A Day in the Life
Saints and suds: That pretty much sums up the pre-kickoff activity in Green Bay on Sunday. Herewith a brief walking tour of Titletown before the Super Bowl (page 30).
A priest at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church on North Baird Street answers a knock at the door. No one's there, but when he sticks his head outside, he sees that the church's statue of Jesus is now holding a green-and-gold pom-pom in each hand.
Parishioners of Saints Peter & Paul begin to gather for what looks like a pep rally but is in fact nine o'clock mass. At a priest's suggestion the worshipers wear Packers colors, which complement the green-and-gold vestments of the clergy. There is, however, no prayer for the Pack.
A woman in a leather Packers jacket poses outside the First United Church of Christ on South Webster Avenue near a sign that reads: FOR GOD SO LOVED THE PACKERS HE SENT REGGIE.
A stout gentleman in a Packers parka and cheesehead stands alone on the doorstep of Coaches Corner, a bar on North Adams Street, watching his breath fog in the 3° air and waiting for the doors to open at 10.
Two guys in Packers finery stand outside the Glory Years sports bar at 301 South Washington Street with a case of brew to tide them over until the joint, which is part of the Downtowner Hotel, opens at 11. The bar occupies a room that was once Vince Lombardi's office.
Paul Van, the owner of both the Downtowner and the Glory Years, examines Vince Lombardi, who is wearing a blue blazer and an oxford-cloth shirt. Actually, it's a life-sized mechanical Lombardi that, on a good day, turns his head from side to side. He sits in a glass box adjacent to the waitress station. Van's friend Ernie, a tailor for downtown clothier C.A. Gross Co., had dressed Auto-Vince from specs that still burned in his memory: 5'10"; 38-inch waist; 46-inch chest; big, big butt.
A man dressed as the Lombardi Trophy appears in the parking lot at Lambeau Field. He is drinking beer through an extra-long straw and shaking like a 1976 Pinto. "The one weakness of this costume," says Mark Mehler, who labored 30 hours on his tin-foil-and-cardboard getup, "is that it's cold as hell."
Van opens the door to Room 228 at the Downtowner and says that it was once Paul Hornung's "home away from home," if you get his drift. Everything in the room has been changed, says Van, except the mattress.