The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For – NFL Kicks Off 100th Season Thursday Night With Packers Meeting Bears

The NFL is back. Really back. At long last. They are the elder statesmen of the NFL. They deserve center stage when the league kicks off its 100th season...

(Photo Source: NFL.com)

The NFL is back. Really back. At long last.

They are the elder statesmen of the NFL. They deserve center stage when the league kicks off its 100th season on Thursday night.

We speak of the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.

They first played in 1921 and on this evening will do battle for the 199th time. You can hardly count the iconic players and coaches from both sides.

The Packers are probably best known for Curly Lambeau, namesake of their home field, Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr and a list of members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame too long to publish (though it’s worth mentioning Reggie White and Brett Favre). The Bears, under the steely auspices of George Halas, also featured numerous luminaries – Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Mike Singletary, Walter Payton (and that’s again a very abbreviated accounting).

These franchises weathered bad times as well as celebrated great ones. Green Bay owns 13 NFL championships, the Bears nine. They are 1-2 in that category. They have combined to put 53 members in the HOF, 28 from the Bears and 25 from the Packers.

The Packers venture forward under rookie head coach Matt LaFleur, whose primary job will be keeping quarterback Aaron Rodgers happy. Good luck, pal. The Bears, under second-year coach Matt Nagy, will look to build on last year’s surprising 12-4 record. Their defense features standout pass rusher Kahlil Mack.

The game can be seen on NBC at 8:20 p.m. ET and sets the table for a full weekend that culminates in a doubleheader on Monday night that begins at 7:10 p.m. (Houston Texans-New Orleans Saints) and continues at 10:20 p.m. with Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders.

The NFL is back. Really back. At long last.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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