Tour visits the Vikings


The Tailgate Tour’s second day started off with a surprise visit with…the Vikings.

Not those Vikings, but a much more welcoming Mt. Horeb High School version. Nearly 800 students and staff were packed into the gym to greet and hear from the Packers. Even though some Minnesota Vikings fans were in the audience – and they were decked out in purple and gold – the members of the tour engaged with them politely.

Players again shared their thoughts on a number of topics, with Ty Montgomery providing a personal example of dealing with and overcoming adversity as he missed a lot of action last season due to injuries.

“You can’t control the outcome of these situations,” he said, “but you can fully control how you respond to it.”

On the subject of mentors, Bubba Franks gave a lot of credit to his high school football coach, Dwight Butler, as a person who has made a tremendous impact on his life.

“He saw something in me, something special,” he said. “He taught me how to become a man. I’m still in touch with him today.”

Prior to leaving, the tour presented the school with a $2,000 check for its physical education program.

As the tour has done over its 12-plus years, stops are made along the way at businesses to say hello to workers and provide thanks for their support of the team. Dodgeville provided an excellent opportunity to make such a visit as the group landed at iconic Lands’ End. The clothing company is a fixture in the area, with a long history, 3,000 employees and a sprawling campus. The Packers have previously worked with the company on various apparel collections, and today the players took pictures with employees and enjoyed a tour of its facilities.

And, while in Dodgeville, one has to have lunch at Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ. The tour has been here before and made a point to make a return visit to enjoy the award-winning sauces.

The tour continues its drive west into Iowa, with the day’s ultimate destination a tailgate party in Monticello to benefit Camp Courageous.

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