Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins, one of NFL's oldest rivalries

The Chicago Bears head to Fedex Field for the latest installment of a storied NFL rivalry. Photo: The Bears play the Redskins in one of the NFL's most storied rivalries/AP

WASHINGTON, October 17, 2013 — The Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears have been playing each other since the 1930s. Both teams are two of the older franchises in the NFL. The Redskins have played the Bears in some heated championship games during the 1930s and ‘40s, but does that have any bearing (pun intended) on today’s NFL players’ motivation? It probably does not. It does, however, mean something to the fans and media.

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There are probably some fans out there, maybe even reading this article, who can remember the 1937 NFL Championship game played in Chicago between the Redskins and Bears. Chances are, that person is, at least, in their mid-80’s since it was 76 years ago. That was the Redskins’ first NFL championship. He or she might also remember the 73-0 blowout in Washington between the Redskins and Bears for the NFL Championship in 1940. Can you imagine a Super Bowl defeat of 73-0? Talk about demoralizing. If you think a Sunday night loss in Dallas was bad, sheesh…

It is not quite the football rivalry compared to the likes of Ohio State vs. Michigan, or Redskins vs. Dallas, or even Green Bay vs. Chicago, but as a fan, or casual observer, it is kind of cool to see two teams that have been around since the start of the NFL, with the same team names, the same uniform colors, the same cities, and same lineage of fans that they had three quarters of a century ago.

Since there is so much debate right now about the Redskins team name and a growing reality that the name could eventually change, one cannot help but think that changing the name of “Redskins” would put a substantial dent in this Redskins-Bears tradition. Change can be good, but it is also cool to see things stand the test of time, like Sunday afternoon football games between the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears.

The game is this Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, at Fedex Field, Landover, Md. The Bears are 4-2 and the Redskins are only 1-4. Surprisingly, the Redskins are favored for this game despite their individual team records.

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John Heibel


Born in Southern Maryland, 34 years old, John Heibel grew up a Washington DC  sports fan, playing pretty much all sports. Heibel served in the US Coast Guard for 7 years and has two bachelors degrees.
The writer currently lives in Kensington, MD covering all DC Sports for Communities.

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