SAN FRANCISCO – Peter Carline is covering the Super Bowl for the British tabloid the Daily Mail. He is an avid Vikings fan.
“For a very random reason,” Carline said. “I wanted to see the world. My friend and I spent a summer, 2000, in Minneapolis. We got a work visa, we started one job that require physical labor and we lasted a day, then we handed in our notice and got another job working downtown.
“It was two English boys on the phone talking to people from Louisiana and Georgia about how they had been discriminated against for race by insurance companies. They didn’t understand us and we didn’t understand them.”
Hanging out with friends in Minnesota turned Carline into a Vikings fan, and modern media has made following the team simple. He watches games online, reads the Star Tribune and follows everyone connected with the team on Twitter.
Carline blends a professional dispassion for covering the Super Bowl with a fan’s attitude toward the Vikings.
Still, why choose to root for a team known for breaking hearts?
“‘In many ways, they sort of share my M.O.,” he said. “They’re the ‘nearly’ team, the team that should be doing it.”
Carline compares them to the English national football team, which has not won a World Cup since 1966, as well as some of his other favorite soccer teams.
“You watch these teams and ask, ‘How did we lose that game? ” he said. “I get the same feeling with the Vikings. It’s kind of familiar to me.
“It’s territory I’ve walked many times before. It just seems to fit.”
Carline has other fond memories of Minneapolis.
“We lived on University Avenue,” he said. “We paid $150 a month in rent. And we had a Papa John’s free pizza card, and they never took it back from us. We lived like kings.”