Stefon Diggs may have missed his chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LII, but he’s still going home with some hardware.
A gleaming tractor-topped prize awaited the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver as victor of the Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl, a competition that paired NFL players with real-life farmers to test their agricultural skills.
Two-person teams raced the clock to complete tasks like changing a John Deere tractor tire and baling hay on an obstacle course designed to look like a dairy farm. Hundreds of fans inside the University of Minnesota’s 3M Arena at Mariucci cheered on the athletes as they navigated each puzzle.
“I’m worn out,” said Diggs, catching his breath after the first round. “That’s an all season work out right there.”
J.J. Nunes, a farmer from Tulare, Cali., helped Diggs bring home the title by outmatching competitors with their speed.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph also donned a cow-spotted jersey to vie for the trophy against Diggs, Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly and NFL alumni Greg Jennings and Jason Brown. But Rudolph got off to a rough start, losing precious seconds while wrestling a large tire off a tractor.
He laughed it off, then used the moment to express gratitude toward farmers like his grandparents.
“I was too young to understand how hard it is,” Rudolph said. “These guys are tougher than we are and they work longer hours.”
Kate Tande, of Edina, approved pleas from her 7-and 10-year-old sons to skip school for the festivities. Head-to-toe Green Bay Packers memorabilia may have gotten the boys snubbed from current Vikings players, but they still managed to collect four autographs apiece.
“They told me, ‘Mom, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,’” she said. “It was too good to pass up.”