Written by Carol Pomeday
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 17:00
Ready for the big game were (from left) Carol Pinzer, Dawn Nash, Cindy Solymossy and Linda Dudash. Photo by Sam ArendtAnyone who watches the Super Bowl game with diehard Green Bay Packers fan Linda Dudash of Port Washington will have to keep quiet.
“I don’t want to talk to anybody during the game. We can talk about the game during commercials, but not about anything else,” said Dudash, who watched the Packers beat the Chicago Bears for the NFC championship Jan. 23 in the shadow of Lambeau field in Green Bay.
She and four friends watched the game at The Bar, which is a stone’s throw from the hallowed ground Dudash would have knelt to kiss had she been allowed on the field.
The next best thing to being at the game in Chicago, Dudash said, was having a front-row seat in a tavern filled with fans as intent as she on watching every minute of the game.
“Everybody was focused on the game,” she said. “They piped in music and sound as if you were at Lambeau. It was pretty cool.
“My first idea was to go to Chicago, but the girls had allergies to bear meat.”
The girls are Mr. Z’s co-workers Dawn Nash, Cindy Solymossy, Carol Pinzer and Colleen Cupfer, all of Grafton, who went with Dudash to Green Bay. Cupfer’s brother, who lives in Green Bay, was the designated driver to and from their hotel.
The women bought green-and-gold dreadlocks that they wore during the game.
Dudash hasn’t decided where she will watch the Super Bowl, but may go back to Green Bay. Even if she has to make the trip by herself, she won’t feel alone, she said.
“You go in alone, but everyone there is a Packers fan. You end up talking to whoever is around you and becoming friends,” Dudash said.
Her favorite player is B.J. Raji, and she’s perfected his touchdown dance.
Dudash has some crazy green-and-gold getups, including green-and-gold striped Packers bib overalls that she wears with gold Packers Crocs. For good luck, she’s likely to put a Cheesehead foam bra over her bibs on game days.
Dudash has T-shirts, jerseys, sweatshirts, jackets and hats with almost every star player’s number dating back to 1981. She hasn’t forgiven legendary quarterback Brett Favre for leaving the team and his indiscretions — she took down Favre posters and white paper strips mark his
spot on team photos.
The memorabilia of other disgraced Packers met similar fates.
A grandfather clock with a Mark Chmura bobblehead has laid face-down since he brought shame on himself and the team.
“I should put in a new bobblehead inside and use the clock again,” Dudash said as she examined the clock.
She sleeps in Green Bays pajamas between Green Bay Packers sheets — actually fairly classy white flannel sheets covered with white footballs and pillowcases trimmed with Packers emblems — and under a Green Bay Packers comforter.
THE WHEEL COVER on her Jeep makes it clear who Linda Dudash (kneeling) is rooting for in Super Bowl XLV. Friends (from left) Cindy Solymossy, Carol Pinzer and Dawn Nash share her enthusiasm.
Photo by Sam ArendtHer latest acquisition is a green Packers toilet seat made by Bemis Maufacturing in Sheboygan Falls that goes with her towels.
Dudash drives a Jeep with a Packers wheel cover, and her golden Labrador Lydia wears a green Packers scarf around her neck.
“I only do this during the football season,” Dudash said. “I always wear Packers gear during the game. On Mondays (after Sunday games), I wear black if they lose or a Packers shirt if they win.”
Since the team got into the playoffs, Dudash has worn a Packers outfit every day.
Her friends, who grew up in Wisconsin and have been Packers fans since they were young, said they have lots of Packers stuff, but don’t come close to matching their friend’s collection or enthusiasm.
“We do this for Linda,” Pinzer said.
Dudash, who grew up in Illinois, knew little about football until she met her future husband, an avid Packers fan, in 1981. They were both in the Air Force stationed in Arizona.
“We couldn’t spend time together unless we watched football,” Dudash said.
The marriage didn’t last, but her love for the Packers hasn’t waned.
Dudash retired from the Air Force in 1998 and moved to Port Washington with her mother, who doesn’t care about sports. Mrs. Dudash said she’ll be glad when the season ends and her daughter returns to normal.
If the Packers win Sunday, that’s not likely to happen quickly. If the team loses, Dudash’s friends are planning a wake to help her with her grief.