The basement of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house on Sunday was arranged according to team affiliation. Packers fans were located near the big screen TV, and Broncos fans were toward the back of the room.
Although Green Bay took a back seat to the Broncos in the end, losing 31-24, it was obvious who the dominant fans were among nearly 50 people on hand at the fraternity party.
College of Liberal Arts freshman B.J. Mohns, a lifelong Packers fan, seemed determined to be the leader of the house cheeseheads, painting his face in green and gold and dressing completely in Packer gear.
“It’s almost like Christmas for these people,” said Jeremy Pagel, a College of Liberal Arts junior.
Pagel and Brett Swanson, a General College freshman, chose to hide in the room’s corner, by their own TV set and away from a boisterous bunch of Super Bowl viewers.
Pagel and Swanson, who are both Wisconsin natives, are ironically anti-Packers fans. A Vikings fan and a Bears fan respectively, Pagel and Swanson stayed out of the heavy fan crossfire and kept their opinions to themselves.
“I learned at an early age not to scream against the Packers,” Pagel said.
Despite what proved to be a tense game for the players and the fans, most of the fraternity-goers were in it for the fun.
However, for some of the die-hard fans, giving opposing fans a hard time doesn’t just end at commercial time.
“It will all last until next year,” Swanson said.
During the game, commercial breaks served as cease-fires of friendly harassment when each of the two sides came together. The room was silent, and many of the fans sang along with the advertising jingles.
“Can you tell which is the most important part of the game?” asked Nicki Mohns, a CLA junior.
Mohns, a Packers fan, was the only female in the crowd and was voted the fraternity’s “Queen of Hearts” last Spring. She came to watch because she said she felt more comfortable with her friends at the fraternity. Her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and another fraternity were watching the game where she said the ratio of Packers fans to Broncos fans was 5 to 1.
“I take that a little personally,” Mohns said.
Although fans on both sides struggled for bragging rights throughout the game, everyone seemed to get along with the table full of pizza, pop, chips and other essential Super Bowl party ingredients.