Today's Super Bowl battle between Green Bay and Pittsburgh will test the bond of two Aberdeen brothers.
"I told my sister she better go out and get a referee shirt if she wants to sit between us," said Darin Dockter, 41, a Steelers fan.
This afternoon, he'll be wearing the black jersey of retired Steelers linebacker Jack Lambert. Somewhere in the same room, dressed in the green uniform of current Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk, will be his 49-year-old brother, Kevin Dockter.
Years ago, the brothers talked about how they would have to take out a loan and go to the Super Bowl should their respective favorite teams ever play for the NFL championship. Instead, they'll save a considerable amount of cash and watch from the comfort of Darin's basement.
"We always kind of were hoping for the chance we'd meet in the Super Bowl, and here it is," Kevin said.
The cost of going to the game - tickets alone would cost at least a couple of thousand dollars - is just too high, Darin said. So he and Kevin, a couple of other family members and a few good friends will get some food and gather to see who winds up with bragging rights.
In truth, the brothers' rivalry is friendly. When not cheering for the Steelers, Darin backs the Pack. And when Kevin isn't rooting for Green Bay, he's a Pittsburgh supporter.
Darin has been a Steelers fan since he was a kid, 4 or 5, he recollects. Kevin remembers reading about Bart Starr and other Green Bay greats in books students could order from forms passed out at elementary school.
The men have spent recent playoff afternoons together watching their teams play. As they have, Kevin has moved some of his Green Bay gear to Darin's Penn Street house. That includes a clown dressed in Packers gear, a gift from his parents - Darin has a Steelers clown - a quilt comprised of Green Bay T-shirts his mom made and his certificate showing he owns one share of Green Bay Packers' stock.
"He's starting to have his own little shrine over here," Darin said. "I might have to kick him out of here after (today)."
Darin has his own share of memorabilia, including a Steelers helmet, an assortment of caps and a Terrible Towel, a gold cloth Pittsburgh fans wave when they cheer.
The brothers moved to Aberdeen in 1989, Darin from Mitchell, where he was going to school, and Kevin from McLaughlin, the brothers' home town. In more recent years, they've made trips to Lambeau Field in Green Bay together. The first trek was in September 1992 - quarterback Brett Favre's first start for the Packers, who beat the Steelers that day.
Another time, they saw Green Bay play the Philadelphia Eagles.
Before that game, the brothers were walking around the stadium when Darin hollered at Bubby Brister, the former Pittsburgh quarterback who was then playing for Philly. Brister looked up and tossed a football Darin's way, though it was picked off by two fans in front of him. After the game, the Dockters shook hands with football Hall-of-Famer Reggie White, a defensive end in his first year with the Packers.
When former Steeler Rocky Bleier visited Aberdeen in 1998, Darin met the running back, had him sign some autographs and got to hold his four Super Bowl rings.
Kevin has an autographed, framed LeRoy Butler Green Bay jersey as well as signatures from other Packers players. Butler was a safety who played his entire career with Green Bay, mostly in the 1990s.
While there will be no sore loser after the game, interest during the contest will be intense, the brothers said. That's why they're limiting the number of people invited to Darin's house, at least to some extent. Darin said they don't want too much talking while he and Kevin are concentrating on the game.
Darin predicts a 23-20 Pittsburgh victory. Kevin picks the Pack, 28-24.
The Steelers and Packers have come close to playing each other in the title game a couple of times before, but one team or the other has always faltered deep in the playoffs. Today, in the 45th Super Bowl, it finally happens. Maybe, Darin said, the beard he's been growing for months and superstitiously won't shave until after the game will put Pittsburgh over the top. At least that's his hope.
"I'd hate to shave it now and have us lose," he said.
Visiting in Darin's basement Friday afternoon, Kevin said he's willing to consider a countermeasure to make sure that doesn't happen.
"Maybe," he said, "I might have to come over and shave it in his sleep."