The Chicago Bears have a rich and storied history, which means that they have had the pleasure (or the displeasure) of playing many of the other teams in the league many, many times.
The Bears share a division with some of the other oldest franchises in the league with the Lions (1930, as the Portsmouth Spartans), the Vikings (1961, the youngest) and of course the rival Green Bay Packers (1921).
Throughout the decades, each of these teams have had players that were thorns in the sides of the beloved. Players who haunted the Bears, scoring on them, intercepting them, stopping them. While it's easy to hate many of these players, there should be one or two who were so good you couldn't help but respect them.
Maybe you're old school and have a little respect for a player like Ray Nitschke, who was a downright nasty player along the same lines of a Bill George or Dick Butkus. Perhaps you remember the antics of Fran Tarkenton, who was as good a scrambler as a passer.
More recently the Bears have been tormented by Barry Sanders, who was a quiet guy and didn't have an elaborate touchdown dance or a big mouth, but boy could he run the football.
Despite his 11-3 record against Chicago, maybe you have an ounce of respect for Aaron Rodgers. I know I do.
Other than his annoying championship belt celebration (now, even more annoyingly, known as the Discount Double Check because of a dumb endorsement deal), he is a damn fine player.
No question he is the best QB in the league right now and he will continue to terrorize the Bears for years to come. Hopefully John Fox and Vic Fangio can slow his weapons down enough that he won't continue to pile up victories, but I still respect Rodgers as a player.
And trust me, it pains me to say that about a Packer, but he is a great player. It's easy to hate Brett Favre but Rodgers seems to have a little more humility, the media loves him but he doesn't seem to have the same kind of love of the spotlight like Favre always did.
And just because I respect Rodgers doesn't mean I like him. I hate that he has had the Bears' number, I hate that he plays for the green and gold up north and I hate that he's going to be around for another eight or nine seasons. But dang, is he good.
I do respect Sanders' game but he was just a little too before my time for me to really remember him as a player.
Now, who did you always have a little respect for, especially when they weren't pummeling the Bears?