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Diner Backs NFL Boycott, Offers Discount for Venting Frustration

One part-owner of North Avenue Grill spawns boycott action, prompting her partner to launch a price break just for voicing your feelings about 'The Call."

The owners of a Wauwatosa diner feel your pain, Packers fans. And they're willing to feed your anger and resentment.

The North Avenue Grill, 7225 W. North Ave., is offering a discount to anyone ready to vent — and eat.

"Tell your server 'The Packers got robbed' and get 10 percent off your check, plus your choice of an awkward hug or a hearty handshake," said part-owner Jon Anne Willow.

Willow said the discount would run at least all day Tuesday (closing time 8 p.m.) and maybe longer.

"We'll see how it goes," she said.

Willow conceived of the discount when she learned that a partner in the business was a ringleader of a going-viral movement to boycott the NFL for a week in protest of subpar officiating.

Patti Wenzel said she was so incensed by the Packers' 14-12 loss on a disputed final call, she just had to do something.

"It looked like an interception, all the replays showed an interception, and when they came back and said that the ruling on the field was going to stand, it was, like, 'That is it,'" Wenzel said. "The bad officiating that has been going on for the last three weeks has just ruined my faith in the institution of the NFL – and we have to send a message to Roger Goodell because otherwise he's just going to let this go on."

Wenzel immediately went on her own Facebook page, she said, and wrote, "We need to boycott the NFL. Don't watch the games, don't go to the stadiums next week, we need to send a message."

"My friend Eddie Willing ran with it and decided to make a Facebook event page, 'Boycott the NFL.' We sent it out to all of our friends, and we have over 800 likes already (as of 11 a.m. Tuesday). And we posted Roger Goodell's phone number on there."

Wenzel said she didn't know how effective her call for a boycott would be – whether football fans could possible draw themselves away from watching, even when games look like train wrecks.

But there's no question about one fan's feelings.

Ald. Brian Ewerdt stepped into the North Avenue Grill during an interview and learned of the boycott action.

"Where do I sign?" he said. "I'm done. I'm done watching until they bring back the old refs. It's playground junk."

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