Even if the tailgates and folding tables set up alongside the Hooverville Bar yesterday afternoon weren't thronged by football fans in cheesehead hats, green jerseys and gold overalls, the party's Packer leanings would be apparent from the food being served.
"It's brats, sauerkraut and beer," said Green Bay native Jerry Garner, who presides over the Northwest Packer Backers. "And the beer's got to be from Wisconsin, whether it's Miller or PBR."
Deviations from the standard menu are rare: "Make sure you get there's no fish," emphasized Ryan McFarlane, another displaced Wisconsinite. Upon learning that his tailgate host had grilled salmon earlier in the day, he briefly blanched before settling on a plausible explanation for the coastal affectation.
"That doesn't count because it was caught by a Green Bay fan," he concluded.
More than 100 club members gathered to celebrate their team's return to CenturyLink Field, including Steve Johnson's two daughters, who flew into town for the game. "We just love the Pack," he said. In addition to brats, Johnson's tailgate spread included a variety of cheese curds.
"Green Bay Packer fans are the best fans in the entire country," said Justin White, who was welcomed to the party even though he planned to root for the Seahawks. "You'll never find a more generous group of people."
That generosity extends to tailgate logistics: In a blog post announcing the tailgate, Garner instructed Packer Backers, "This is a Packer tailgate, so be sure to bring your food, drink and bbq's. If you do not have a bbq, we will have some available to use, as we Packer fans share."
The Packer Backers meet in Newport Hills every game day to root on their team and raise money for charity, but few events rival a local Monday Night Football appearance.
"Packer fans just know how to tailgate," Garner said. "It's the food, the people and the camaraderie."
A woman minding a nearby grill seemed concerned when she noticed I was holding only a notebook and pen. "Do you want a brat?," she asked. "With sauerkraut?"