When Lovie Smith was hired, he laid out three objectives in his first public appearance: in order, beat the Green Bay Packers, win the NFC North division and win a Super Bowl. Smith drew some criticism for placing the conquest of the Packers above a Lombardi Trophy, even though Smith was in fact just laying out the series of steps he anticipated taking.
Marc Trestman took the Bears-Packers game out of the football arena and assigned it a different level of significance:
"This is an important game to the community," Trestman said on Thursday.
Elevating a Bears-Packers game to the status of civic event is not evidence of warped values or overstating the actual importance to fans and followers of football.
Injured wide receiver Randall Cobb grasped that football on Sunday is simply a huge deal in cities that embrace their teams, which more than includes Chicago.
“Understanding how much this game means to not only us as players but the fans and communities in Chicago,” Cobb said, “it’s a special event and a special game.”