CLINTON - Clinton native Mark Madson has been named one of the five boldest fans of football in the nation.
Madson, owner of the "The Packermobile" - a green-and-gold 1978 Cadillac with the roof removed - is one of five winners in a contest hosted by Guinness Beer and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The contest sought to find the five boldest football fans in the United States. Also named was Wayne Sargent of Kewaskum, Wis.
Winners received a free trip to Sunday's Super Bowl in Indianapolis. They'll also have bronze busts made of themselves, which will sit in the Football Hall of Fame.
"I think out of the whole package, that's one of the most impressive winnings you can get," Sergeant said. "Does that put us among the elite? I guess I don't know...it's a tough call."
Last year, Madson and a friend took the Packermobile and drove to the Super Bowl in Texas. The duo drove the do-it-yourself convertible through a blizzard and negative 10 degree weather, Madson said, which is what earned him the honor.
"We wrote an essay about driving through the worst snowstorm of the decade," Madson said. "They said, ‘yeah, that sounds like the boldest fan.'"
Madson said he cut the roof off his car "because nobody else had" and it exemplified what it was like to be a Packers fan.
"Once you're a Packers fan, there's no going back," he said.
The car, which flies a Green Bay flag and sports a surfboard where the roof once sat, also sends a bold message, Madson said.
"If you think you're a bolder fan than we are, you try cutting your roof off and driving around," Madson said.
Sargent said he couldn't quite recall what he'd written to earn him the title of Boldest Fan. However, the self-described "Ultimate Packers Fan" said he has a costume that he wears to games, which includes a custom-made jersey. And, he has "one of the biggest Packers shrines around."
"It's kind of hard to describe (what it was like to win)...obviously I was in complete astonishment for a while," Sargent said. "I guess it really hasn't sunk in."
Although they didn't make it to the Super Bowl this year, every year the Packers get there Madson will make the trek in the Packermobile, no matter where it is, he said.
"Some people go to the Super Bowl every year," Madson said. "We're mostly trying to support the team."
Madson made plans to attend this year's game before winning the prize, but said because the Packers didn't make it, he wouldn't have made the trip if he hadn't won it.
Madson said he was disappointed that the Packers barely missed the big game this year.
"It's devastating (that they didn't make it)," Madson said. "You don't want to use the word ‘depressing'...you really don't want to admit it. It really is that serious."
Still, Madson said he's optimistic - he fully expects to make the trek next year to support his team.
"If the Packers are going to the Super Bowl, we're going to the Super Bowl," Madson said. "No matter what the weather."