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The Last Windrow: Here's to the coldest Super Bowl ever

So, Minnesota will now be known as the place where the "coldest Super Bowl ever" was played.

We're going to hear about this from sportscasters wearing Bermuda shorts and sleeveless T-shirts.

Yes, we in the Gopher State know how to treat our visitors in the wintertime. We can actually prove to them that water freezes atop our lakes, water pipes freeze six feet underground, cars are sold complete with engine heaters, and furnaces don't turn off for at least three months.

Some marketing genius came up with "The Bold North" tagline for Super Bowl week. Yes, we are bold, but not stupid. We don't go outdoors without ear-lappers on our caps. We stow enough gear in our vehicle trunks to surmount Mount Everest, and that includes toilet paper. You'll also find kitty litter bags in those trunks that supply traction should we slip into an ice-filled rut on the highway.

Only cats get to enjoy kitty litter south of the Mason Dixon Line. We know how to use it up here in the "Bold North."

One of the more noted announcements before the big game was that there is a hospital right across the street from the stadium. There were doctors and nurses on standby for treating frostbitten southerners who were waiting in line to get through the metal detectors.

No doubt some creative entrepreneur was walking up and down the street hawking stocking hats, wool gloves and hand warmers. Minnesotans long ago learned to take advantage of times where weather creates misery. Much like the time my wife, daughter and I visited Sea World during a rocking lightning and rainstorm. We eagerly purchased rain ponchos for an exorbitant price that disintegrated before we got back to Minnesota.

One of our local heroes, Levi Lavallee from Longville, took a snowmobile at high speed, zipped up a ramp and did a backward flip in downtown Minneapolis. Levi knows how to embrace cold weather. No matter how media folks tried to get him to say he hated winter, Levi didn't bite. He bragged about how he loved it up here in the North Country where bears hibernate, loons get out of state and wolves congregate. There was no apology coming out of Levi for living a short distance from Canada. I liked that.

I found it entertaining to watch some of the sportscasters wearing garb that they are not used to. Many of them had a case of "hat hair" caused by pulling those stocking caps down over their reddened ears.

Years ago, during the first Minnesota Super Bowl, John Madden made a trip out onto the ice of Mille Lacs Lake to sit on a bucket and fish for a walleye. Mr. Madden revelled in the experience and embraced our beloved northern clime. Funny, I don't think John ever came back in the wintertime. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Since the Vikings crashed and burned while playing the Eagles a few weeks ago, local folk lost some of their zest for the Super Bowl. The purple jerseys have been retired to the bottom drawer, the horned helmets with golden braids are in the closet and the giant horn has been placed in storage until next fall.

Oh, yes, there likely were Vikings fans in the stands wondering if they overdrew their bank accounts to get a ticket, but there were others from warmer climes wondering how to get back to their hotel rooms after the game without freezing their extremities off. I'd bet the corporate jets were warming the cabins up at half time.

So, we welcomed our visitors to the "Bold North" and we who live up here on the tundra enjoyed sitting back in our recliners with chips and dip in hand and watching two teams we really didn't root for much.

We filled our bird feeders, shoved the newly fallen snow off our decks and checked the propane in our furnace's tank. Life went on in the afterglow of the Super Bowl. The groundhog saw its shadow, so we know we'll take it in the neck for another six weeks. We don't get too excited about anything this time of year.

But, we like it here, right? In the land of the "coldest Super Bowl ever!" At least we will be known for something "super."

And, we'll invite those with southern exposures to come back for a visit in a few months when the ice is off the lake and the kitty litter is back in storage. We really are a nice people.

See you next time. Okay?

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