For all the athleticism on the field at Sunday’s Super Bowl, most fans still like a little luck on their side.
The Father of Waters can help. He’s the big marble statue inside Minneapolis City Hall, the huge stone building with the clock tower at S. 315 4th St., just up from U.S. Bank Stadium.
Superstitious sightseers entering the spectacular five-story rotunda will see “Mississippi: The Father of Waters” lounging in modest Minnesotan nudity. His bare feet are where the magic happens.
So what’s the deal with his left toe?
Compared with the statue’s rough finish, that toe is as smooth and shiny as a football helmet. Sometime in the past 114 years — no one knows for sure — people began rubbing the toe for good luck.
So Patriots and Eagles, rub your hearts out. (Given the flu season, some hand sanitizer might be nice.)
What’s with the alligator?
The statue includes symbols of the lands along the Mississippi River. Thus there is an American Indian blanket, a paddle wheel, a cornstalk, fish net, turtle and a wreath of pine cones and leaves, all of which epitomize Minnesota.
But there’s also a gator.
Turns out the statue was made for New Orleans, but when that city couldn’t come up with the cash, some good Minneapolitans bought it and moved it here in 1904. So, not the first time New Orleans came up (cough) short against Minnesota.
Anyway, just squint and pretend the gator is a sturgeon. It’s what everybody here does.
Anything else cool about the statue?
American sculptor Larkin Mead carved it from what was at the time the largest block of marble taken from the famous Carrera quarries in Italy, weighing 88,000 pounds.
Calling on the father
If you seek a little Mississippi mojo for your team, stop by City Hall during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Feb. 2.
Or just come in to warm up.