<b>Super Bowl Frenzy:</b> Packers Bar in Dallas Preps for Invasion


Super Bowl Frenzy: Packers Bar in Dallas Preps for Invasion

By Jay Sorgi

Next game: February 6th at Super Bowl XLV vs. Pittsburgh
Packers Gameday at 3:00 p.m. on Newsradio 620 WTMJ with coverage on Live at 5 and 10 on TODAY'S TMJ4 and Super Bowl Frenzy coverage online here.

DALLAS - The Packers' next, and Super, destination is Dallas, and the main Packers bar there is getting ready. 

"We're famous there and infamous in Dallas," said Gary Kirlin, the GM of Vernon's Bar and Grill as Packers fans screamed the famous chant "Go Pack Go!" after Green Bay's 21-14 win over the Chicago Bears to qualify for a Super Bowl in the bar's backyard.

It's a half hour from where the Packers will play for their 5th Super Bowl title.

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When the big moment came around at the point where Sam Shields produced the Super Bowl berth-clinching interception late in the 4th period, "the place just exploded.  It got kind of dicey toward the end.  People were kind of a little quiet.  When he intercepted that pass, you couldn't hear yourself think."

He said with all the Packers fans coming in town, he expects double the beer sales when Super Bowl Sunday come around.

"Right now, it would be absolutely double what we did for tonight," said Kirlin.

To accommodate all those drinkers, bratwurst and cheese eaters, he also said he has to near double the size of the bar, which was about 200 people for the NFC Championship Game.

"We'll be putting into effect, the weekend before the Super Bowl, an area in our back lot, and we're putting in 150 seats, two projector screens and an outdoor grill, an outdoor beer and wine bar."

How did Vernon's become the home for Packers fans in a city that many green and gold aficionados despise?

"It goes back 16, 17 years," explained Kirlin. 

"There was a gentleman that was working the bar on weekends, part time, from Fond du Lac.  He said that he was tired of standing around, not doing anything, so he asked the owners here if they'd mind if he contacted the Packers and Badgers fans clubs.  From that point, it started.

"I've been here 11 years now, and believe me, it's gotten bigger every year."

Kirlin says the Packers fan base is among the most loyal in the sport.

"They follow them through thick and thin.  They could be 2-12 or 12-2 and I'd have the same count that I would during the year.  I have a lot of respect for these folks.  They pay the bills over here."