Bears at Cardinals. There was a time when this was one of the premier rivalries in sports. Imagine the Cubs and White Sox playing twice a year, with the outcomes counting in the standings. This was the football equivalent. From 1921 to '59, the Chicago Bears, playing at Wrigley Field, and the Chicago Cardinals, playing at Comiskey Park, fought bitterly for bragging rights to the city. "They were brutal, brutal struggles," says Bears chairman of the board Ed McCaskey, 71. "In fact, there are still some Cardinals fans in Chicago, some of the South Side Irish." The rivalry cooled when the Cards moved to St. Louis in '60, and now, except to the Illinois snowbirds in Arizona, Cards-Bears is just another game.
Redskins at Giants. What an excruciating series. It's as if the two teams try' to keep the score close, and then something happens that allows New York to triumph. The Giants have won the past five games 27-20, 24-23, 27-24, 20-17 and, two weeks ago, 24-20. In the latest episode, at RFK Stadium, a Giants punt grazed the leg of Washington's Johnny Thomas and died at the Redskins' one-yard line. Reyna Thompson of New York fell on it, and the Giants got an insurance field goal four plays later. "Some of it's determination," says Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. "And some of it's having won a few and believing you can do it."