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Week 10: The Gross-man vs. Eli Manning

There’s 16 games this weekend but the one generating the most interest is The Chicago Bears against the NY Giants which plays Sunday night. It pits the Gross-man against Eli Manning

NY Times: Up early and on his way to the 1990 Giants’ divisional playoff with the Chicago Bears, Bill Parcells had stopped at a New Jersey diner for coffee when a customer at the counter looked up from his eggs and recognized the Giants coach.

“Hey, Billy,” he grunted in his Jersey jargon, “gonna beat dem Bears?”

Before Parcells could answer, another diner voice grunted, “What about dem Niners, too?”

Parcells laughed. “The second guy,” he said later, “hopscotched the Bears to the Niners.”

As it turned out, those Giants routed those Bears, 31-3, and edged those 49ers, 15-13, en route to their Super Bowl XXV rings, but on Sunday night, in a renewed rivalry between two of pro football’s flagship franchises, the 2006 Giants will play the Bears at Giants Stadium for what could be the No. 1 seeding in the National Football Conference playoffs.

Not every Giants-Bears game has been big. Each franchise has had its sour seasons, but when both are among the best teams with something significant at stake, a Giants-Bears marquee glows like no other.

Over their eight decades together, the Giants trail the Bears in their regular-season series, 26-17-2, but in the postseason the Giants have played the Bears eight times, more often than any other postseason opponent. In six N.F.L. championship games, the Bears lead, 4-2. In two divisional playoffs, they split 1-1.

Hallowed names span the rivalry – Halas, Grange, Nagurski, Luckman, Payton, Ditka for the Bears; Owen, Hein, Gifford, Robustelli, Tittle and Parcells for the Giants.

Several games had subplots and props: the first league championship game, the Giants’ wearing sneakers in both of their title-game victories, the shadow of Pearl Harbor, a gambling scandal, a battered knee, a grazed punt, and the ladders that some fans used to scale the Polo Grounds fences at the first Giants-Bears game in 1925, the Giants’ first season.

Tim Mara had peeled off $500 for the New York franchise but with such visiting teams as Frankford, Rochester and Dayton, attendance was thin until more than 74,000 jammed the Polo Grounds to see Red Grange, the Galloping Ghost, the football idol of the Roaring Twenties who had joined the Bears shortly after his last University of Illinois season ended.

•After fire laws closed the gates following a sellout of 70,000 tickets at $2.50 to 50 cents, the police caught and ejected some of the ladder-climbers, but others escaped and saw the Bears win, 19-7, as Grange scored the clinching touchdown on a 35-yard interception return.

In 1933 the Bears, with Bronko Nagurski at fullback, defeated the Giants in the first championship game, 23-21, and in 1934 the Bears rolled into the title game at the Polo Grounds with a 13-0 record. With players sliding and slipping on a field frozen by the six-degree temperature, the Giants dispatched little Abe Cohen, a tailor by trade, to fetch some sneakers from the Manhattan College athletic-supply room that he supervised.

When the Giants appeared for the second half wearing sneakers, George Halas, the Bears’ crusty coach, barked, “Step on their toes.” It didn’t help. Mel Hein, a center and linebacker, dominated the trenches and the Giants, under their longtime coach, Steve Owen, won, 30-13.

Two weeks after Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Bears, with Sid Luckman at quarterback in the newfangled T formation that blitzed the Redskins, 73-0, for the 1940 championship, were the first team to win two consecutive titles, routing the Giants, 37-9, at Wrigley Field.

Questioned by the police before the 1946 title game at the Polo Grounds, Giants fullback Merle Hapes admitted receiving an offer of a $2,500 bribe and a $1,000 bet, and single-wing tailback Frank Filchock admitted knowing the gambler Alvin Paris but denied knowing about a bribe. Commissioner Bert Bell suspended Hapes but allowed Filchock to play as the Giants lost, 24-14. At Paris’s trial, Filchock admitted he had lied and was suspended indefinitely.

With a frozen field forecast for the 1956 championship game at Yankee Stadium, Giants pass-rusher Andy Robustelli handed out four dozen pairs of sneakers from his Connecticut sporting goods store. The Giants won, 47-7.

At the 1963 title game in Chicago, the Giants took a quick 7-0 lead on quarterback Y. A. Tittle’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gifford, but after Bears linebacker Larry Morris rolled into Tittle’s left knee, he couldn’t plant. The Bears won, 14-10, for owner Halas’s last of eight titles as coach.

•In a 13-below-zero wind-chill at Soldier Field after the 1985 season, Sean Landeta was punting out of the Giants’ end zone when the blustery wind blew the ball. Landeta’s foot grazed it, the ball squiring to the 5-yard line where the Bears’ Shaun Gayle grabbed it and scored to spark a 21-0 victory.

Those Bears, led by Coach Mike Ditka and running back Walter Payton, went on to win Super Bowl XX, and the next season the Giants won Super Bowl XXI without having to play the Bears.

After Parcells’s stop for coffee, the 1990 Giants eliminated the Bears in the playoffs the last time the two teams had a marquee game, but with Coach Tom Coughlin now plotting how to win Sunday night, somewhere in his travels he may hear a Jersey voice grunt, “Hey, Tommy, gonna beat dem Bears?”

Gene sez: Here’s how Sean from www.pornlegends.com looks at this weekend’s picks:

After last Sunday’s Miami victory over the Bears, I had not seen Wankus that thrilled since Larry Csonka agreed to let Wankus comb out Larry’s mustache.

