The youngest fan to show up when the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at their team hotel Sunday afternoon was still in a baby stroller.
And the parents weren’t much better prepared, sporting short sleeves and thin jackets for what felt like 8 degree weather with light snow flurries outside the Radisson Blu at Mall of America.
A pretty heavy security setup including barriers, several armed officers and a Humvee almost stumped the five team buses, as it took several tries for them to navigate around the concrete barricades to the front doors. When they did finally pull up, the players made quick exits into the hotel, with some throwing a quick wave to the handful of fans cheering for them. One dedicated pair even sang the Eagles fight song.
And, no, there weren’t any flying beer cans, despite the scene the Vikings team bus had to endure before the NFC Championship Game last weekend in Philadelphia.
Speaking of which ...
A full week after the Vikings’ 38-7 loss in Philadelphia, stories were still trickling in to the Star Tribune of bad behavior from Eagles fans directed at Vikings fans at Lincoln Financial Field.
The worst of them: a tale of a 10-year-old Vikings fan chased by an adult fan wielding broken glass and later taunted that Eagles fans were going to kidnap his parents.
It should make for an interesting dynamic this week, particularly as more hard-core Eagles fans make their way to Minnesota as Super Bowl Sunday approaches. With any luck, things will be far more subdued as Minnesota Nice trumps the City of Brotherly Love.
Case in point: Eagles safety and special teamer Chris Maragos tweeted on Friday, “I’ve called 3 Restaurants in Minneapolis to get a reservation for me and my teammates and ‘can’t’ get in. Well played Minnesota fans, well played.”
The insinuation was that bitter fans were somehow responsible. A day later, though, Maragos tweeted: “UPDATE ... I’ve found a reservation, all is good in the world!!”
Ready or not ...
One of the best parts about taking public transportation is hearing the random conversations of strangers. (It can also be one of the worst parts, but you take the bad with the good.)
As this relates to the Super Bowl, three things have stood out in recent weeks.
The first: For a number of people, the Super Bowl is either a massive inconvenience to be avoided at all costs or a complete waste of time. Some of them, in fact, are quite possibly Vikings fans.
The second: Some people like to try to sound knowledgeable about the Super Bowl but struggle with some key facts.
The most notable falsehood repeated no fewer than five times on the light rail in the past few weeks: This is a really big deal because it’s the first time Minneapolis has ever hosted the Super Bowl. Everyone saying that apparently either wasn’t alive in 1992, didn’t live here or just doesn’t remember when the Metrodome had the big game.
The third: A few people — not many, but a few — just learned very recently that the Super Bowl is coming. As in, less than two weeks from kickoff, they had no idea the Super Bowl was going to be played in Minneapolis.
Now that we are less than a week away, and it’s basically impossible to avoid the big game, we should be moving closer to zero on that last one.
Megan Ryan and