Rewind: Look Back at Sights, Sounds and Scenes of Super Bowl LII

Rewind: Look Back at Sights, Sounds and Scenes of Super Bowl LII Photo: Photo by Michael Boeckmann

February 07, 2018 03:35 PM

Super Bowl LII is now in the history books.

The Philadelphia Eagles left U.S. Bank Stadium as champions Sunday night, celebrating their 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots.


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The stream of media, celebrities and other out-of-towners have made their way home as well.

Meanwhile, back here in the Twin Cities, where it does - in fact - get cold in the winter, cleanup work is still underway.

While that goes on, here is one more look back at some of the sights, scenes and sounds of Super Bowl week in Minnesota.

1. Eagles Soar

As with any Super Bowl, it is the shot of the winners in their moment of triumph likely to linger in the minds of many.

On Sunday, it was quarterback Nick Foleswho spent most of the year as the backup to former North Dakota State standout Carson Wentz until Wentz suffered a season-ending injury, basking in glory.

The game's MVP, Foles  threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns while catching another and brought his young daughter out to celebrate under the falling confetti.

"Being on the podium with my wife, Tori, my daughter, Lilly, that's what life's about right there," he said afterward. "We're Super Bowl champs, but time does stop when you look in your daughter's eyes and you get to celebrate this moment. I got to look in my wife's eyes. I get to celebrate this with her."

The victory also meant former Minnetonka High School Star and Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen became a Super Bowl champion in his home state, joining Minnesota native Chip Lohmiller, who pulled off the same feat as the kicker for the Washington Redskins in January 1992.

2. Snowmobile in the Sky

It would be hard to pick just one highlight of the week's events at Super Bowl LIVE on the Nicollet Mall. But, the enduring image may well be of snowmobile stuntman Levi Lavallee and his jump Saturday.

Executing an airborne back flip amid a swirl of snowflakes with the downtown buildings as a backdrop, it all fit right into the hype leading up to a cold-weather Super Bowl.

"To have the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, in Minnesota, is amazing," he told KSTP last week. "To be part of it in any capacity is an incredible honor for me."

That stunt was just the capper to festivities on the mall. Visitors listened to live music, visited food trucks, skated and took in sights like ice sculptures and skiing at the Birkie Bridge.

Everywhere, it seemed, were blue-coated Super Bowl volunteers ready (and very often eager) to lend a hand.

"Whatever someone needs," one of them said of their instructions for the week. "If they need a picture taken, if they need to know where the bathroom is, or when a concert starts. Anything they need, it's our job to help out and have a smile on our face."

3. Power of Prince

If there was one individual who's presence seemed everywhere during Super Bowl week, it was Prince. The Minnesota musical icon died in April 2016; but his memory was kept alive all over, both in the lead-up to the big game and during the matchup.

The nods were led by halftime performer Justin Timberlake, who worked in a tribute to Prince in his hometown, a performance that also featured numerous Minnesota high school dance teams and the University of Minnesota marching band.

In fact, prior to the start of Timberlake's halftime performance, those in the stadium - who were instructed over the public address on how to use purple flashlights, light-up lanyards and wristbands - were able to watch Prince's iconic performance in the rain at the Super Bowl back in February 2007.

"I know (Prince) means a lot to Minnesotans, and it was nice to see (Timberlake) do that," said Tyler Anderson, a student at Concordia-St. Paul afterward.

But Prince also seemed to be the guiding spirit presiding over the musical acts performing all week at Super Bowl LIVE, as the concerts were overseen by famed producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who came up alongside Prince in Minneapolis as members of The Time.

Monday's show was a tribute to Prince, featuring both associated acts like Sheila E. and Morris Day and The Time, as well as a closing set from Prince's old band The Revolution (his other old band, the New Power Generation, performed later in the week).

"The tributes to Prince will continue for hundreds of years," Revolution drummer Bobby Z. said. "But to be able to pay tribute here, when the Super Bowl is in Minneapolis and the national spotlight is on the Twin Cities, definitely makes it a special occasion."

4. Moss Makes Hall

Super Bowl weekend is when the new class of NFL Hall of Famers is announced, and it seemed fitting the Super Bowl was in Minnesota the year former Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss got the call.

Moss had his ups and downs in Minnesota, but it's hard to think of a player whose impact on the team has been as great over the past several decades, and he was clearly emotional when the call came.

"I knew it was going to be a long day," Moss said at a press conference Saturday after the class had been announced. "I tried to stay busy in the morning. I had a couple of events I tried to do. So I took my focus and kept it off the Hall until 3 o'clock. But when 3 o'clock came, that's when all the nerves started to settle in."

Of course, Moss would have been in the Twin Cities regardless. He now works for ESPN, which set up shop for the week in the Crystal Court of the IDS Center, just off the Nicollet Mall.

Current Hall of Famers were out in full force in the Twin Cities last week, including at a luncheon Friday. Super Bowl week and the annual induction weekend in Canton, Ohio, in August are two occasions circled annually on the calendar of many inductees.

"I love to just look up and see all these guys," said former Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Anthony Munoz, a 1998 inductee. "There's a lot of football history in that room."

5. Lots of Visitors

They came from all over, descending on the Twin Cities for the big game. And while many of them showered praise on Minnesota, most of them also noted the subzero temperatures last week brought

That included Timberlake in his Thursday press conference.

"Minnesotans have completely debunked the rumor us southerners thought was true of people from the north - that they're not as nice as us," he said. "Everybody has been great.I wish you'd turn the heat up a little bit, though."

The influx of air traffic meant even the St. Cloud Regional Airport, an hour away, drew its share of glitz and glamour.

Airport director Bill Towle said the airport accommodated 90 private aircraft Super Bowl weekend, largely due to the heavy traffic already using Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and St. Paul Downtown Airport.

"The lion's share of those came in Sunday," said Towle, who added the airport's 7,500-foot runway equipped it to handle more of the private planes.

The traffic meant celebrities. Radio station WJON reported Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was among the stars who landed in St. Cloud. He even posed for a photo with members of the Waite Park police department.

"I will say this, I think most of the VIPs in the backs of those planes had limousines pull right up to the aircraft," Towle said. "Most of them got right out into the car and hit the road. "But people said they saw a few of them in the building." 

6. Getting around

Everything didn't run smoothly, even on the day of the game. 

Activists protesting police brutality chained themselves along the Green Line carrying ticket-holders to the game, stopping trains in both directions.

The two epicenters of fan activity for most visitors were likely the NFL Experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and the Mall of America, which was home to a fairly cramped version of radio row, nestled in between a hot sauce shop and a beef jerky store.

On game day, Eagles fans seemed to have the edge in the stadium, though there were plenty of folks in Patriots apparel as well.

One of those New England fans was Jeff Guinee, who predicted the game marked a new chapter in a Boston-Philadelphia rivalry. While Eagles fan Anu Das, wearing a dog mask even he didn't find all that comfortable, correctly predicted his team's victory.

"One dynasty ends today and another one begins," he said before the game.


Frank Rajkowski

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