By John Lauritsen

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers will meet for the 100th time ever on Sunday, but in some ways, that landmark game is already being played.

A blood drive battle took place Friday between Viking fans and Packer fans. A lot of Vikings fans claim they bleed purple. The blood drive was their chance to prove it.

“We will do anything to beat Wisconsin,” laughed donor and Vikings fan Gayle Heppelman. “Not even just the Packers, whatever sports team it is,”

At St. James Lutheran Church in Burnsville, a football was replaced by a little red ball that donors could squeeze while giving blood. Instead of scoring touchdowns and field goals, Vikings fans scored in the form of blood donations. The goal was clear — score more blood than your rivals across the border.

“I hope we beat them there, plus the football game,” said donor Ted Myren.

“I’ve been [a] lifetime Vikings fan and a 20-year member of this church, so we are killing two birds with one stone I guess,” said donor David Wuerffel.

Just like fans cheer for the Purple, the Vikings themselves turned out to cheer for the donors.

“What I think [is] both sides win. When you donate blood you might have a chance to save someone’s life and that’s what it’s about when you talking about community,” said Vikings defensive line coach, Karl Dunbar.

Some fans pointed out that in a strange way, the blood drive was kind of a metaphor for the Vikings’ season. At 3-6, they say, the team is a on its own lifeline.

While the patients who received the donations will win in the end, defensive tackle Letroy Guion feels pretty confident about Sunday, too.

“It’s going to be a great game. It’s going to be exciting. The fans are going to be in it. I’m ready to go,” said Guion.


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