There was no sneaking into the stadium or dropping hundreds of dollars on enemy stock. As it turns out, it was surprisingly easy for Vikings fans Bill Martin and Lynn Webber to gain access to Tuesday’s Packers shareholder meeting at Lambeau Field, proudly clad in their purple jerseys — Martin in the throwback Randy Moss and Webber in the new Teddy Bridgewater.
All it took was a friend who was a shareholder. Mystery solved, and some personal curiosity satisfied.
On Tuesday, a picture circulated on Twitter of the two purple-clad fans at the shareholders meeting. A curious reporter wrote about it briefly, hoping to find the Vikings fans in question. In this day and age, it doesn’t take too much for people to find each other. By Wednesday, I was talking to Martin.
He and his brother Robert, along with Debi Grant, own Cork, a restaurant in Anoka. Bill is the chef; Robert and Debi run the front of the house. Grant is a Packers fan and shareholder in the team — a term we always use loosely since the shares, which last time they were offered three years ago cost $250, have no monetary value to the holder. As one of the perks, she gets four tickets to the annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field.
So she brought the two Vikings fans and Robert Martin, the older of the two brothers who has rooted for the Vikings and the Packers in his history and now politely calls himself a “fan of the game.”
“There was no question I was going to wear a jersey,” said Bill Martin, 37.
And how was he treated? Well, upon entrance the ticket-takers joked that they wouldn’t let him in. Once inside, one Packers fan came up behind him and repeated, “Vikings choke.”
Overall, though, it could have been much worse.
“I got a lot of dirty looks, but for the most part they were pretty nice to me,” said Martin, who had never previously been to Lambeau. “Nobody was hostile.”
He even encountered other Vikings fans who had infiltrated the meeting, though none were brave enough to wear jerseys.
Robert Martin, 46, said an older Packers fan faked like he was having a heart attack when he saw the two jersey wearers. “I’m not going to lie,” he added, “I was a little nervous. But in all honesty, it was super-classy.”
Maybe Vikings fans with shareholder friends should make this an annual tradition?
“We had a blast,” Bill Martin said. “I can’t say anything bad about anybody there. I think it’s a beautiful stadium. I just don’t like the Green Bay Packers.”