Between the toilet paper in the neighborhood trees and a modest but pleasant get-together with some of my high school classmates, last weekend seemed a little like homecoming.
As does this weekend, for completely different reasons. Here in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the shadow of Lambeau Field, this is Bear Week.
The Chicago Bears, long the Packers’ most loathed rival, come to town Sunday night for a nationally televised game. That kickoff is at 7:15 p.m. simply means the tailgate parties will start about noon, and that everyone will be well-oiled by the time the game starts.
Truth be told, it’s a tossup on whether there’s more animosity toward the Bears or the Minnesota Vikings these days.
But the Packers and Bears have been knocking heads for 40 years longer than the Packers and Vikings — Sunday night’s game will be their 174th meeting — so it’s a much richer tradition.
So much so that it’s been commemorated in song. Nothing subtle here. A common theme, though some of the players referenced have long since retired. You may want to burn this for your tailgate party. Then again, if you are a hardcore Packers fan, you probably have it.
“The Bears Still Suck Polka,” the Happy Schnapps Combo, from “100 Proof,” 1991. This is essentially a polka band from Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
This tune was written and sung by the late Jim Krueger, a local guy who — believe it or not — also wrote “We Just Disagree,” a hit for Dave Mason in 1977 and was a guitarist in Mason’s band. This tune was so popular that the Happy Schnapps Combo put it on their next CD, “Raise It!” in 1992, and on “Wisconsin Soul,” their live CD and DVD, in 2003 and 2004.
You will find “The Bears Still Suck Polka” on jukeboxes and hear it on the radio in our part of the world at this time of year.
“Go You Packers Go,” the Wizenhiemers, from “Go You Packers Go,” a four-song EP put out in 1996. This is a rock band out of Madison, Wisconsin. Another anthem. Not entirely specific to the Bears, but not complimentary toward them, either.
Indie or used record stores in Wisconsin still may carry new or used copies of both CDs, but I believe both are out of print. Otherwise, your most likely source might be eBay.