Life as a Packers fan in the Twin Cities – and why I hate Vikings fans « Ol' Bag of Donuts

Life as a Packers fan in the Twin Cities - and why I hate Vikings fans

As I write this, the calendar sits on July 11. That really didn’t leave me a whole lot of options for this space.

Sure, I could write about some things that actually involve the current incarnation of the Green Bay Packers. But now doesn’t seem like the best time to write such posts – better to save those for the days leading up to the start of training camp (20 days away!). After all, we’re all sort of thinking about football, but not quite yet, you know?

We had some great suggestions from you guys, the faithful OBOD readers, on some possible series ideas. But, honestly, we haven’t been able to flesh them out fully yet. Maybe soon.

That being the case, I’ve decided to give you guys and gals a glimpse into my daily life. See, I’m a Packers fan living in the dark heart of Minnesota Vikings country – Minneapolis, to be exact.

I’ve lived here, off and on, for almost five years. I graduated from college here (University of Minnesota). Some of the best experiences of my life have happened here. All in all, I love it.

But, being the extremely proud Packers fan that I am, there’s a flipside to that: I have to deal with a lot of crap from Vikings fans. If you don’t deal with these people on a daily basis, you have no idea how ridiculous they truly are.

I do, though, and I’ve decided to share some of my thoughts/experiences with you now. Think of this as a companion piece to Gene’s “How to deal with Steelers fans” post from last summer.

Consider the following:

  • They think their history is right on par with ours. Seriously.

Ask almost any Vikings fan to compare the respective histories of the two franchises and they’ll tell you they are pretty much equal.

An actual recent exchange between myself and a female Vikings fan (who claimed that “Brett Favre rocks”):

Woman: “The Packers suck.”

Me: “Yeah, all those world championships are really the earmarks of an awful organization. Wait, how many have we won? 12?”

Woman: “And how many of those were won before we had automobiles or television?”

Me: “Okay, even if I give you that and take away all those early titles, my squad’s still got three. Yours has none.”

A co-worker of mine (a Vikings fan) to the woman: “Just stop. He’s got us there.”

He understands. Believe me, he’s in the minority out here. It’s like these people live in an alternate reality, one where going 0-for-4 in Super Bowls is just as good as going 3-for-4. It’s baffling.

  • They believe their level of passion and support for their team is equal with ours. Dead serious.

The Packers? A team with a 30-plus year wait for season tickets, a team that has sold out each of its past 285 home games. Good times and bad, Lambeau Field is packed to the brim. We care.

The Vikings? A franchise that has had trouble selling out games, including a home playoff game, as recently as 2008 (often relying on their sponsors/television station of choice to buy up the remaining seats). They care…if their team is good. Wait – scratch that. That’s not even true.

Should I write more? Naaaaah, that kind of says it all.

  • Almost universally, they all claim that they never hated Brett Favre. No, I’m not kidding.

Ever since last August, I’ve heard some variation of the following quote roughly seven million times: “I never liked Brett Favre. But I always respected him.”

That respect was shown in a myriad of ways to us Twin Cities Packers fans during Favre’s time in Titletown. And by “respect” I mean calling him a booze-swilling, pill-popping, overrated, interception-prone loser (he was no Brad Johnson, I guess). By “respect” I mean getting flipped off by passing motorists for wearing his jersey. By “respect” I mean having some lard ass in a Randy Moss jersey yell “(expletive deleted) you!” at you in a bar for wearing his jersey.  

In other words, a really healthy respect, to be sure.

What’s been really funny is to see all these people jump into Favre’s backpocket so quickly. After spending years accusing us of covering for him at every turn (guilty), it took less than six months for them to do the exact same thing. All of them – every single one – still blame Adrian Peterson for the loss to the Saints. Nevermind the fact that Favre threw yet another backbreaking pick. Nope – it was Peterson’s fault. Hilarious.

  • They can’t understand why you don’t switch allegiances, even though you’re not from there. Not making that up.

Another one I hear a lot: “But you live in Minnesota. You should be a Vikings fan.”

You try explaining it to them: “Well, I’m not originally from here. I’ve been a Packers fan my whole life. I would never switch. Ever.”

They don’t get it. They really think you should switch.

I’ve gone so far as to turn the tables: “Say you moved to San Diego. You’re telling me you’d become a Chargers fan? Or if you moved to New York, you’d all of a sudden root for the Giants or Jets?”

One guy actually told me that he would, in fact, switch. My response: “No you wouldn’t. Shut the hell up.”

Yeah, it gets that tense sometimes. They really leave you no other choice.

In honor of Vikings fans’ newfound love of Judas – again, they never liked him, but always respected him – I’ve decided to stop at four points and move to my conclusion.

You might be asking yourself: How do you do it, Chris? How do you put up with such seemingly awful people?

Well, actually, it’s rather easy for people like myself (and Adam, who also lives out here). See, we know the truth.

We know that, in no way, shape or form, do the Vikings (or their fans) stack up with the Packers and their fans.

