Gov. Scott Walker's mission to immortalize his affection for the Green Bay Packers deep in the recesses of the new Vikings Stadium has been intercepted, an executive with the construction company said Tuesday.
The New York Times reported that Walker, up for re-election, said Friday during a campaign stop in Schofield that while touring River Steel of West Salem, he wrote "Go Packers" on a beam meant for the stadium.
The recounting drew robust laughter and applause.
The two-word jab across the border didn't last long, however.
"We have confirmed through our steel fabricator, Le Jeune Steel of Minneapolis, that Governor Walker did write on a piece of steel at the fabrication shop of one of LeJeune's suppliers," said Cameron Snyder, a spokesman for Mortenson Construction, which is building the stadium.
Sure enough, the evidence was clearly displayed in the La Crosse Tribune, where a photo was published showing him autographing the beam underneath the "Go Packers" message. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, campaigning with Walker, signed his name as well.
What the governor wrote, however, "has been removed from the piece of steel while still at the fabrication shop," Snyder said.
Amping up the smack talk, the Times added, Walker joked that those funding construction of the stadium saved $1 million because the Vikings, winless in four Super Bowl appearances, "decided they didn't need a trophy room."
Walker also told the "Go Packers" story last week while campaigning in Hudson's American Sky Brewing Co. but "quickly apologized to any Viking fans that may have been in the room," said Doug Stohlberg, who was there covering the governor for the Hudson Star Observer.
"He's been to Hudson four times in the past couple of months," Stohlberg added, "and he usually has some sort of Viking quip."