It's Candace Parker vs. Janel McCarville in Sunday's Bears-Packers Game
Los Angeles Sparks center Candace Parker defeated the Chicago Sky's Cathrine Kraayeveld in a head-to-head matchup last weekend between the Bears and Seahawks. This week, she draws a new opponent as the Bears and Packers kickoff at 3 ET on Sunday.
The New York Liberty's Janel McCarville backs the Pack and will no doubt cheer on Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Packers this Sunday with the hopes of watching her team clinch a trip to the Super Bowl.
Candace and Janel go toe-to-toe in a little friendly trash talk.
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Parker: To me, that means free food. Since last week with the Seahawks going down I got the best fast food Portillos for free (thanks Catherine Kraayeveld!) This week, I think I'll go for my favorite restaurant in New York, Tao! Janel, I want dessert as well.
Q: Any fun pre-game trash talk you'd like to offer up?
Parker: The Bears are going to work the Packers like a sharp knife through STINKY CHEESE (HEADS)
Q: The Packers and Bears are huge rivals. Do you have a favorite memory of that rivalry?
Parker: Since the Packers and Bears have only met once previously in Playoffs (the Bears won!) I will say that this fierce long-time rivalry means nothing up until this point, this game, this time! ITS ON!!!!!!!
Q: Are you the biggest Bears fan among your friends and family? Is your brother Anthony a Bears fan, too?
Parker: I would probably say, my Dad and myself are the biggest Bears fans in the family. Anthony doesn't really talk to me about football all that much and he has turned kind of upity since moving down to Tampa. I will say he probably is a Buccaneers fan.
Q: When Lailaa grows up will she be a Chicago Bears fan like you or a Dallas Cowboys fan like your husband Shelden? Why?
Parker: Lailaa will be sat down on the couch at the age of 3 and she will be explained the cons of being a Cowboys fan and the pros of being a Bears fan. From there she will be allowed to make her own decision.
Q: If Lailaa came home one day and said she was a PACKERS fan, your response would be what?
Parker: Fine, I respect your decision to play college basketball for Geno and the Uconn Huskies.....but NOT THIS! You were born and groomed to be a BEARS fan...ORANGE AND BLUE!
Q: How do Bears fans differ from others?
Parker: Put it to you this way, we are world wide. I was riding on the bus in Istanbul, Turkey and saw a little boy rockin' an Urlacher jersey......
Q: You’re playing in Russia this off-season, so where and how will you be watching/following the game?
Parker: We are 11 hours ahead of CST so I will be staying up until the wee-hours of the morning watching via Slingbox with my hot chocolate and cookies!
Q: Who’s the greatest Bears player of all-time?
Parker: Walter Payton by far! I was not alive to see them win the Super Bowl, but I know my NFL history and he used to run through, around and over defenses. His legacy, will always be alive and "Sweetness" is one of the best running backs of all time.
Q: If you were coaching a defense and wanted a menacing linebacker as your leader, would you choose the Bears' Brian Urlacher with his shaved head or the Packers' long-haired Clay Matthews ...and why?
Parker: Brian Urlacher for sure! I wouldn't want to be the Packer's offense and have Urlacher staring back at me.
Q: Who is more poised to make a big play to win this game…Bears QB Jay Cutler or Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and why?
Parker: I give credit where credit is due, Aaron Rodgers is having one heck of a year. Behind Tom Brady, he is my #2 for MVP. But, as shown in Jay Cutler's first playoff game, Cutler rises to the occasion in crunch time!
Q: Why do you think your team will win the game?
Parker: The Bears are hungry for another Super Bowl opportunity on our home field in front of all of Chicago! Our defense is playing phenomenal and our offense is rolling....DA BEARS are geared to win and thus a berth in the Super Bowl.
Q: Your prediction for the final score?
Parker: 33-27 BEARS
Q: If the Bears win Sunday, how will you celebrate their berth in the Super Bowl?
Parker: When we win on Sunday, I will set my sights on the Steelers/Jets because we don't celebrate until it’s won and the Lombardi trophy is in our hands! A Super Bowl berth is not what we aim for, we aim to win and then I will do the Super Bowl Shuffle.
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McCarville: Of course, all in good fun for sure, but it’s hard to pick something. I know this much, it’s gotta be something good. Since I’m gonna win, I want it to be worth my while…and something that will absolutely make Candace go, ‘Ugh!”
Q: Any fun pre-game trash talk you'd like to offer up?
McCarville: That’s redundant…the only trash talking that needs to be done is about the actual trash - DA BEARS! Every time someone opens their mouth in support of the Bears it’s just trash. The Bears this, the Bears that. PUHLEEZ! Spare me!
Q: What is your most prized Packers’ possession?
McCarville: I’ve got a Packer jersey made for me by my brother when I was younger. It reads 'Gosh Ii love the Packers'!
Q: Do you have any superstitions when watching your favorite NFL team play [wear the same jersey, t-shirt, hat? Sit in the same spot?]
McCarville: I just try to catch as many games as possible while overseas. It helps pass the time, and I feel like a real American being able to watch football! And really, what’s more American than Wisconsin, Green Bay, and the Packers. Chicago? The Bears? Not so much.
Q: How did you become a Packers fan?
McCarville: Born ‘n raised in Custer, WI, an hour and a half from Green Bay. Have to cheer for the Green N Gold! Loving, following the Packers is not a rite of passage. For a rite of passage you have to wait until you’re a certain age, but being a Packers fan, that’s something that starts at birth. It’s not an acquired taste like being a Bears fan.
Q: Candace says she and daughter Lailaa do a touchdown dance when the Bears score…which is better, Candace’s dance or the Lambeau Leap…and why?
McCarville: The Lambeau Leap is way better because it happens more often. It involves the people of Green Bay! It’s a tight knit crew who have tickets to Lambeau and the Packers players have a bond with their fans like none other! In fact, that may be the wager – I think Candace is going to have to travel to Lambeau, put on a cheesehead hat, and do the Leap. C’mon, she can dunk a basketball; a Lambeau Leap should be easy for her.
Q: How do Packers fans differ from others?
McCarville: That’s just it, there are Packer fans, and then ....others. Packer fans are just a breed of their own. You cannot describe how it feels to walk into Lambeau on a brisk minus-20 day and actually enjoy the game! The cold is not a factor. It’s a sellout EVERY GAME. Tickets have been handed down through families like rare jewels! They’re hard to come by! The city, the people, they literally own the Packers and that’s what makes ‘em great!
Q: You have one game for all the marbles…who is your QB, Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre? Why?
McCarville: Gotta go with Favre! Rodgers is proving himself, no doubt about it. But I’m gonna take the old man (if I get him in his prime…hahahha!)
Q: If you were coaching a defense and wanted a menacing looking linebacker as your leader would you choose Packers' long-haired Clay Matthews or Bears' Brian Urlacher with his shaved head?
McCarville: Plain and simple, MATTHEWS! A workhorse! He has my vote for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Q: Why do you think the Packers will win?
McCarville: Simple…they want it more, come to play, and leave it all on the field. That’s what got them there in the first place, and that’s what’s gonna enable ‘em to take it home in the end!
Q: What is your prediction for the final score?
McCarville: 31 - 17 PACKERS!!
Q: If the Packers win Sunday, how will you celebrate their berth in the Super Bowl?
McCarville: That will be a POST-GAME DECISION!