We have history. They don’t. We care. They only care during the good times.

And we know why they hate us so much: Jealousy. Pure, uncut jealousy.

Minneapolis very much looks at itself as the New York City of the upper midwest. It’s a great place, for the most part, but there’s an obvious undercurrent of arrogance here, too. And it drives them nuts – absolutely nuts – that they just can not hang with the football team from the tiny paper-mill town of 100,000 people five hours east of here.

Knowing that makes it really easy to brush Vikings fans off when they yell curse words at you or kick a chunk off your Packers tailgate cover (which actually happened to Adam awhile back).

And this last fact makes it really easy: In two years from now – at most – Judas will be done. Peterson will be nearing empty. The defense will be much older and completely past its prime. A Tarvaris Jackson-Toby Gerhart backfield will be led by head coach Brad Childress.

Meanwhile, we’ll have a 28-year old star quarterback, an extremely talented group of skill position players under 30, a franchise left tackle and a defense full of players hovering around their primes. All of this will be led by head coach Mike McCarthy.

Yeah, that’ll be a fun rivalry – even if the Vikings are in Los Angeles.

-Chris Lempesis

15 comments to Life as a Packers fan in the Twin Cities – and why I hate Vikings fans

  • Anita

    If they don’t start giving their REAL star (AP) the same consideration and “special treatment” that they give #4, he may be asking for an exit sooner. What kind of irony would it be for AP to ask for a trade to that paper mill town five hours east? Heh.

    By the way, I understand completely. I moved to Bear Country in 1985. A Packer fan surrounded by whiny arrogance and the Super Bowl Shuffle. I thought I was in Hell. Still do.

  • jeremiah

    i have lived in saint paul(or a suburb of) my whole life. people ask me “how the hell did you become a packer fan?”
    my response-”lucky i guess”

    the level of idiocy in this state when it comes to the vikes is rediculous. just rediculous.

  • Max

    I am a transplant to Minnesota as well. I haven’t forgotten my roots, though, and I’ll always be a Packer fan. I usually make it to one game a year, and that game happens to be in the Metrodome. Last year at the dome, a Viking fan (wearing yellow braids and horns, of course) literally grabbed me and shook me. I was dumbfounded. I guess if you have never won a championship, you need to at least touch the greatness of a green and gold jersey, right?

  • Andy

    I too graduated from the U of MN, met my wife here and settled down. And also think the Twin Cities is a great place to live. But what cracks me up about Viking fans, when I mention the waiting list for Packer tickets and the fact that Viking fans wouldn’t even buy up PLAYOFF tickets… without fail it’s because “there’s nothing to do in Wisconsin but hunt and fish and drink”. Meanwhile, every Viking fan in my neighborhood spends their fall and winter either in their garage drinking beer, hunting or ice fishing. They make it sound like they all attend the Guthrie, Orchestra Hall or the Walker Art Center on their weekends. Gimme a break.

  • Nate

    Chris, you might have titled this “Deep Behind Enemy Lines”. Myself, I’m surrounded by hostile Broncos fans crawling through the perimeter wire. I’m taking fire, staying down, loading up, and fixing bayonets! As they say, it’s a long, long way to Berlin.

  • jeremiah

    andy

    you forgot the boilerplate response of “…and F–k their cows and sisters!”

    oh, aren’t vikings fans just a clever bunch?

  • Conor

    WOW! You could not be more right. I’ve been in the Twin Cities for nearly 10 years now and have been dealing with the same crap. Well done my friend. Well done.

  • Chris

    Great post. I moved to Minneapolis two and a half years ago and love it but my office is about 3 blocks from the Mall Of America Dome and I got to watch all the Viking fans parade past with their new Favre Viking Jerseys or the T shirt with Favre peeing on WI. Mostly, I feel pity for a fan base of a team that continually takes the Packers’ cast offs. The fact that they couldn’t put together a legit winner until they signed their once hated nemesis speaks volumes. By the way I actually have a cousin (Viking fan) that still hates Favre so much that she refused to watch any of the games last year. Now that’s a die hard!

  • nate

    Ive been living in minneapolis (ten blocks from the metrodome)for about two years(originally from milwaukee), and last year when the first gb vs mn game was coming up i was at this bakery down the street from my house. Inside they were selling these cookies, some were vikings cookies others were packers cookies, and they were asking costumers to buy for the team who they were supporting. When i went in it was like 50 vikings to 30 packers. Just the fact that packers cookies even existed was shocking to me. I couldnt imagine any bakery in any town in wisconsin ever making anything with a vikings logo on it, and especially not expecting people to buy it. Not to mention that the packers sold a good amount of cookies was just another nail in the coffin of vikings fans. They dont even run their own city.

