MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If U.S. Bank Stadium is the home of the Minnesota Vikings, then this place is the heart.
“Diggz” Garza and his wife, Jennifer, have transformed their St. Paul home into the headquarters of the Viking World Order, a fan club where members who pledge life-long loyalty to the team.
The club of about 300 members is known for wild tailgates and faithful following, but it’s not all about football and festive outfits. Members also give back to charities and organizations like Children’s Hospital.
“We like to go there and volunteer and hang out with the kids and try to help them have a smile for the day. A lot of times when you are in Children’s Hospital, there’s not too many things to smile about,” member Sarah Obermann said.
If you bleed purple and want to join, you first need to submit a biography to an existing member. If leadership agrees that you might be a good fit, you’ll start a one-year “Get to Know Everyone” period.
“You can just be you and just love the Vikings how you love them,” Garza said.
Then, members vote. If approved, you are knighted and then strongly encouraged to get something permanent etched on your skin.
“If it’s, like, religious, medical, we’re going to hear your story why you can’t [get a tattoo],” Garza said. “You can’t just say, ‘I don’t want one.’ That’s not a good enough reason.”
The Garza and Obermann families won’t be making the trip to San Francisco this weekend, but they will be watching every minute of the game here at home.
READ MORE: ‘Viking World Order’ Keep The Faith