There have been plenty of opposing coaches that have played the villain role to the Chicago Bears through the years. I'm not just talking rivals, I'm talking coaches that really get under your skin. Either through sheer arrogance or by bending or outright breaking the rules.
Which leads us to today's question in our 30 Day Challenge...
Day 14: Who is your most hated opposing coach of all time?
I'm old enough to remember a time when the Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers rivalry slanted in favor of the Navy and Orange. I'm talking about before the Pack acquired Brett Favre and drafted Aaron Rodgers to set the franchise up for the past 23 years.
Ugh... Did you realize that during the Favre/Rodgers era (1992-present), the Packers only have had two losing seasons?
If your choice for most hated opposing coach was one of the Packer coaches during that stretch, I wouldn't blame you. But for my choice, I'm going back to the 80s.
During the Mike Ditka coached years (1982-1992), the Bears held a 15-5 record vs Green Bay. Ditka lost his first game against them and he lost his last game against them, but those 18 games in between were mostly glorious. There were a few blowouts, but most of the games were very competitive.
The games from 1984 to 1987 were especially brutal because they were between two old school coaches that wouldn't give an inch. Mike Ditka and Forrest Gregg hated each other from their playing days and the hatred continued as coaches. The difference in talent between the two teams however, was great, so Green Bay head coach Forrest Gregg was known to coach his players up to cross the line.
My distaste for the Packers started to grow once I became a Bears fan, but I really grew to hate them when Gregg was their head coach. In my opinion no other coach has ever come close to being a scumbag like Forrest Gregg. Ditka hated him and in turn, Bears fans in the 80s grew to hate him too.
In a 2011 interview Ditka claimed he still has no respect for Gregg. The worst incident perpetrated by a Gregg coached team was in 1986 when Packer defensive lineman Charles Martin slammed Chicago QB Jim McMahon to the turf well after the play ended.
"Unfortunately, that was the only bad time in the history of the rivalry, when it got to be ugly," Ditka said. "And it was ugly. You can't try to hurt people and they tried to hurt some of our guys. (Running back) Matt Suhey is lucky he didn't get hurt badly. And when McMahon was picked up by Charles Martin and thrown down, he was lucky he wasn't hurt very badly.
"These things were after the play, after the fact. So either you are coaching that or your players are stupid. That's what I'm going to say. In this case I believe they were coached. That's why I never got along with Forrest Gregg. To this day I don't respect him for that reason. . . . When the play is over and you pick somebody up and slam them on the ground. 'Oh, big deal' (Martin says). I'm a tough guy.' You're not a tough guy. You're a dumb guy."
In 2002 the Chicago Tribune's Don Pierson chronicled some of the Ditka vs Gregg rivalry.
Ditka questioned Gregg's entire team after a dirty encounter in Lambeau in 1985, suggesting the next year, "We might just go up there with baseball bats."
Gregg sent safety Ken Stills on a mission of late hits. Stills' cheap shot on fullback Matt Suhey prompted Suhey to confront Gregg in a restaurant during Super Bowl week in New Orleans.
"I made some suggestions about his character," Suhey said. Gregg suggested Suhey "stop whining about it."
It also prompted quarterback Jim McMahon to run past the Packers' bench and give Gregg a one-finger salute after he threw a touchdown pass to William Perry.
Gregg's teams were notorious for cheap shots and illegal tactics. They knew they couldn't stand toe to toe with the Bears -- Gregg was 1-7 vs Chicago as Packers' coach -- so they broke the rules.
Now it's your turn in our 30 Day Challenge...
What opposing coach do you hate the most?