KEWASKUM -- Even at first glance, Wayne and Dottie Sargent's home near Kewaskum has a distinctly Packers theme. But the shrine Mr. Sargent has to his beloved green and gold in the basement is lights out!
His affinity for all things Packers started in New Hampshire, of all places. "When I was in sixth or seventh grade, in 1967, when we played the first Super Bowl, and Bart Starr, for whatever reason, just stood out. I just followed the Packers, and low and behold, 20 years later we moved to Wisconsin, and three years after that, I'm a season ticket holder!" Wayne said.
Wayne won a lottery for his season tickets when the Packers made a transition by moving all their games that were played at the old County Stadium to Lambeau Field. Wayne's incredible Packers shrine began simply enough. "This started actually with a card collection, and as I attended more games and more events, more Door County things and little gift shops, we kept buying trinkets here and there. Over 20 years I've just got a collection. Some things I've actually won, other things I have bought, other things have been given to me, but it doesn't stop," Wayne said.
Wayne and his wife still have a great appreciation for what's in the Packers shrine that they've built. "I always admire the framed jerseys hanging in the hallway. When I come down, I take particular notice that I was very fortunate to, through a friend of mine, obtain Brett's season-worn helmet - the helmet that he wore through the 2000-2001 season. I've got a closet full of autographed jerseys that go back from Paul Hornung to Aaron Rodgers. I never get tired of looking at them, but I get tired of dusting them!" Wayne said.
It's no wonder Wayne calls himself the ultimate Packers' fan. "I have a trademark in for the 'ultimate Packers' fan.' I had a search done and the name is available. I have the papers filed, fees have been paid, and it's just a matter of getting everything together, but yes, I am the official trademarked 'ultimate Packers' fan.' The jersey's been made, and the costume's been completed. The headpiece is in the works, and that is where I'm at," Wayne said.
For the ultimate Packers' fan, following the team has brought a lot of joy. "No words really can express it. It's a lot of fun dressing up in costume and acting like a 13-year-old kid again, and I love the attention, but I do it for the right reason. I am very loyal to the team, and through different organizations and fundraisers, I have been able to meet most of the team - all of the coaches," Wayne said.
Wayne can't get over how he's been treated by the Packers organization. "I had a new granddaughter born a couple years ago, and they sent outfits, rookie cards. It's just amazing. When they say the Green Bay Packers is family, there is no other words to say because they have really treated me like family," Wayne said.
In September, just when Wayne felt life as a Packers' fan couldn't get any better, he entered a computer essay contest sponsored by Guiness Beer, called "The Guiness Boldest Fan of the Game." There were over a million hits for that contest. Low and behold, the ultimate Packers' fan became one of five fans in the country to win! You might say, he's been immortalized! "Part of the prize is a bronze bust statue of myself. It's going to go to Canton, to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In addition to that, it's an all expense trip for two to Indianapolis to watch the
Super Bowl," Wayne said.
That's one event Wayne hasn't been to, but of course, the ultimate Packers' fan will go to Indianapolis in full-garb, praying that the Pack get there. Wayne was thankful for the opportunity, although he has just one complaint. "My only negative thought was 'why couldn't it be somewhere warm?'" Wayne said. But Wayne knows nobody is about to feel sorry for him!