Local fans flock to Dallas for Super Bowl
They hooked up with tours or bought tickets off friends.
Some are heading south hoping to get cheap tickets the day of the game.
Packer faithful are flying and driving to what one described as the second Mecca. (The first Mecca being the Louisiana Superdome, of course.) They're bringing their green and gold and are ready to drink in the ambience. One fan even bought a new cheesehead for the event.
Gordy Schenker and his wife, Gloria, are taking the trip because they look at things differently now.
Gordy, 61, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2009.
As soon as it seemed possible that the Packers might go to the Super Bowl, they decided to go, no matter what.
"We didn't go in '97 and '98," said Gordy, 217 N. Chatham St. "We thought about it, but we were both working and, at that time, we figured they'd go back again (soon). It's been 13 years now."
After 10 rounds of chemotherapy, Gordy is in remission.
The couple got a package deal for $10,000. They will go with Gordy's sister Cindy Jensen and her fiancÚ, Mike Ast, both of Janesville. The group left Friday and is coming back Monday. They are staying in Grapevine, Texas, about 26 miles from the stadium, and will attend several of the planned events.
Gordy has been a Packer fan since the early 1960s.
"When you are sick like that, you definitely look at things differently," Gordy said. "I live everyday the best I can. I try to do everything and anything I want to do."
Terri Roessler and her group drove to Dallas. On Thursday, she was wheeling past Bloomington Normal, Ill., wearing her Clay Matthews jersey.
Terri, who is the CEO of United Alloy, last week transformed her office into a shrine, with Packer lawn chairs and other memorabilia she hauled out of her basement, minus the Brett Favre stuff. (Nothing against Brett, but we have to focus on the Super Bowl, she said.) She played the Super Bowl XXXI game on a TV.
She packed a Bart Starr jersey and Packer turtleneck to wear the day of the game. In fact, she packed only green and gold. Terri also bought a new cheesehead for fans to sign over the weekend.
She and her husband, Gary, got their tickets online after much gnashing of teeth, "trying to find something within a budget that was less than extortion rated," she said.
They eventually settled for two tickets in the nosebleed section for $2,500 each. They view their pilgrimage as an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"We'll be able to experience the ambiance of the Packers playing," she said. "This is going to be the second Mecca."
They plan to attend a couple of the pre-game events and will look for the rumored 25-story renditions of the warring quarterbacks.
What is she looking forward to the most? Watching the Lombardi Trophy awarded to the Packers.
Luke Ludwig, 30, of Janesville, hitched a ride with the Roesslers. He will hook up with friends who live in Texas and used to work at General Motors in Janesville.
Ludwig is a Bears fan, but he said he is going to watch the Packers because it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He's looking forward to the kickoff.
"That's my favorite part of watching any Super Bowl."
Jeff Wyro, 45, doesn't have to worry about getting there. Wyro, who grew up in Milton, was transferred to the GM Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas, about year ago.
Getting a ticket was the hardest part. He's going to the game with a friend, Jason Long, who also transferred from Janesville.
"It took us until Tuesday to actually decide how much money we wanted to spend," Wyro said.
They finally plunked down $4,000 per ticket on an Internet website.
At least he won't have to pay for rooms or parking. A room at the Super 8 that regularly is about $50 is up to $650 a night, he said. Parking near the stadium is about $1,000.
Friends will drop off the pair in the GM parking lot, and they'll walk the three miles to Cowboy Stadium.
"It's going to be a great game," Wyro said. "I just can't wait."