  • Dave

    As a Viking fan living in the Green Bay area I can easily see what your saying. My kids get teased for being Viking fans. I get the finger at least once or twice a day for having a Vikings decal on my vehicle, I even get heckled in the stores. The most memorable time was when we were at the store and a grown man (50+) was heckling my 7 and 8 year old sons about their Vikings sweat shirts. My wife had to tell him it wasn’t very appropriate. My 7 year old was tearing up as the old guy was yelling at him. I only caught the last part of the incident as the old guy was walking away. I know you don’t get heckled for wearing Packer gear in MSP like I do in GB!

    So you talk about Viking fans as if Packer fans are the best fans out there…. Think again! Sure packer fans are great for the Packers and to others that are Packers fans but remember, even Philly fans ( which I hear are the worst) applauded McMabb when he came out on the field for the Redskins. You talk about how Lambeau is sold out every game and how great the stadium is ( and it really is a great stadium) but I know a lot of Packer fans will sell their seats to anyone if they are not going to the game or if they cam make a buck on the seats. Even if they don’t attend its still a sold seat isn’t it?

    The problem with the Metrodome… fans hate it. Another problem people have with the Vikings is the past few owners like Red McCombs didn’t spend a nickle on anything. Yes NOTHING!! Not the fans fault there is it? You will agree if the team is winning its easier to attend the games, but if the team isn’t playing well and the Packers are no different ( a lot of empty “sold” Packer seats before #4 came along) then you add the fact that fans hate the venue, it going to have an effect on attendance at times. Yes fans get blinders on and Packer fans are no different but at least you can see the other side in Vikingville just as I do in Packerville. Green Bay needs the Packers as much as the MSP area needs the Vikings. I actually find myself hoping the Lions get better. To the comment that there are a lot of Packer fans at the Metrodome… It’s closer for Western WI people to see the Packers play. Simple as that.

    I look forward to going to Lambeau and cheering for the Vikings, having a few beers with my fellow football fans and hoping for a great game.

  • Not dave

    You sure saw a great game, dave. And an even better one at the dome last week.

  • Just looking back through this. Uh, Dave — we’ve got 72,000 season ticketholders. Some of them, by nature, are not going to be able to go to every game, so they’ll have to sell every once in a while. There are no single-game tickets available, so supply and demand is solely up to the season ticketholders. You can’t just walk up and buy a ticket for the one game you’d like to see, like you can in Minnesota. So if somebody wants to unload a Detroit or a Buffalo every once in a while, I’m not going to fault ‘em.

    Speaking of Buffalo, you’ve got ‘em next week at the Dome. Figure you’re going to need an assist from General Mills on that one?

  • Dan

    I don’t understand how its possible to be a fan of a team that is in a different state. For many, the idea of the NFL is based on regional rivalry. Minnesotans with no connection to Wisconsin, who are Green Bay Packer fans, are an abomination. All it means is you are a bandwagon jumper. The Packers were not very good before Brett Favre, the Vikings held that crown. Although they choked in 4 Super Bowls during that time, doesn’t mean that the Vikings don’t have an incredibly storied history of winning. Yeah, the Packers are getting lucky with quarterbacks (Favre, Rodgers), but it doesn’t mean you were awesome forever. Another sticking point that Packer fans always seem to bring up is the 30 year waiting list for Lambeau season tickets. It doesn’t mean they are hard to get, it is a MARKETING TECHNIQUE, although you cheeseheads are too stupid to understand how to sell tickets and you view the situation on the scratched surface. GET OVER YOURSELF Packer fans, life isn’t all about pro football, and open up a fucking history book if you want to brag about winning franchises.

  • Aaron

    I have been through the same exact circumstances living in Minneapolis. I moved here from Wisconsin five years ago after meeting my now fiancé in my home town.(She is from Maple Grove)I grew up with the Packers. Not one of my grandparents ever missed a game and I am the same way. Like you said; “It’s a legacy” I took her to Lambeau Field for her first time and she instantly fell in love. We use to get a sports package but now go to Gabes On The Lake(Which is great!!). I made the mistake of going to Park Tavern for the season opener this year and the Vikings had played and lost before our game started. So being the jealous, laughing stock that they are; They decided to form a group, sit and talk shit the entire time. It was easy to ignore them, because I like the rest of the league look at Vikings fans in pity as ignorant children that never understood that daddy went out for cigarettes and is never coming back..lol…They would not shut up! The only things the Vikings are good for is a Packers compost pile. Anytime A Vikings fan says “You Suck!” to me.. I just reply; “What ring finger are you referring too?” How dare they call themselves a rivalry? They are the only team in our division that hasn’t earned that right; First you have to be able to compete!!

  • Scott

    Every point this guy mentions I disagree with, maybe if he would seek out people with a little more intelligence than he that were Vikings fan he would know how arrogant he sounds. I love it when a Packer fan tries and tells me how to be a football fan.
    BTW The Vikings were born in 1961 about when the NFL became what it is now. Packers started what? 1919-1920 when they were playing in Minnesota, I believe it was the Duluth Kelley’s. How come Mr. Know-it-all didn’t know or mention that?

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