It would have been great to see the Minnesota Vikings become the first NFL team to host a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Sadly, that dream died in Philadelphia with a 38-7 drubbing Vikings fans will want to forget as soon as possible. Good luck.
The finely tuned NFL hype machine will ramp up over the next two weeks, providing a constant reminder of what could have been in the days leading up to the Feb. 4 matchup between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, the same Eagles whose fans lived down to their reputation by pelting Vikings backers with beer cans and insults Sunday in the city of Brotherly Drunks.
But we’re better than that, and as the pain of Sunday wears off Minnesotans will have to get comfortable playing host. There’s more at stake than the Lombardi Trophy. The Twin Cities will be crawling with reporters in search of stories about this mysterious northern outpost.
The Wall Street Journal already provided a pre-Super-Bowl take on the Twin Cities, and the headline on the mobile version of the piece posted Sunday tells you a lot about the tone of the story: “Minnesota Embraces its Terrible Weather; Won’t You Too?” We get a “Fargo” mention, of course, and a reference to skijoring and curling because, I guess, a lot of us spend our time skijoring and curling. Really?
The story also talks about our low unemployment and need to recruit millennials, as well as the movement led by Eric Dayton to embrace the “Bold North.” And that, really, is why Minnesotans need to forget what Nick Foles did to the Vikings defense and welcome the Super Bowl anyway. Everything is a branding opportunity in 2018, so we can either lock ourselves in our curling rinks or put our best Sorel-clad feet forward while the world is watching. It might not seem like it after Sunday’s game, but we can do this. It might even be fun. Just don’t forget to grease the light poles if it looks the Eagles are going to win.
Editor’s note: This editorial is excerpted from Monday’s edition of the daily Star Tribune Opinion e-mail newsletter. To sign up for the free newsletter, which highlights the best of editorial and commentary and notes from editorial page editor Scott Gillespie, go to tinyurl.com/StribOpinion.