The life and times of former Vikings QB Tommy Kramer’s Packers urinal

During Labor Day Weekend in 2020, Jim McMahon visited former Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer at the home where he lives in Blaine. “Mad Mac” was in for quite a surprise.

Former VIkings quarterback Tommy Kramer with his original Packers urinal.
Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer in October 2022 alongside his original Green Bay Packers urinal in the Blaine house where he resides. Also residing at the home is the owner, Kramer’s friend and business associate Buddy Becker. A Packers urinal first was installed in 2020 in a bathroom in the basement, an area used to entertain guests. It was replaced with this one in July 2022. (Chris Tomasson / Pioneer Press) 

McMahon led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl victory in January 1986 and later quarterbacked both the Vikings, in 1993, and the Green Bay Packers, in 1995 and 1996. He won a second Super Bowl ring backing up Brett Favre for the Packers in the last NFL game he dressed out for in January 1997.

But let’s just say what McMahon saw that holiday weekend didn’t exactly put the Packers in their finest glory.

Earlier that year, Kramer moved into a newer home that year that he shares with friend and business associate Buddy Becker, who owns the house. The two and Becker’s fiancée, Teri Wiege, were thinking of ways to finish the basement, which they planned to use to entertain guests. And what eventually came about?

A yellow urinal with a Packers logo smack dab in the firing zone.

“Jim was one of the first to see it,” Becker said. “And when he was there Jim called Favre and he took a picture and sent it to him. And they both were laughing.”

Favre starred for the Packers from 1992-2007 and later finished his hall of fame career with the NFC North rival Vikings in 2009 and 2010.

McMahon called the urinal he saw “typical” of the division rivalry. That one was made of porcelain but actually was replaced earlier this year after it sprang a leak.

It was replaced with a Packers metal beer-keg urinal, which has been in use since May and has the Packers logo in a similar spot. Kramer put out a tweet after it was installed, which included a video of it being flushed.

Kramer has tweeted several times about the urinals, and that has led to a multitude of comments. Many have been positive, with one comment saying, “Big Packer fan here and I think your urinal is hilarious.”

But some Packers fans have been less happy about it. One wrote that Kramer “still misses it even when it’s wide open.” Another included a picture of a “Vikings trophy case,” which was an empty glass case.

Meanwhile, Kramer, a Vikings quarterback from 1977-89, shrugs it all off.

“I mean, it’s all in fun,” Kramer said of the urinal. “A lot of people talk about it. It’s just something to laugh about all the time.”

Kramer and Becker watch some Minnesota games on television in the Blaine basement, which is decorated with all sorts of Vikings memorabilia, and they have been joined by a number of former players. This Sunday, when Minnesota plays at Green Bay, Kramer has an appearance scheduled at Bakery Lounge in Austin, Minn.

Watching the game on television in Watertown, N.Y., will be Mike Schepis, who came up with the idea and decorated the urinals. Schepis, 33, was an avid Vikings fan growing up in New York state, and when he had time on his hands during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 he used his artistic skills to decorate a bathroom vanity in team colors.

Schepis, who is a special education teacher, put a picture of his creation on social media. That’s where Becker saw it, and he reached out to Schepis to see if he could get a similar vanity for the basement bathroom.

“I asked if he would like to do one for our new house, and he goes, ‘I’m sorry, I just do this for friends,’ ” Becker said. “I said, ‘Would it make a difference if it was Tommy Kramer’s house?’ And he’s like, ‘The Tommy Kramer?’ ”

yellow urinal with Green Bay Packers logo
The first urinal that former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer had in the Blaine home that he shares with friend and business associate Buddy Becker. (Courtesy of Buddy Becker) 

That piqued Schepis’ interest to produce the vanity, and soon talk got around to putting a urinal in the bathroom. Becker said Wiege had suggested one because “she said Tommy and I missed the toilet too much.”

“Buddy called me and said, ‘Do you think you can do a urinal?’ and I said, ‘How about a Packers-themed urinal?’ ” Schepis said. “And he was all for it.”

So Schepis had a porcelain toilet painted yellow at an auto body shop, affixed a Packers logo and then covered it with epoxy. His charge for urinal and vanity: $2,200.

Schepis was going to ship it to Blaine until it was suggested he could drive it out and meet Kramer and Becker.

“So I drove 17½ hours from Watertown to Minnesota, and I ended up staying there and I met Tommy and Buddy,” Schepis said. “I went golfing with them and (former Vikings running back) Rickey Young.”

All went well with the urinal until earlier this year when it sprung a leak.

“It wasn’t working, so we had to get another,” Kramer said.

It was decided that next one should be bigger, so after some research, a beer-keg urinal was found online for $1,200 and sent to Schlepis. He didn’t charge anything extra to have another urinal decorated in yellow with a Packers logo, and it was shipped to Blaine.

Two men sit in a golf cart.
Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer, left, with Mike Schepis in Blaine in July 2020. Schepis, of Watertown, N.Y., put together the two Green Bay Packers urinals that have been in the Blaine home where Kramer lives. (Courtesy of Mike Schepis) 

It’s now in the same spot as the old urinal. And above it is a framed, signed Favre jersey from his Vikings days.

“It’s cool,” Kramer said. “It’s just something for everybody to talk about.”

Both urinals have gotten good reviews from visitors.

“That’s just typical of the old NFC Central division rivalries,” said McMahon, who used to battle Kramer’s Vikings with the Bears well before the division became the NFC North in 2002. “I’m sure there are some Bear urinals around, too.”

Young, who played for the Vikings from 1978-83, called it a “fabulous idea.” Other former Vikings players who have seen one or both urinals include John Randle, Keith Millard, Scott Studwell, Carl Lee, Bryant McKinnie, Robert Griffith and Henry Thomas.

“It’s clever if you’re a Minnesota Vikings fan,” said Thomas, a Vikings defensive tackle from 1987-94 who, like Young, has seen both. “I think it’s hilarious. Most Packers fans think it’s in good fun. It’s a big rivalry between the Vikings and the Packers, and everybody knows that. There’s a few knuckleheads that take it a little too far, too serious, but when you come down to it, it’s great fun and everybody enjoys it.”

But what would Thomas think if he got wind of a one-time Packers player putting a Vikings urinal in his house?

“If they want to get a Minnesota Vikings one, fine, but that would impede on their originality,” he said. “You have to find something better. You can’t just put in a Minnesota Vikings urinal after they’ve already done the Green Bay Packers urinal. They’ve got to up the ante.”

As for the now-broken original Packers urinal, it was going to be trashed until some buddies said they wanted to display it in their hunting shack near Crookston, Minn. So Kramer signed it, and that’s where it now sits.


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