By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every sports team has a rival. And in Minnesota, we just have to look east.

For the most part, Minnesotans and Wisconsinites are friendly neighbors. A relationship that’s highlighted on some of the items for sale at the “I Like You” shop in Minneapolis.

But when Minnesota and Wisconsin teams hit the field, competition kicks in. And as David McCoy shows us, the rivalry is strong.

“I get booed from time to time,” Kim Jasinski, a Packers fan from St. Paul, said.

It might be considered risky business to walk around the Twin Cities decked out from head-to-toe in Packers’ gear.

“My whole family is Packers fans, I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Jasinski said.

But Kim Jasinski is supporting her team among friends, even if they are wearing purple and gold.

“I am out here tailgating with these guys all the time, they’re like family to me,” Jasinski said.

The rivalry between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers is a strong one, and you don’t have to look very far to see why.

And game day is when bragging rights are up for grabs.

“This is circled on the calendar. This is a can’t miss, don’t schedule a wedding, you know, happy Thanksgiving, we’re going to the Vikings game,” Daniel Banyas said. “My sister married a Packer fan, that doesn’t mean I don’t love her. Today I don’t like her very much.”

The Vikings/Packers face-off wasn’t the only big rivalry game this weekend.

Minnesota beat the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison on Saturday, and the Golden Gophers walked away with the coveted Axe for the first time since 2003.

“Ohh that is so exciting for the Gophers to bring the Axe back here,” Banyas said. “I am glad it’s back home and it’s just the kickoff to our game.”

No matter the game, there’s always a lot at stake when a Minnesota team plays Wisconsin.

“We want to win, but then when you get to know them and interact with them and Hey! so no, it’s the other way now!” Steve Tate, a Packers fan from DeForest, Wis., said.

But for some fans, football brings them together more often than it pushes them apart.

“It’s not just about one or the other, it’s the family of it. First of all I have my packer family, and now I have the football family. We get to know each other, we care about what’s going on in each other’s lives,” Tate said. “I’ve been in his house, he’s been in my house. I’ve hung out in the Viking room, he’s slept in the Packers room. Best night of sleep he’s ever had.”

David McCoy

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