Indianapolis over Buffalo – Tim Connelly, starring in “The Kurt Lockwood Story,” said I should take the Colts. I think I’m gonna cry.

Baltimore over Tennessee – Gia Darling said I should take the Ravens. Funny, every time I hug her I feel a little nuts.

Atlanta over Cleveland – The Native American name for Atlanta? “Can’t Win Easy Games On The Road.”

Minnesota over Green Bay – Bud Grant’s Vikings v. Vince Lombardi’s Packers it’s not.

Kansas City over Miami – John Daly said I should take the Chiefs. How many divorces is that, John? Fore!

Detroit over San Francisco – Charter member of the Dick “Night Train” Lane fan club, Bill Margold told me to take the Lions.

Jacksonville over Houston – Dirty Bob said I should take the Jags. He then went off on how unappreciative I was for the pick.

New England over Jets – This week’s Jets game plan titled, “Republican Path to Victory.”

San Diego over Cincinnati – Wilma Flintstone’s prom date, Dave Cummings said she looked 18.

Philadelphia over Washington – Let’s count the ways the Eagles can piss this game away.

Denver over Oakland – And you thought the Democrats gave the Republicans a beating.

Seattle over St. Louis – Saddam Hussein said I should take the Seahawks then he asked if he could hang with me.

New Orleans over Pittsburgh – The Marines said I should take the Saints but I couldn’t bring Jenna.

Dallas over Arizona – Dennis Green gets to crown the Big Tuna’s ass this week.

Chicago over Giants – The ghost of George S. Halas seen walking the halls of the Payton Center.

Carolina over Tampa – Bill Cosby said I should take the Panthers and two little pills.

Here’s this week’s schedule followed by the Adultfyi picks:

Sunday: Baltimore at Tennessee; Buffalo at Indy; Cleveland at Atlanta; Green Bay at Minnesota; Houston at Jacksonville; Kansas City at Miami; NY Jets at New England; San Diego at Cincinnati; San Francisco at Detroit; Washington at Philadelphia; Denver at Oakland; Dallas at Arizona; New Orleans at Pittsburgh; St. Louis at Seattle; Chicago at NY Giants

Monday night: Tampa Bat at Carolina

Harry Weiss [85-43]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, KC, N England, San Diego, Detroit, Washington, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Seattle, NY Giants, Carolina

Mike Dickinson [83-45]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, KC, N England, Cincy, Detroit, Philly, Denver, Dallas, N Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Carolina

Sean from www.pornlegends.com [82-46]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, KC, N England, San Diego, Detroit, Philly, Denver, Dallas, New Orleans, Seattle, Chicago, Carolina

Ryan from Jerry’s Deli [82-46]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, Miami, N England, San Diego, SF, Washington, Denver, Dallas, New Orleans, Seattle, NY Giants, Tampa Bay

Gene Ross [81-47]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Kansas City, N England, Cincy, Detroit, Philly, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Chicago, Carolina

Steve Seidman [81-47]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, KC, N England, Cincy, Detroit, Philly, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Seattle, NY Giants, Carolina

Brian Wallace [79-49]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, KC, NY Jets, Cincy, Detroit, Philly, Denver, Arizona, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, NY Giants, Carolina

Billy the Crystal [78-50]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, KC, New England, Cincy, San Francisco, Philly, Denver, Dallas, New Orleans, Seattle, Chicago, Carolina

John Gray [78-50]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, Miami, N England, Cincy, Detroit, Philly, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Seattle, NY Giants, Carolina

Brian, aka Plus One [78-50]: Baltimore, Indy, Cleveland, Minnesota, Jax, KC, New England, San Diego, Detroit, Philly, Denver, Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Carolina

Dan Davis of Genesis Magazine [76-52]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, KC, N England, San Diego, Detroit, Philly, Denver, Dallas, New Orleans, Seattle, NY Giants, Carolina

Wankus, www.tylerfaith.com [75-53]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, Miami, N England, Cincy, SF, Philly, Denver, Dallas, N Orleans, Seattle, Chicago, Carolina

Karl the Birdman [74-54]: Baltimore, Indy, Cleveland, Minnesota, Jax, KC, New England, SD, SF, Philly, Denver, Dallas, N Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Carolina

Big Ty [73-55]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Houston, Miami, N England, San Diego, Detroit, Washington, Denver, Dallas, New Orleans, Seattle, NY Giants, Carolina

Sandy Bunz of www.sandybunz.com [72-56]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, NO PICK, KC, New England, SD, Detroit, Washington, Denver, Dallas, N Orleans, Seattle, NY Giants, Carolina

Shannon from Adult DVD Empire [71-57]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, KC, New England, San Diego, Detroit, Philly, Denver, NO PICK, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, Carolina

Serenity from www.serenity.net, [70-58]: Baltimore, Indy, Cleveland, Green Bay, Jax, KC, N England, Cincy, San Francisco, Washington, Denver, Arizona, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, NY Giants, Tampa Bay

Steve Volponi from www.devilsfilm.com [70-58]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Green Bay, Jax, KC, N England, Cincy, SF, Philly, Denver, Dallas, N Orleans, Seattle, Chicago, Carolina

Steve Lane [66-62]: Baltimore, Indy, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jax, KC, New England, San Diego, Detroit, Philly, Denver, Arizona, N Orleans, Seattle, NY Giants, Carolina

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