- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2010

KILM, Miss. | In the hometown of Brett Favre, the owner of The Broke Spoke, official biker bar of the National Football League, is sitting on a green-and-yellow stool that screams “Go Pack!”

Steve Haas is wearing a Viking purple shirt in the midst of, let’s call it, roadhouse decor.

There are pool tables, a wooden stove, and a sign that says, “Green Bay City Limits, Population 96,466.”

Hanging from the ceiling are fishing lures, T-shirts, baseball caps and bras, many of them autographed.

“We weren’t upset about Brett switching teams,” Haas said. “We would have liked to see him go back to Green Bay, but Green Bay didn’t want him, and that’s fine. I figured, when he went to the Jets, he was going to be there a year, then try to get to Minnesota.”

Haas smiles.

“Now look what we have. A no-lose situation.”

Haas has been a Saints fan all his life. “But,” he says, “I’m pulling for Brett because I want Brett to make another Super Bowl.”

And if the Saints win?

“Believe me, I’ll be fine with that.”

Goes without saying, Brett Favre has been good for business.

When the Packers made it to the Super Bowl in New Orleans in 1997, The Broke Spoke was open around the clock, from Tuesday of Super Bowl week until the following Monday, when the last of the happy cheeseheads departed.

Brett Favre dolls, made of cheese, were a hot seller at $5. At Rooster’s Cafe, the Brett Favre Special, ribeye stuffed with sausage and crabmeat and topped with crawfish sauce, highlighted the menu.

To handle a crowd of more than 1,000 on Super Bowl Sunday, Haas set up bleachers in a yard behind his bar where fans dined for free, on crawfish, red beans, hamburgers, jambalaya, gumbo and two hindquarters of deer.

Packer fans who couldn’t get tickets to the game told Haas that watching the game in Kiln was better than going to the Superdome.

For Sunday’s NFC championship game in the Superdome, Haas is expecting a turnout of more than 500.

“We’ll probably have two TVs inside the bar, three outside,” he said. “Free food. Barbecued chicken, baked beans, potato salad. When the Vikings score, you’ll have some people high-fiving, and it’ll be the same when the Saints score. Budweiser brought us a large Saints-Vikings sign, it’s 30 feet long and we’re gonna put it on a fence outside.”

As Haas was holding court, The Broke Spoke had a Viking sighting.

Someone by the name of Albert Necaise walked in wearing a Wolverine Hat, a Buffalo vest and carrying a staff.

But he had a problem.

“My fiancee is a Saints fan, and my best friend is a Saints season-ticket holder,” he said. “Look, I’m a Saints fan too, but Brett is a lifelong buddy. He graduated from high school with my brother, and his dad coached me. When I was a senior, Brett was in second grade, and he was our mascot. He was like a little brother to me.”

He tells the story of his mother who never missed a football game that Favre played in, from high school through his college days at Southern Miss.

“My mom died two months before Brett won a Super Bowl,” Narcaise said. “Every morning she’d go out and pick a satsuma off the tree to have with her coffee. When she discovered piles of satsuma peelings under the house, she realized someone else was enjoying them. Her name for Brett was always ‘my little satsuma-eating SOB.’”

When Favre became a Viking, Haas arranged a trip to Green Bay for the Vikings-Packers game, a trip for 11 in two motor homes. It turned into a party of 30, thanks to Packer fans who had become patrons of a second Broke Spoke, known as Broke Spoke North, opened by a Haas relative in Muskego, Wis., near Milwaukee.

“You gotta love those Packer fans,” said Haas of folks who don’t mind tailgating in a minus-15 wind chill. “I like everything about Wisconsin except the weather during football season. I’ll never forget my first game in Green Bay. Good news was Packers won. Bad news was my Bloody Mary froze.”

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