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Remmel To Watch Super Bowl XLI With Keen Interest



The Green Bay Packers have a long history with both of the franchises squaring off in Super Bowl XLI, which partly is why team historian Lee Remmel isn't sure whom he wants to win.

"There are a lot of reasons to root for one or the other," Remmel said.

The Chicago Bears are obviously the Packers' biggest rival and a fellow member of the NFC North Division. As a former sports reporter, Remmel feels privileged to have spent more than two decades interviewing Bears' founder and longtime head coach, George Halas, and he expressed that he's happy for the McCaskey family for this season's success.

But Remmel also has great respect for Indianapolis Colts' head coach Tony Dungy, who coached against the Packers for several years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the old NFC Central, and is delighted to see him get to the Super Bowl. The Colts also played several significant games against the Packers back in the 1960s as the Baltimore franchise coached by Don Shula. One of those was Green Bay's first overtime game, a 13-10 victory for the 1965 Western Conference championship.

"I don't know at this moment who I'll be rooting for," Remmel said. "I have some strong emotions about both teams at this point in time. Whichever team wins, there will be a certain measure of justice being done. There are some great people in both organizations."

One sure thing is that Remmel isn't going to miss the game. Though this will be the first Super Bowl Remmel won't attend in person - he went to the first 40 Super Bowls in either a sportswriting or public relations capacity, and will certainly miss being there this year - he plans to be planted in front of the TV, perhaps in the company of some friends, when 5:25 p.m. CT rolls around on Sunday.

"I wouldn't miss it," he said. "I don't know if I'll watch all the pre-game hype because it's several hours, but one thing I'm certain of is I'll be there watching the television at kickoff. If the phone rings, I'm not going to answer it."

Remmel has been associated with the Packers for 62 years, and the former executive director of public relations remains very active within the organization as the team's historian.

Should the Bears win the title, Remmel will have another historical footnote to add to the Packers' 2006 season. Only one other time since the advent of the Super Bowl have the Packers beaten the eventual champions during the regular season, a 21-17 road victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 19, 1989.

Green Bay ended 2006 with a resounding 26-7 victory at Chicago, and in Remmel's view the Bears' playoff run since that game speaks to how well the Packers were playing in the final month of the season.

"I think it does," Remmel said. "Some people have taken their shots at it, saying the Bears weren't trying, but I don't know if I necessarily buy into that.

"What I do know is the Packers played extremely well that day, and they handled the Bears, who are an extremely physical football team, with apparent ease. And that's to Mike McCarthy's credit. He had his team ready."

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