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Twin Sisters Turn "50 on the 50" at Vikings-Chargers Game


MINNEAPOLIS –In a record-breaking crowd of 66,143 fans, it's safe to say there were hundreds of Teddy Bridgewater jerseys in the sea of purple at the Vikings third preseason game yesterday. Two fans, however, looked more alike than most.

Twin sisters Cara and Mary Skelly celebrated their 50th birthdays together while cheering on their favorite team from seats near the 50-yard line.

"It was just unbelievable," said Mary, the elder by just seven minutes. "It was so fun to be right down there, so close to the field. I felt like we could reach out and touch the players – that's how close we were.

"If we had season tickets, we'd easily go every game," she added. "Without a doubt."

If attending the game wasn't enough, the sisters had their moment of glory during the second quarter, when they – and their homemade sign – made it onto the larger-than-life video boards.

"That was so fun," Mary said. "Every time we saw a camera guy, we would jump up with our sign and try to get him to see us."

The big day's festivities had been planned long before the Vikings first home game came around. Earlier in the year, Cara attended a fundraiser and saw that a season ticket holder had donated his pair of Chargers tickets to the event's silent auction. Cara immediately noticed the date and seat location.

"It was a no-brainer," she said, laughing. "To spend your 50th birthday on the 50-yard line at the first game in a brand-new stadium? It doesn't get any better than that."


Mary and Cara are numbers seven and eight of nine children. With four boys and two girls already in the family before the twins were born, Cara said her two older sisters "prayed and prayed for twin girls to even out the numbers." The Skelly family was a competitive one by nature, and that translated to a whole crew of Vikings fans.

"We've been fans our whole life," Cara said. "Every Sunday was spent watching the Vikings."

Now that their own children are getting older, the sisters no longer watch every game together – at least not physically. The two text each other non-stop from different homes during every matchup.

"Every Monday, we analyze the game, and we always say the same things," Mary said. "Our comments are always like, 'I was just going to say that.' "

Cara and Mary agree that their favorite player is Bridgewater, and they're both hoping to see him make a number of downfield plays, specifically to Stefon Diggs or Laquon Treadwell. They can't wait to see how the team does in a new stadium and expect Adrian Peterson to have a big season.

When asked if they see eye-to-eye on everything, Cara and Mary just laughed.

"Pretty much," they said in unison.

The Vikings 23-10 defeat of the Chargers served as an excellent birthday present for the sisters, who said they enjoyed the number of exciting plays – both offensive and defensive – Minnesota produced during the game.

When Kyle Rudolph fumbled the ball in the second quarter, Mary said she and Cara both empathized with the tight end. When Bridgewater connected with Rudolph shortly before halftime for the Vikings first score at their new home, the sisters couldn't have asked for anything better.


"That was so fun to see [Rudolph] come back and kind of redeem himself and catch that touchdown," Mary said. "That was really exciting.

"The long run by [Jerick] McKinnon that he had and almost scored on," she added. "That was really exciting, too."

While the sisters had no need to text each other during the game, they made sure to send several texts to their brothers to good naturedly "rub it in" just a little bit. Mary and Cara snapped photos and sent them to family members and gushed about taking in such a special experience together.

One part of the day that especially stood out beyond the stadium and the game itself was the camaraderie among the Minnesota fans.

"Everybody was in purple, and everybody was in a good mood," Mary said. "We saw the [SKOL Line] playing, all the tailgaters that were outside. Everybody was so excited and pumped up for the game, and it was so fun to be around all that."

Cara and Mary hope to make it back to a game at U.S. Bank Stadium in the future, hopefully next time with all of their siblings. For now, however, they're grateful for an unforgettable birthday.

"I wouldn't have wanted to be there with anyone else but my twin," Mary said. "It's a memory that we'll always have, and we'll probably talk about it for a very long time."

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