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SIOUX CITY | The Green Bay Packers' dark green and gold are the predominant colors inside the Eastside home of Gary and Marie Dicus.

The NFL football team's logo can be spotted gracing a blanket on the couple's couch, on towels in their bathroom and even dangling from the collar of Hailey, the Dicus' dog.

"I used to be a (Chicago) Bears fan but I became a Packers fan as soon as I met Gary," Marie Dicus, 56, said while showing photos from their 2004 green and gold wedding party.

However, Gary Dicus, 65, is most proud of the small outdoor deck that features flags, signs and a mini-goal post which announces allegiance to his favorite National Football Conference team.

"Being a Packers fan runs in my family," said Dicus, who works as a crossing guard for the Sioux City Community School District. "My dad was a die-hard Packers fan and I became one as well."

Indeed, Gary Dicus has remained true to his Green Bay, Wisconsin-based team during the good times -- four Super Bowl victories -- as well as the bad.

"There were some seasons when it wasn't popular being a Packers fan," he said. "Still, the good years outweigh the bad."

Poring through more than half a century of memorabilia, Dicus can pinpoint events in his life by recalling instances that occurred during the Bart Starr seasons, the Bret Favre years and, currently, the Aaron Rodgers era.

It wasn't until after his first wife died in 1999 that Dicus saw his first game at the Packers' Lambeau Field.

"I needed some cheering up when Elizabeth died," he said. "That's why I finally decided to make the trip."

Since then, he has made periodic visits to watch his favorite team play in person. Luckily, he found a perfect pigskin companion in Marie.

"There's something about Lambeau Field that just makes it easy to become a Packers fan," said Marie Dicus, a Sioux City Community School District food services employee. "Whether it's tailgating before the game or just sitting in the stadium seats, the experience is just non-stop fun."

Even when the couple isn't in Green Bay, they still host regular viewing parties at their home.

"We have TVs set up strategically throughout the house," Marie Dicus said. "Whether you're going from room to room or even if you're outside by the grill, a person will never miss a play."

Walking through the couple's home, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the Green Bay mania.

From the football-related covering on their vacuum cleaner to the personalized "PAKDUDE" license plate on Gary Dicus' SUV, it's hard not to be green (and gold) with envy.

Still, there's a method to the mania.

"We love it when our team does well," Marie Dicus said. "But even when the Packers lose, we're surrounded by friends and family who are just as fanatical about football as we are."

Gary Dicus nodded his head.

"We've made so many lifelong friends in Green Bay as well as in Sioux City," he said. "We're still having fun long after the game ends."

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Food and Lifestyles reporter

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