Thursday, February 3, 2011
I read it and thought: yup, that’s me alright.
I sent John a message telling him I was a life-long Vikings fan, my family has had Vikings season tickets since the team has been in Minnesota, my grandpa was once the team’s dentist and I was employed by the Vikings as a ballboy for four seasons during my teenage years. He felt my credentials were worthy enough and he wanted to speak to me on the phone.
As John and I went back and forth on an interview time, I mentioned that my brother-in-law Randy was a huge Packers fan and is loving life right now. John asked if Randy (who lives in River Fall, Wisconsin) would be interested in talking about our familial rivalry. Knowing Randy, who is engaging and entertaining (despite being a Packers fan), he’d be up for it. Sure enough, Randy was game – although he first thought I was setting up for some prank. I assured him it was not and he agreed to participate.
On Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., John called me and a reporter who covers Western Wisconsin, Andy Rathbun, called Randy. John and Andy must have desks close to each other because I could hear Andy laughing at Randy’s responses, and I’m sure he could hear John laughing at my responses.
After about a half hour, the phone conversations ended. I called Randy and we talked about the article, without sharing what we told each reporter (we want to be surprised when we picked up the paper.)
Little did Randy and I know the Pioneer Press wasn’t done with us yet. They wanted to come photograph us for the paper. I was starting to realize we aren’t just part of the story, we are the story.
We agreed to meet a Pioneer Press photographer at my house in Bloomington Wednesday evening. Not knowing what kind of pictures he was going to take of us, I got all of my Vikings gear ready: my Adrian Peterson jersey, my Vikings helmet, my Vikings trooper hat, my Adrian Peterson bobblehead, my Randy Moss autographed football, my Brett Favre autographed picture (in a Vikings uniform)…you get the picture. I also went out and bought a Troy Polamalu t-shirt, just to remind Randy that I would rather cheer for the Steelers than the Packers.
Wednesday arrives and we’re all at my house – Randy, myself and Pioneer Press photographer Richard Marshall. Richard shows up at my house with his camera, a light set and a handful of ideas that were going to make me look pathetic. “You know you’re screwed right?” He said to me. “This picture is about your anger and jealously over the Packers and Randy’s the one in the driver’s seat.”
Like I have done most of the football season, I put my head down and conceded the fact that this season SUCKS!
After kicking around some ideas, we all ended up in my bathroom. Randy was dressed in his cheesehead, Packers NFC championship t-shirt and green and gold face paint, while I was draped in Purple from head to toe. The picture included an elated Randy, a dejected me and a hairdryer. I have no idea how the Pioneer Press is going to use the picture, but we had fun.
That is how we became the featured Super Bowl story in the Pioneer Press. Look for the article (and picture) in this Sunday’s paper. I will post a follow-up after the article runs.