GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took his orange sweater to Lambeau Field on Sunday to cheer his beloved Dallas Cowboys.
Christie exchanged a hug and handshake with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during warmups about 45 minutes before kickoff for the playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. He wore a blue Cowboys scarf with a dark winter coat.
Jones has referred to Christie as his team's "mojo" because Dallas has won the last five games Christie has attended wearing the orange sweater for good luck. The Cowboys, who were 8-0 on the road this season, would have advanced to the NFC championship with a victory.
Christie, no surprise, picked the Cowboys to win — 38-28 — and was feeling mighty confident.
"Well, as confident as you can be being on the road and (facing) a team that's undefeated at home," Christie told The Associated Press before the game, which the Packers won 26-21. "But I feel pretty good. The team's played well, and it's going to be a good day."
Christie's office said the governor would again sit in the owner's box with Jones.
Before he went upstairs, Christie posed for pictures on the Dallas sideline near the 35-yard line. He walked off the field and entered the Packers' tunnel behind Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy before heading to his seat.
Christie wasn't the only potential 2016 presidential candidate at Lambeau on Sunday.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sat in the stands, decked out in a green Packers jacket and wool knit cap.
"The guy sitting over there showed me his tweet," Walker told the AP at halftime. "He took a picture. ... He said, 'Hey, New Jersey, our governor actually sits with us.' So that's kind of fun. Christie's a good friend, and we chat a lot."
Christie and Walker were trading friendly barbs on social media the past week. The prominent Republican governors exchanged texts Sunday. They were supposed to meet before the game but Walker was delayed after getting stuck in traffic.
But another high-profile Republican reached out to Christie after Green Bay won: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan tweeted a picture of himself in the stands with the tagline: "Do you need a hug now?"
The jab from the 2012 vice-presidential candidate was a reference to Christie being shown on video hugging Jerry Jones at the end of the Cowboys win last week against Detroit.
Christie has faced ethical questions since his office disclosed that Jones had been paying for Christie's box seats and private jet flights. Christie's office has said the governor was paying his own way this time to Green Bay.
The governor's passion for the Cowboys also has drawn from outrage from fans in New Jersey of the Eagles, Giants and Jets fans. They're angered he isn't backing one the area's teams.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
AP freelance writer Greg Bates contributed to this report.