EVERGREEN PARK (CBS) — It may seem hard to believe, but some Packer fans and some Bears fans will be coming together in friendship to watch the big game. It’ll be happening Sunday in Evergreen Park.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker wonders if this might signal a thaw in this bitter rivalry.
“Go Pack Go,” is Jim Flanagan’s greeting to just about everybody these days. Growing up on the South Side, Flanagan inherited his dad’s love for the Green Bay Packers. And he’s got proof in the Brett Favre-signed jersey for which he paid thousands. There’s also the Vince Lombardi lunch bucket that prompted young Bears fans to chase him home from school.
“I’ve loved every minute of being a Packer fan,” he says.
As for the occasional abuse, “I love it, ‘cause I give it right back,” Flanagan says.
He’s got the Packers hard hat, the Packers Santa hat and even an antique leather Green Bay helmet.
On Sunday, not matter how cold it gets, Flanagan will be setting up big screen television sets outside and firing up the grill for Wisconsin brats.
He’s invited all his Evergreen Park neighbors to watch the Bears and Packers game. He calls his spot “Flambo” Field. He’s been doing this for Chicago-Green Bay clashes for 14 years.
“The whole thing’s a little bizarre for people our age. I’d rather be inside, where it’s warm,” Flanagan’s wife says.
The folks who show up are routinely Bears fans. One of them, Dennis Wilson, says everybody gets along because “we’re friends and neighbors.”
Despite the good feelings, the rivalry isn’t totally dead there. At the feel-good party, beer will be free for those who cheer Green Bay.
Bears fans will have to pay.