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Beating Green Bay gets extra meaning for Bears

By Andrew Seligman

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Jan. 17 2011 2:10 p.m. MST

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith watches his team play during the first half an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, in Chicago.

Charles Rex Arbogast, Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — From the moment he was hired, Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith made it clear his goals were to beat Green Bay, win the division and win the Super Bowl.

Beating Green Bay to get to the Super Bowl? Well, that's an added bonus.

The league's oldest rivalry sure took an interesting turn when the Bears knocked off the Seattle Seahawks in their divisional playoff game Sunday.

Now, it's Chicago against Green Bay for the NFC championship at Soldier Field, and the stakes have never been higher in a series that dates back to 1921.

Smith says the first goal each season is to beat the Packers because beating a rival is "a short-term goal, something you can do immediately," and they're normally one of the top teams in the NFC North.

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