MADISON — The art of playing began early Sunday in practice.
Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard wore a Packers jersey.
Several other UW employees donned green and gold jerseys.
“It was coincidence,” Gard joked Monday. “It was Packer jersey day.”
According to Gard, the music before practice was just Packers the whole time.
“I couldn’t concentrate,” said junior Steven Crowl, who is from Minnesota.
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UW practiced early Sunday so players and coaches could watch the Vikings-Packers game, which was scheduled to begin at 3:25 p.m. at Lambeau Field.
Associate head coach Joe Krabbenhoft, a native of South Dakota, is bleeding purple.
His comment upon seeing the wardrobe:
“Do you think this will help you get more points?”
Final score: Green Bay 41, Minnesota 17.
“It did,” Gard said Monday.
Minnesota natives Tyler Wahl and Crowl are big Viking fans.
“I don’t want to hear anything about that,” Wahl joked on Monday.
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The Vikings (12-4) fell to No. 3 in the NFC with the loss to Green Bay. The Packers (8-8) must defeat Sunday’s visit to Detroit in the regular-season finals to secure the 7th-place finish.
According to Gard, Krabbenhoft had already turned his attention to the playoffs on Monday.
“What’s your playoff seed?” asked Krabbenhoft Gard.
Coincidentally, No 15 UW (10-2, 2-0 Big Ten) host border rivals Minnesota (6-6, 0-2) Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Wahl grew up as a UW fan. Crowl grew up a Gophers fan, although that changed when he signed with UW.
“As soon as I got here, everything went out the window,” Crowl said. “No more love there.”
Nothing but love for the Vikings, and Wahl wants the Vikings and Packers to meet in the playoffs. This meeting would be held at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
There, the Vikings opened the season with a 23-7 win over the Packers.
“Hopefully we’ll see her again,” Wahl said. “And it’s going to be at the bank and we’re going to do exactly what we did last time.”
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This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin Basketball Coaches, Players Join Packers-Vikings Rivalry