Janesville59.4°

Janesville family has divided loyalties during title game

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ANN MARIE AMES
January 24, 2011
— Well, that was fun.

But the Packers are going to have to do better than that if they expect to win the Super Bowl.


That's according to Illinois native and Bears fan John Rupar, who watched the game with his family in the cozy basement of his westside Janesville home.


"If the Packers play the Steelers, they're going to have to do better than this," Rupar mumbled to no one in particular toward the end of the fourth quarter.


Seconds after Rupar's comment, Green Bay's Sam Shields intercepted a pass, and it was over. The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears, 21-14. The NFC champion Packers will play the AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 6, at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.


Rupar sat quietly throughout most of the game, his knit cap pulled low over his forehead and a tense look on his face. He did his best to ignore the bragging coming from the Packer half of the party—the half that included Rupar's wife, Daleena Rupar.


Rupar wasn't the only Bear fan in the room. In addition to the support of three or four family members, the Bears had Boscoe, a Rottweiler who spent part of the first half in a Bears jersey.


Boscoe spent the rest of the game quietly hoping someone would drop some taco dip.


Five minutes after the game ended, Rupar declared he was over the loss and ready to watch the Super Bowl. He'll probably even cheer for the Pack, he said.


Before moving to Wisconsin, Rupar "hated the Packers like no other," he said.


But you can only be forced to watch so many Packer games before gaining an appreciation for at least some Green Bay players, Rupar said.


"You learn to see it a lot more as entertainment," he said. "Besides, you can't hate people who are good."


But Sunday's performance wasn't good enough to win a Super Bowl, said Rupar, a musician and dog behaviorist.


"They'll have to perform better," Rupar said of Green Bay. "If they're up, they're going to have to keep their foot on the gas pedal."


Rupar's stepson, Alex Miller, is a Packer fan like his mom. Miller, an eighth-grader at Franklin Middle School, had no doubt what the Packers need to do earn a Super Bowl win.


Run the ball, Miller said.


"If we improve our running game, we can control the clock and up our game," said Miller, who participates in football, basketball and track at Franklin.


Daleena, a registered nurse at Rock Haven Nursing Home in Janesville, said Green Bay will need to stay aggressive to beat the Steelers, she said.


"They did it today. They did it last week," Daleena said. "They need to do it just one more time."


After the dust settled and the bragging waned, John announced he was glad the Packers won. He turned and raised his voice for the rest of the family to hear.


"Otherwise, there would be a lot more crabby people around here," John said. "This wouldn't be a very fun party."



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