Last season, Kristen Olsen went to the Packers-Bears game at Lambeau Field on Christmas Day, put on her green-and-gold Santa hat, and happened to catch the glance of team photographer Jim Biever as he scanned the crowd. He pointed his camera in her direction, she smiled and threw her arms around a friend, and then Olsen enjoyed the Packers’ 35-21 victory.
Months later in the offseason, this week’s contest against the Titans was selected as “Fan Appreciation Game” by the Packers organization, and nothing showed the spirit of Christmas and Lambeau Field more than that image found of Olsen smiling widely in the bleachers. It was chosen to decorate the front of over 70,000 tickets.
Fast forward to July, when Jake Bernotas, owner of Carlee’s Bar & Grill in Pewaukee, Wisc., discovered that one of his trusty weekend bartenders – Kristen – was grinning back at him on the tickets for the Tennessee game. No one, however, was more shocked than she was.
“It was the coolest surprise ever,” Olsen said. “I wish in the photo I could have been hugging my boyfriend, Tony, but it’s his brother, Zach. I’m happy that it is Tony’s brother instead of just some random fan that I’m hugging after a touchdown.”
Olsen typically works at Carlee’s on Sundays during the season for games, where Bernotas has created an atmosphere that is known to get a little crazy for the Packers.
“We are pretty famous for our Packers parties, so when one of our bartenders showed up on the game day tickets, it was exciting to say the least,” Bernotas said. “We all looked at the tickets and said, ‘Holy cow, this looks a lot like Kristen.’ Thank God it was her boyfriend’s brother.”