Syd Davy spent over 30 years as a Winnipeg-based engineer at the helm of a locomotive for the Canadian Pacific railroad. Susan Davy worked as an investment adviser.
The combination of Syd’s terrific pension and Susan’s knowledge on what to do with their finances allowed the Davys to purchase a retirement condo in White Rock, British Columbia.
White Rock is 35 miles south of Vancouver and five miles from the U.S. border. The Davys moved to the “City by the Sea” seven years ago. The condo has Pacific Ocean views from all sides, and those can include whales trucking along north or south, or just lollygagging.
Being married to a wise financial investor can be beneficial, right Susan? “Yes … we’re living the dream,” she said. “I should point out we did not have children. That also helps the finances.”
Syd was looking at the Pacific while engaged in a phone conversation this week and said:
“I have received so much heartbreak in my life. And now this. This has been my favorite week of the year. We get to see all our friends.
“And now we can’t. It’s depressing.”
OK, Syd might be living the retirement dream daily, but as the founder of the Viking World Order, the first Vikings fan to advertise himself as “100% Cheese-Free” and the notorious catcher of Randy Moss in a Metrodome end zone, his beloved Vikings are opening their 60th season on Sunday — vs. the Cheeseheads! — and Syd and Susan won’t be there.
Depressing, for sure.
“We were married at the end of December in 1985,” Davy said. “Susan told me, ‘Your passion is the Vikings. Let’s go to some games. We can afford it.’
“The first game we attended was on Sept. 28, 1986. Tommy Kramer threw six touchdowns and we beat the Packers 42-7. The Metrodome crowd was insane. We decided right then, ‘We have to be part of this all the time.’ ”
The Davys rode Vikings fan buses (tickets included) from Winnipeg through the 1988 season. Then, in 1989, they bought season tickets and started making the drive themselves, 1,000 miles down-and-back.
“It was cheaper and we started getting better seats,” Syd said.
Susan and Syd have been to over 400 Vikings games, counting road games. Syd went to every home game for over two decades, and “Susan missed only two,” he said.
Syd confesses to passing on the 1,000-mile drive for some exhibitions in their later years living in Winnipeg. Since moving to White Rock in 2014, they have maintained season tickets and regular attendance.
“For Sunday games, we drive to Seattle, fly in on Friday, see friends, tailgate, and come home Monday,” Syd said. “Now, we can’t even get across the U.S. border. It’s been closed both ways since the middle of March because of the pandemic.
“Playing the Packers … and we fans can’t be there, trying to make life miserable for Aaron Rodgers. We haven’t missed an opener since 1987. This is terrible.”
Green Bay’s last visit to Minneapolis — a 23-10 Monday night beatdown of the Vikings that wrapped up the NFC North title — was mentioned to Davy.
Truth: Syd went silent for 20 seconds and finally said, “I don’t know what happened to our offense that night.”
This was not the longest stretch of silence experience by Syd — and Susan — when it came to reflecting on a Vikings defeat. The upset loss to Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 17, 1999, ranks No. 1 among Davy heartbreaks, with a bullet.
“Absolutely, the worst,” Syd said. “Gary [Anderson] hadn’t missed anything, not a single kick [all season].”
And then he did. Overtime. Falcons 30, Vikings 27.
“We drove home Sunday night,” Syd said. “Five hundred miles and I don’t think either Susan or I said a word. We cried, but we couldn’t talk.”
The Davys wiped away the tears and returned for another two decades-plus of Vikings zealotry. Not everyone did.
“A man who owned radio stations — I think in Duluth — sat next to us and said to me as Gary lined up for the field goal, ‘We’re going to Miami for the Super Bowl and we’re taking Susan and you with us,’ ” Davy said.
“And this is a fact: Gary missed, we lost, and I never saw the guy at another Vikings game. He disappeared.”
Don’t worry about the Davys. They’ll always be back, and ever suspicious of Packers favoritism inside the NFL.
“What worries me is we don’t get to have fans in our stadium for Sunday’s game against the Packers, and by the time we go to Green Bay on Nov. 1, they’ll figure out a way to have fans in Lambeau cheering for the Packers,” Susan said.
That would be just like the Packers, wouldn’t it? “Exactly,” she said. “They’re sneaky.”
Plus, they proudly eat cheese.