By Dave Boehler
for The Beacon
Dealing with Chicago Bears fans in Wisconsin is nothing new.
Putting up with Minnesota Vikings fans in our state happens, too.
But I was surprised to find out the number of San Francisco fans that are here, which wouldn’t be a problem if the Green Bay Packers would have defeated the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game instead of getting crushed – again.
I’ll even introduce you to some who currently live in Sheboygan:
It’s hard to blame her for being a San Francisco fan since she was born in Modesto, Calif., and grew up watching the 49ers with her father.
Perhaps she should have kept that to herself, however, when she was in a local establishment about seven years ago and the bartender asked where she was from.
“He asked what team we liked and we said the 49ers,” Harmon said. “And I think the 49ers had just beat the Packers not long before that, and he didn’t say another word to us after that. He served us drinks, but he didn’t say another word. The conversation was over.”
He was a 49ers fan long before his father, Terry, owned the now-closed Gold Rush that was decorated in San Francisco and Green Bay décor.
Altmann, who watched the playoff game between the two teams in Orlando because he already planned a family vacation – his wife and daughter went shopping instead – insists he does not hate the Packers, and for good reason.
“I’m a sales rep for liquor in Wisconsin, so I like it when the Packers do good,” Altmann said. “But I’m a one-team guy, and the Niners are my team.”
Unlike Altmann, Martinez – who used to live about 90 minutes from San Francisco for three years when he was younger – hates Green Bay.
“I root for any team that plays the Packers,” he said. “The reason why I hate the Packers is because of the fans. … I want to give you the perfect example. I was watching the game at Brennan’s and the bar was absolutely packed. At halftime, it was empty.
“Maybe not hate the Packers, I just hate the (expletive)-talkin’ fans. But I’m in Wisconsin, so I’m sure it’s the same thing in California if I was wearing a Green Bay jersey.”
He started watching football on TV as a kid and San Francisco was the top team back then.
Brown says he loves the Brewers, is excited about Bucks, and even has some Green Bay fans in his family.
“But I really don’t see them being true fans,” he said. “I think they’re fans because they live in Wisconsin. And there’s no other reason. I could ask most of the fans in my family about the Packers, and they probably could not name five players on the team. They think it’s ‘I live in Wisconsin, I better cheer for Wisconsin.’”
He remembers watching San Francisco defeat Denver in Super Bowl XXIV in 1990 and has always liked the team since.
“I think the colors is what made them stand out, just the way they looked,” he said.
Niemann’s parents and older brother are Green Bay fans. And he even met Brett Favre and has his autographed jersey and helmet.
“So I did like Brett Favre, I just never really was a Packers fan,” Niemann said.
Niemann’s sister also used to like Green Bay. She was a Detroit fan for awhile since her husband is from Michigan and they lived there for awhile.
But now she lives in Kansas City and her loyalties are with the Chiefs, the team that just happens to be playing San Francisco on Sunday.
“I told her with how the 49ers and Chiefs are playing, it should be a pretty good game,” Niemann said. “I told her I hope she’s ready for it because the 49ers look like they’re a solid team.”
Unfortunately for Packers fans, it’s hard to disagree.