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Chiefs Packers Rivalry Means Different Things to the Fans

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On Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Green Bay to face the Packers in legendary Lambeau Field. I must admit, watching an NFL game in those hallow grounds, remains a bucket list item. For Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, he mentioned how amazing it will be to play in one of oldest NFL Cathedrals.

Though I was just a little tot when the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers played in Super Bowl I, that game holds special meaning to me. That day in the LA Coliseum, my parents and grandparents were in attendance.  

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At that time, we lived in Kansas City, but my grandparents lived in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My parents were Chiefs fans and my grandfather, an immigrant from Greece, loved the Packers.

Though the Chiefs got obliterated that day 35-10, the AFL underdogs did go into halftime with the score tied at ten. In the second half, tight end Max McGee, who played the game despite being on an all-night bender, made play after play. His legendary escapades the night before in Los Angeles ended a few hours before kick-off.

A year later the Packers won Super Bowl II defeating the Oakland Raiders, but it would be decades before Green Bay won the Lombardi Trophy again. In 1996, under the gunslinging arm of Brett Favre they won Super Bowl XXXI, and again in 2010 winning Super Bowl XLV with Aaron Rodgers.

The Chiefs won Super Bowl IV defeating the mighty and heavily favored Minnesota Vikings 23-7. It was the end of the AFL era of football. The next season the leagues merged, and the NFL started a trend of popularity and success that is unprecedented today.

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After a 50-year draught, the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV and LVII, restoring their place as one of the greatest franchises of all time. Now if we are going to be objective, the five decades between Super Bowls, were ugly, and painful, but necessary to erase the demons of that Super Bowl gap.

When Patrick Mahomes arrived in Kansas City, he took those fifty years, all the playoff losses, and the hopes of the entire Chiefs Kingdom, both young and old, and restored order and delivered multiple Super Bowl titles to Kansas City.  

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For some fans, all they know is the Mahomes era and the insane success he’s had as the Chiefs starting quarterback. As an NFL starter, he’s won the AFC West every season, and hosted the AFL Championship game in Kansas City, winning three of them.  He’s been a Super Bowl and NFL League MVP twice and breaks a new passing record every time he plays a game.

Still, for long-suffering fans, we remember the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, the Chiefs dynasty of the 60s on the AFL side was the precursor to what this franchise has become today.

The Packers are in a different boat altogether. They are still one of the NFL’s most storied franchises thanks to Vince Lombardi.

Over the decades, the Packers have been both great and hard to watch.  In 2023, they are somewhere in between. Still, the lore of playing in Lambeau Field and the history that the stadium has witnessed must feel special running onto the sometimes-frozen tundra.

As an old-school football fan, I admit next to the Chiefs, the Packers are my second favorite team. Yes, that has to do with my birth origins in Wisconsin, but it’s also an homage to my grandfather, Nick Stacy who bled Packer Green. He was the greatest man I ever knew.

I think that’s why I feel so sentimental about the Chiefs returning to Lambeau Field Sunday night. Though I saw the Packers play when I was a kid in Milwaukee, remember they played a handful of games each season from 1953 to 1994 at Milwaukee County Stadium, splitting time with Lambeau Field, I can’t wait to watch this game from afar.

Through the years, these teams have played some great games against one another, most notably in 2003, when the Chiefs were down seventeen points in the fourth quarter against Favre, to win it on a Trent Green to Eddie Kennison 53-yard bomb in overtime.

The Chiefs have dominated the limited encounters between these historic franchises going 8-4-1 from 1967 through 2021. The last time these teams played was in Kansas City Jordan Love was making his first NFL start. The Chiefs barely won 13-7.

On Sunday, Love is more seasoned and playing his best football of the year. The visiting Chiefs put together a terrific offensive performance against the Las Vegas Raiders last Sunday to show signs the offense is back on the right track.

Regardless of what era you arrived in as a fan of these iconic franchises, this game has tradition, history, and perhaps some snowfall at kick-off, that should warm your soul and light the fire for what I think will be a great football game that means something different to generations of Chiefs and Packers fans.

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