After years of endless planning, millions of dollars invested in the city, and ten days of activities that led up to the NFL grand finale game, Minneapolis has passed the Super Bowl torch to Atlanta. Every year, approximately 112 million Americans gather on the first Sunday of February to watch the most popular American television event, the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl isn’t just a game—it is a cultural event that paralyzes the nation for a few hours. From concerts to featured attractions to special exhibitions, the Super Bowl is more than a three-hour game. Due to the massive popularity of this event, it is not surprising that advertisers pay roughly $5 million for thirty seconds of airtime. Thousands of fans from across the country flock to the host city and spend thousands of dollars in hopes of one thing—seeing their team lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
This year, for the second time since the Super Bowl debuted in 1967, Minneapolis was chosen as the host. During the 10-day celebration, thousands of tourists congregated in the Twin Cities to embrace the "Bold North" and prepare for Super Bowl Sunday. Throughout these ten days, numerous events and attractions were open to the public across the cities. For starters, the Bold North Zip Line quickly sold out. At approximately 800 feet long, the Bold North Zip Line took visitors across the Mississippi River over 100 feet in the air right into downtown Minneapolis. Gliding next to the historic Grain Belt sign and the Hennepin Avenue bridge while staring into the fascinating skyline, it is not shocking that the tickets for this attraction ran out quickly.
Throughout the week, bands such as The Revolution, X Ambassadors, and 13 crowns performed free live concerts. Other featured attractions were the Snow Globes, Polaris Upsidedowntown (snowmobile stunts), and Saint Paul Winter Carnival. The majority of the featured attractions took place within a one-mile radius in downtown Minneapolis, making it easy for tourists to avoid navigating this frozen tundra.
The Super Bowl is known for a variety of reasons—activities, commercials, the grand finale, and especially the halftime show. Because the Super Bowl is usually the most-watched event on television in the United States, its performances attract millions of viewers to watch top-notch singers like Katy Perry, Coldplay, and Bruno Mars. This year, for the third time, Justin Timberlake took the stage for the halftime show. Despite Timberlake firing up the crowd with his top hits, such as “Suit & Tie,” his show has received a measure of criticism. For starters, a few days before the show, it was leaked that Timberlake was planning on using a Prince hologram. Timberlake faced quick backlash on social media and decided to back off the idea. However, Timberlake still honored Prince by projecting his image on a large screen to pay tribute to him. While this might seem like a thoughtful idea, Timberlake received backlash because Prince was not fond of the idea of using digital editing to honor deceased artists and because of his feud with Prince years ago, when he made fun of Prince’s height at the 2007 Golden Globes.
Ironically, this article recapping the Super Bowl has discussed almost everything about the event except the actual game. By now, I am sure you all know the result—the Philadelphia Eagles pulled an extraordinary 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots. For the first time in history, the Eagles captured the NFL championship in a game that will be remembered as one of the most exhilarating NFL Championship games. The Eagles made headlines across the globe after a stunning victory, but more importantly, Nick Foles stole the show with an awesome cap to the Eagles' fairy tale season.
Foles, the Texas-native quarterback for the Eagles, was named MVP of Super Bowl LII after throwing 373 yards, three passing touchdowns, and one receiving touchdown. It is fair to say that for Foles, it would have been hard to imagine not only winning the Super Bowl but also the MVP. At age 29, after a heroic night, Foles shocked the world by winning both. What is even more surprising is that Foles was the Eagles’ backup until Carson Wentz tore his ACL on December 11, with many fans claiming, “Eagles’ Super Bowl dreams are over.” Ironically, Foles is the first backup quarterback since Tom Brady 16 years ago to win the Super Bowl.
It has without a doubt been a hectic week for all Minneapolitans: light rail being shut down, heavily armed police touring around our city, and tourists congesting all the restaurants/bars. Now that it is over, it is time to be proud of the light Minnesota shined to all the people who came. Visitors had nothing but positive feedback after their visit to Minnesota, mentioning its amiable people and fascinating sites. As Lou Dubois said on Twitter: “The weather was frigid, but you all couldn’t have been warmer. Thank you.”