Vikings superfan Millie Wall is kind of surprised by all the fuss over her — again.
“I’m trying to catch my breath,” she said Thursday, a day after hundreds of family and friends celebrated her 100th birthday and good wishes rolled in from across the country.
As dozens of family members surrounded her star-spangled birthday bash, Wall picked up the phone to hear NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wish her happy birthday. (He also tweeted: “Happy 100th Birthday to @vikings super fan Millie Wall who was born before the #NFL began. It’s only fitting that your birthday is on July 4th. #skol.”)
“I was so surprised,” she said Thursday. “But there was so much noise around I had to go in the closet to hear him. I told him I sure hope the Vikings do it this year because I don’t have much time left, you know,” she recalled with a laugh.
Since the Vikings were founded in 1961, Wall has seen the team through the worst and best of times, sometimes toasting with her signature drink — a screwdriver with a splash of cranberry — or roiling with exasperation as she threw her yellow foam brick at the television.
Wall’s allegiance to the Purple turned her into a media darling earlier this year when a video of her opening tickets to the Vikings playoff game against the New Orleans Saints went viral.
“It just blew up,” Wall said. “People are funny, don’t you think?”
Now she’s feeling a bit overwhelmed by all those celebrating her 100th birthday. About 400 people jammed the Church of St. Charles Borromeo in northeast Minneapolis to fete her on Sunday. She shook hands and posed for photos.
“They all have their smartphones,” she said. “I should have charged for every photo and I could be a millionaire.”
Asked the secret to her longevity, she said, “I don’t know what I did.”
Maybe it’s the once-a-week screwdriver she drinks, she joked. “When I was younger I could have one every night. But at 100, I can’t handle it anymore.”
Sure, at her age, she admits she’s slowing down a bit. “I don’t jump rope anymore,” she said, adding, “I still drive.”
The car she drove for 25 years rusted out, she said. Now she has a new car. “My son got me a warranty for three years.”
Mary Lynn Smith • 612-673-4788