February 05, 2018 12:52 AM
It almost seemed like adding insult to injury to have the team that beat the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game go on to win the Super Bowl in the Vikings' home stadium.
However, Vikings fans said they had moved on from that tough loss.
"I'm a 20-year season ticket holder," said Robb Dobesh, who was at the big game Sunday.
"It's exciting," he said about being at the Super Bowl. "The pain kind of wears off."
Dobesh bought his Super Bowl tickets to the game just before the NFC Championship, hoping to beat a price surge if the Vikings won.
Devon Smittkamp, of McAllen, Texas, is a St. Paul native who also bought tickets before the Vikings were eliminated. He initially had second thoughts about coming up for the game.
"Obviously, had my tickets, was ready for Vikes to be there," Smittkamp said. "Excruciating day two weeks ago. It was a really tough call coming here.
"Couldn't decide who I was rooting for, but finally decided. Go Birds."
*Anu Das of Philadelphia was one of those Eagles fans wearing a dog mask at Super Bowl LII Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Which doesn't mean he necessarily liked having it on.
"They're tough," he said smiling. "You can't see very well and it can be tough to breathe. It's no picnic."
Meant to symbolize their team's underdog status, the Philly faithful broke them out in full force when the Eagles' hosted the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game two weeks ago (a game in which the Vikings were favored, despite being on the road).
And they've continued wearing them since, right on up to Sunday's Super Bowl matchup against favored New England.
"You have to do it," Das said. "It's all about supporting the Eagles."
* Jeff Guinee of Boston was showing his support for the Patriots in the concourse Sunday.
For well over an hour, he stood against a wall, holding aloft a self-constructed tinfoil replica of the Lombardi Trophy. It marked the sixth Super Bowl he's brought a replica to, but he said Sunday marked the first time he'd gotten one through security.
And he wasn't about to set it down.
"Like (Patriots coach Bill) Belichick says, we all have our roles to play," Guinee said. "Mine is to hype up the crowd."
He didn't even lower the faux trophy when he yelled out to taunt Philadelphia 76ers standout Joel Embiid as he walked by in the concourse.
"If he wasn't playing in a second-rate city, I'd be all for him," Guinee said with a smile.
* Brothers Jack and Hunter Silk came a long way to see Sunday's game. The siblings from Melbourne, Australia flew into the Twin Cities Friday to root on their favorite team – the Patriots.
It marked the third Super Bowl they've attended.
"We've always loved it," Jack said. "My Dad was a massive Tom Brady fan. He just loved watching his success. And it rubbed off on us."
The pair met up with Chris Margin, who went to school with Jack. But Margin was rooting for the Eagles.
The plan for all was to fly back to Australia Monday.
"It's a lot of flying, but it's worth it to be here," Margin said.
* Justin Timberlake's halftime show - complete with its tribute to late Minnesota musical icon Prince - drew thumbs up from Minnesota fans at the game.
"I know it means a lot to Minnesotans and it was nice to see him do that," said Tyler Anderson, a student at Concordia-St. Paul.
"JT is awesome. I grew up listening to him on the radio. So it was great to be able to see him in person."
Sisters Sara and Elizabeth Cohen agreed.
"We love JT," Elizabeth said. "He's beautiful and talented."
* That Tim Rossetti of New Jersey is a longtime Eagles fan was evident by the vintage No. 17 Harold Carmichael jersey he was wearing to Sunday's game.
Carmichael was the team's standout wide receiver when Philadelphia advanced to its first Super Bowl – a loss to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV following the 1980 season.
But it turns out Rossetti's connection runs even deeper than mere fandom. Carmichael coached his Little League baseball team. And he still sees him around from time to time.
"Matter of fact, his wife was on the same flight as me flying out here," Rossetti said. "Both she and (fellow former Eagles receiver) Mike Quick's wife were on that plane."
Tom Hauser and Frank Rajkowski
Updated: February 05, 2018 12:52 AM
Created: February 04, 2018 06:35 PM
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