Waking up Sunday morning in Chicago to five inches of snow and Dick Butkus trolling Aaron Rodgers was a beautiful thing.
“(F)unny the orange juice tastes a little bit sweeter this morning,” Butkus tweeted, referring to the Green Bay Packers’ 13-10 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
And in case that tweet was too cryptic, Butkus followed it up with “maybe it’s me but it almost seemed like @AaronRodgers12 was distracted last night like someone was in his head.”
The Chicago Bears great, naturally, was referring to himself.
Two days earlier Butkus, celebrated being verified on Twitter — a long-running saga in which Butkus poked fun at the social media company for not recognizing him as being blue checkmark-worthy. When Butkus finally was accepted, he sent out another punctuation-challenged tweet: “now that i have the blue mark i can kick people off the platfrom (cq) right you hear me @AaronRodgers”
Seeing the Hall of Fame linebacker trolling the future Hall of Fame quarterback may have been the highlight of the season for Bears fans, who’ve watched Rodgers beat their team year after year and then proclaim during a 2021 win at Soldier Field he “owns” them.
While Chairman George McCaskey and his wolf pack continue their exhaustive search process for a new general manager and coach — one that undoubtedly will leave no stone unturned — the stunning end to the Packers’ season on a snowy night at Lambeau Field was a small bit of cold comfort to weary Bears fans watching at home.
And the man who put the nail in the Packers’ coffin was none other than Robbie Gould, the one kicker over the years who seemed oblivious to playing winter football along the lakefront. It has been many years since the Bears decided Gould’s career was over, yet he keeps on ticking ... and kicking. He was perfect again Saturday, and still has never missed a kick in the postseason.
Gould remains quite popular in Chicago, so his presence was one more reason for Bears fans to root for the 49ers. Ex-teammate Lance Briggs tweeted beforehand: “Just so we’re all on the same page, you’re all rooting for @49ers right?”
The response was near unanimous. After Gould made the game-winning kick, Briggs tweeted: “.@RobbieGould09 did it for Chicago !!”
Schadenfreude was everywhere on social media after the Packers were bounced, particularly in Chicago. Former Bear Olin Kreutz tweeted a GIF of Tony Soprano smoking a cigar.
Enough said. Troll down, Chicago Bears.
Memes featuring a half-masked Rodgers getting sacked were widespread, and many social media users believed they were the first to joke that Rodgers had received “natural immunity” from playing in the Super Bowl.
It seemed like Bears fans and former players were all in on the Rodgers-bashing, perhaps with the exception of former linebacker Brian Urlacher, whose latest tweet was a promo about his new hair — which looks very natural and not at all fake.
And as happy as many were to see the Packers — and Rodgers — go down in flames, it seemed only fitting Gould would be the one to do it. NFL Network reporter Stacey Dales tweeted a video of Gould walking down the sidelines after the game-winning kick and being called an “(expletive) legend” by quarterback Jimmy Garappolo, who added: “(Expletive) the Packers.”
It was a great moment in Bears karma, ranking just a few notches under the 1985 NFC championship game at Soldier Field when it started snowing as Wilber Marshall scooped up Dieter Brock’s fumble and returned it for a touchdown on the way to the Super Bowl.
A reporter suggested afterward that the snow was heavenly sent by “Papa Bear,” the late owner George Halas. Coach Mike Ditka replied that Papa Bear sent “the sunshine, the snow, the touchdowns, everything.”
And besides being a fine kicker, Gould is just an all-around good guy.
He recently spoke to the Tribune about the life of ESPN reporter Jeff Dickerson, who died of cancer Dec. 30. The two remained friends after Gould left the organization, and the 49ers star spoke eloquently about what Dickerson meant to him and others.
“You’re going to see a lot of people come together and they’re going to laugh and shine some of that positive light on each other during a very difficult time,” Gould said.
And there Gould was on a cold, snowy night in Green Bay, sending Rodgers and the Packers packing on the legendary frozen tundra. That’s some positive light indeed.
It wasn’t the Super Bowl for Bears fans. But for now, it’ll have to do.