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Anna G. Larson, Published January 30 2014

He's a Broncos fan, she's a Seahawks fan; Fargo couple's loyalties will be tested during Super Bowl

FARGO – Paul and Brenda Wraalstad are good sports.

Brenda cheers for the Seattle Seahawks, and Paul’s a longtime Denver Broncos fan, but the married Fargo couple don’t bash their spouse’s team. It’s a rule.

“When our teams play, we can cheer as much as we want for them, but we can’t trash talk the other person’s team,” Brenda says. “We still want to be married after the game.”

The Wraalstads’ civil rivalry will be tested Sunday when their teams face off at Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey.

Decked out in team gear, Paul and Brenda will watch the game with their two young children and some friends at Quaker Steak and Lube in Fargo. Like their parents, the kids’ loyalty is split down the middle – their 8-year-old son will cheer for dad’s team, and 10-year-old daughter for mom’s.

Football’s been part of Paul and Brenda’s relationship since they started dating more than 12 years ago. The couple met online, and Paul’s screen name was Fargo Bronco Fan. From the beginning, Brenda made it clear that she was a Seattle Seahawks fan.

“I think her first response to me was, ‘Just so you know, I’m a Seahawks fan,’ ” Paul says. “At that time, there was a much higher level of animosity between the teams. Right away, we knew.”

They traveled to Denver to see the teams play the first year they dated. It started a tradition the couple has kept going all 12-plus years of their marriage.

Both longtime football fans are loyal to their teams, but they have different reasons for choosing them.

Brenda liked the Seahawks’ helmets. Paul is a John Elway fan.

Both are confident their team will take the Super Bowl championship. The Seahawks, who oddsmakers have as a slight underdog, will surprise everyone, Brenda says.

“It truly takes a team to win. I really like the whole team,” she says.

Paul’s feeling positive about the Broncos’ chances because they’ve won two Super Bowl titles already and have cornerback Champ Bailey on board.

But no matter which team wins, Paul and Brenda know they’ll still be married at the end of the game, because they play fair.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525