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Your enemy's enemy is your...what's that word?

­­Dear Bear Fans:

Let us start off by saying we do not like you.

Your orange and blue color palette is how da Vinci would have painted the Sistine Chapel had he, in fact, wanted to make the Pope cry. Your stadium looks like a discarded movie prop from the 1977 Spielberg classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, plopped atop a library. Plus, it’s small. Your mascot is nothing more than an ugly panda with a bad attitude. And we won’t even get into how bad your actual playing field is. #mud. Not to mention that time they found a spike on your 18-yard line — what is wrong with you? (Not that we haven’t enjoyed reveling in your numerous shortcomings: your draft busts, the way you’ve ruined many storied coaches’ careers. We will never grow tired of joking about how Jay should be in our Ring of Honor.

In short: You’re gross, bad and not likeable.

But now that the love letter is over, we just wanted to say — we respect you.

Our teams have had some of the most on-the-edge-of-your-seat, nerve-rattling games in THE Game’s history. Trick plays, cheap shots, blocked field goals, pick sixes, Starr, Payton, Frozen Tundra, Refrigerators, Lombardi, Ditka, Gunslinger, Papa Bear, No. 12. Our rivalry is football.  We have clawed and scratched at each other for close to 100 years, only to bring our scales to almost even. We are consequently, to some degree, equals. I mean, we may have more championships and titles than you do, but we are foes of equal standing.

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And while we may be having a bumpy season here in the land of Green and Gold (and your most recent performances have more closely resembled a kite taking on an F-16), watching those Purple bums win game after game isn’t right. You know it, we know it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Let’s face it, this is our division. Those other chumps are just here for the ride. Which brings us to our point: to see the Vikings take a Super Bowl, in their brand-new stadium (which is kind of, actually, a really nice-looking field), would irk us immeasurably. I am sure it would irk you, too.

We wouldn’t ask you to root for us, even though we do think you are foolish for ever contemplating any other course. But if you have switched on your television, logged into your social feeds or booted up your tablet, then you know our Aaron is back.

We know that might not be enough – we aren’t as stupid as you may think. Even with our chances pretty close to minuscule of finishing the season while hoisting a trophy named after one of our own, we swear, on Holmgren’s playbook that if you want to tune into our games for the next few Sundays, we won’t tell. If you wanted to wear something green, maybe even something gold under your ugly Trubisksy jersey, your secret is safe with us. Give those Cheesehead-hating refs a piece of your mind – it ain’t no thing. Give us a hushed “hell yeah” if we get that first down. We won’t mind. Throw that bowl of chips right at your flatscreen when Aikman issues more lies about your neighbor to the north; that’s just fine. Your good vibes are not needed (we can do it on our own, if you want to be bitter about it), but we won’t turn up our noses up to some positive juju.

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Whatever the outcome this February, when this nightmare is over, perhaps we can get our ship right. It’s going to take a lot, but maybe you can pull yourself together, too. Then we can hate each other properly once again. You and us, with no distractions, twice a year, frozen toe to frozen toe, as it should be.

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