losing feels like a disaster that will pretty much ruin my upcoming week, as pathetic as that sounds.
FLAGG: After the Bears beat the Lions, I feel like the world is headed in the right direction. When the Bears lose to the Lions, I blame it directly on Obamacare.
KIJAK: Losing to the Lions always hurts, no matter how good they are. Beating the Lions lately has felt like a big accomplishment. They may not be a consistent playoff team, but they bring it for every divisional game.
WILTFONG JR: It's always good to see the Bears win, even more so against a divisional opponent. The flip side of that is true too. Dropping a game inside the NFC North is always bad news. With the Lions, since they aren't in the Packers' class, a loss is extra sour, because it's a game you expect the Bears to win.
MACPHERSON: The Bears losing always puts me in a bad mood, especially against a team we should beat and even more so when I can't stand the opponent. By the same token beating them is amazingly good and lifts me up. Maybe it restores my faith that the bully can get their just desserts.