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TONIGHT'S GAME

Blood boiling, spit flying, legs churning, arms pumping, expletives spewing, hair flowing, Ming the Merciless returns to Soldier Field tonight.

This time, Steve McMichael will be wearing the green and gold of Green Bay, for all those years the enemy. Now the Chicago Bears are on McMichael's hit list. They threw him away after 13 seasons, told him he wasn't good enough and let him go up the NFC Central road.

Defensive end Alonzo Spellman said, "We expect a very fanatical effort out of Ming. He's always fired up for a game, but this is another level."

"You know he'll be fired up," Chicago linebacker Ron Cox said. "Last year against Minnesota, Ming was (upset) and he started biting a Coke can on the sideline. Bit right through it. His mouth was bleeding but he kept right on chewing. Incredible."

Incredible also describes McMichael's career. His 94 sacks make him the only defensive tackle ranked among the NFL's all-time leaders. He helped the Bears win the 1986 Super Bowl and was perhaps the dominant character on a line that featured Refrigerator Perry, Danimal Hampton and Sack Man Dent.

As valuable as he was, he wasn't valuable enough. The Bears released him in April _ a choice that thrilled the Packers.

McMichael has fortified a line that includes Reggie White, Sean Jones and John Jurkovic, and has helped Green Bay to the NFL's No. 3 defensive ranking.

"It's great not to see Steve against me," quarterback Brett Favre said, "because every game, he's sacked me at least once."

_ ASSOCIATED PRESS

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