Packers fans in Twin Cities looking ahead to NFC title game

Twin Cities Packers fans were on the edge of their seats Sunday, replacing the usual sea of purple at Minnesota bars with green and gold.

Packers fans at The Original Gabe’s By the Park in St. Paul watched as their team punched a ticket to the NFC title game in what can only be described as a nail biter game. 

“It was so close, I was so nervous,” Mark Anderson said with a sigh. “I’m just so relieved.”

With only seconds left in the game, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a 35-yard pass, setting the team up for a game-winning 51-yard field goal.

Gabe’s is a well-known Packer bar. Sunday, a quick walk through proved there was not a single person not decked out in green and gold.

“This is a Vikings-free zone,” said Anderson regarding a back section of the restaurant he and his Green Bay crew has claimed for several decades on game days.

Every one of the Packers fans at his table met at Gabe’s, and they’ve been watching every game there ever since. Anderson joined the group 15 years ago, while others said they’ve been coming for as long as 35 years.

“I’ve watched his kids grow up, they’ve got kids of their own now,” said Jon Strupp who has been watching Packers games at Gabe’s for 25 years.

With Sunday’s win, the crew had their sights set on the NFC title game against the Atlanta Falcons. None were willing to talk Super Bowl just yet.

“We beat Atlanta, then we talk about that. We have to beat Atlanta first,” said Anderson. “It’s bad karma, bad juju.”