NEW LONDON - About 40 miles south-west of Packers Mecca is the city of New London. Population: 7,335.
There's no doubt many here are Packers fans – especially if you take the marquee of the New London Family Diner, which reads,"Good Luck Packers," as proof.
But over at Hair & Company Salon, Pat Kaepernick and her daughter Kim Hernke have had an interesting week.
"Every customer that really walks into our door is excited for us!" said Kaepernick. "First question is, ‘are you going out there?'"
"These are a bunch of pictures that I have," said Kaepernick, pulling out her laptop, the desktop cluttered with images.
You see, Pat Kaepernick is a proud aunt – as many aunts are of their nieces and nephews. But the mother-daughter hair stylist duo hasn't always been Niners fans – same can be said for the rest of Kaepernick's extended family.
But when Pat's University of Nevada quarterback nephew, Colin Kaepernick, was drafted by San Francisco in the 2011 NFL Draft, it was clear which team the Kaepernick family would support.
"Everybody said he would never make it," said Kaepernick. "Just proving himself, that he certainly can be an NFL quarterback and get this far."
Colin Kaepernick is a Wisconsin kid. He grew up in Fond du Lac until he was four years old – then moved out to California with his parents. He still has family here, like Kaepernick, Hernke and the rest of his extended family.
"Quiet, reserved, confident – he always has got hugs, always hugs for the family," said Kaepernick of Colin's demeanor. But adds he has a dry, playfully sarcastic side that he readily uses.
The two women say there's been a lot of playful smack-talk from people around town.
"'We're backing the packers, but, we hope Colin does well and doesn't get hurt,'" said Hernke. "And that means the most to us."
Hernke says it still is a surreal feeling seeing Colin playing against NFL players, especially since he's such a normal guy.
"Just having a good time, you know, when he comes home, sitting around the camp fire, throwing balls – just having a blast."
Pat Kaepernick says Colin's love of football has its roots in Wisconsin; he grew up a major Packers fan. And the proof is in the pictures. One such picture is of Colin and Pat's son Brett. Both are about five-years-old; posing in matching Brett Favre jerseys outside of Lambeau field.
Despite Colin Kaepernick's Wisconsin ties, Pat says San Francisco has been a great fit for him and his family.
So, the ever-important question: Who will Pat, Kim and the rest of Colin's extended family cheer for? Smack dab in the middle of Packer country?
"The 49ers!" shouted the proud aunt.
Colin is, after all, family – and family, Pat says, comes first.
Marinette Marine is preparing to christen one of its Littoral Combat Ships.
A survey of local businesses looked at employee numbers and overall outlook for the coming year.
Those who do go to the Packers-Falcons game Sunday will help honor a green and gold legend.
The cold caused some problems in the Fox Valley Friday.
A donation from an area bank will be making a difference in the years to come for Green Bay East High School.
A Pearl Harbor survivor was given a special honor Friday morning at Green Bay East High School.