Super Bowl LII: Eagles take it!

The Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.


  • Foles stretches Eagles lead to 31-7


    Associated Press
    Billboards went up around Philly for the holidays that read, "Philly believes in you, St. Nick ."
    Who doesn't trust in Nick Foles now?
    Foles and the Eagles stayed aggressive to open the third quarter and take a 31-7 lead against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game.
    Foles threw a 41-yard TD pass to Torrey Smith off a flea-flicker , his second 40-plus touchdown of the game. Foles was knocked for not being nearly as creative or elusive as Carson Wentz was in running an offense. But Foles has dominated the NFL's top-ranked defense overall and has the Eagles thinking of playing in their first Super Bowl since they lost to, yup, this year's AFC champions the New England Patriots in 2005.
    — Dan Gelston reporting from Philadelphia.
     
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  • Crystal ball: January 19

    The Vikings Are Doom Dressed Up As Hope

    FiveThirtyEight: The franchise has a unique history of being betrayed by its greatest strength when it matters most.
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  • Eagles crush Vikings

    • Foles, Eagles fly into Super Bowl, rout Vikings 38-7

    BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nick Foles threw for three touchdowns and the Philadelphia Eagles made big play after big play Sunday night, winning the NFC title in a stunning 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings.
    Next up: the Eagles' first Super Bowl appearance since 2005, against the team that beat them then, AFC champion New England.
    Foles was on fire, throwing for 352 yards in a performance that might make the Philadelphia faithful miss injured Carson Wentz a whole lot less.
    Patrick Robinson 's spectacular 50-yard interception return got Philadelphia (15-3) started. Then Foles and his offense tore up the league's stingiest scoring defense, with long TD throws to Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.
    LeGarrette Blount had an 11-yard scoring run when things were decided in the first half, and the Eagles were headed to an NFL title game the Vikings (14-4) hoped to be in at their own stadium.

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  • From left, Vikings fans Mark Marotz, Mackenzie Weber and Ryan Jaeger react to a play in the 3rd quarter of the NFC championship game between the Vikings and the Eagles inside of Randle's in Minneapolis on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Evan Frost | MPR News
     
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  •  

    Foles, Eagles will be underdogs 1 more time

    Associated Press

     

    Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles will be underdogs one last time.

    Foles threw for three touchdowns and the Eagles made big play after big play, winning the NFC title in a stunning 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings.

    Next up: the Eagles' first Super Bowl appearance since 2005, against the team that beat them then, AFC champion New England. The Patriots are already being favored by 5 to 6 points by odds makers.

    Foles was on fire, throwing for 352 yards in a performance that might make the Philadelphia faithful miss injured Carson Wentz a whole lot less.

    Patrick Robinson 's spectacular 50-yard interception return got Philadelphia (15-3) started. Then Foles and his offense tore up the league's stingiest scoring defense, with long TD throws to Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.

    LeGarrette Blount had an 11-yard scoring run when things were decided in the first half, and the Eagles were headed to an NFL title game the Vikings (14-4) hoped to be in at their own stadium.

    — Barry Wilner reporting from Philadelphia.

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  • The heartbreak was worth it

    NewsCutIt's been a long time since we've all had the kind of fun together that we had in the last week, despite football's best effort to make us hate it.
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  • Visiting Minnesota during the Super Bowl? Don't 'Fargo' us, man

    You might be a jerk if you do any of the following: Make fun of our accents. Call every city Minneapolis. Complain about the cold.
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  • NFL transforms U.S. Bank Stadium into a 'neutral' Super Bowl home

    With less than two weeks to go until the big game, the Minneapolis stadium is undergoing a transformation.
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  • Prices falling for Super Bowl tickets

    It's probably only a coincidence that it happened just after a big snowstorm in the host city, but the price of Super Bowl tickets at U.S. Bank Stadium are sliding.
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  • 'We'll get through the craziness': One couple gets ready for their own super weekend

    When one St. Paul couple got engaged last year, they dreamed of getting married on their anniversary, Feb. 2. In their excitement, they didn't immediately realize that date fell right before the Super Bowl. Planning a wedding for that same weekend has been full of its own challenges.
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  • Meh.

    With the Vikings tanking last Sunday in Philadelphia, our enthusiasm for anything football-related has, uh, deflated.

    But since Super Bowl LII happens down the road Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, and billions of people will watch it, we decided to stop thinking for a minute about how cool it would have been for the Vikings to play in the NFL's championship game to focus on what happened to the Vikes and what to watch for in the Patriots-Eagles Super Bowl. (Yeah, we know, but keep reading.)

     

    Hey Minnesota, here's our Super Bowl preview. If you want it

    The only two guys at MPR News willing to stick their necks out predicting football stuff give us their takes on what to look for in the Super Bowl, and who'll win.

     

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  • NFL's best losers: Ranking every franchise's top team never to win Super Bowl

    ESPN: NFL history is littered with teams that dominated the regular season but couldn't close the deal. We rank each franchise's best team never to win the Big One.
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  • Poll Shows North Dakota As The Only Non-New England State Rooting For Patriots In Super Bowl

    There will only be one state other than the New England region with the majority of its people hoping for a Patriots win in the Super Bowl, North Dakota.
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  •  

    Dayton: I’ll be at the Super Bowl but, you know, I’m less excited

    The governor's office said Dayton paid $6,000 of his own money for a seat at the game and will be in the stands with his sons. He's praying that a giant snowstorm does not hit Minnesota.
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  • How to dress in layers for winter, from a Minnesota expert


    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Dressing right for winter is a useful thing to know, whether you're a football fan attending a tailgate party in Super Bowl host city Minneapolis, or just looking to enjoy outdoor activities in any other cold-weather destination.

    The Associated Press asked Steve Schreader of Midwest Mountaineering , an outdoor gear store in Minneapolis, for advice on winter wear. Done right, he says, your winter wear should create "a nice, warm, cozy feeling," no matter how cold it gets.


    Layering


    Layering is the key to cold-weather dressing, and it works for "any part of the body whether the head, feet and hands or the main core of your body," Schreader said.

    For your upper torso, begin with a long-sleeved base layer — either soft merino wool or a synthetic polyester shirt — next to your skin. The fabric should breathe and be relatively light so you don't sweat or overheat. Schreader said he would stay away from cotton or cotton blends here.

    Next, put on a midlayer, like a fleece pullover or hoodie. Schreader mentioned the Patagonia R1 as an example. The midlayer is "going to be your first line of insulation," Schreader said, providing a "heat transfer" and preventing body heat from evaporating, "allowing you to keep that body heat to your core."

    The top layer should be a shell that serves as a windbreaker. If the temperatures are likely to be extremely cold, you'll want a "big puffy jacket." That "big insulating layer" creates an air pocket that keeps your body heat in and serves as a "barrier between you and the rest of the elements," he said.

    He recommends that both the midlayer and the outer shell have hoods.

    For the bottom half of your body, you may want to layer long underwear beneath canvas pants. But beware of jeans or 100 percent cotton pants, which don't protect well against the cold and don't dry fast if they get wet.


    Feet 


    Start with a light pair of woolen hiking socks. Then add a midlayer of "thick, almost fluffy" wool socks designed for hiking, trekking or even mountaineering, Schreader said.

    Boots like Merrell Moabs or the Sorel brand will then keep those feet dry and warm, he said.

    "Your feet are probably the one thing that if they're not comfortable, the rest of you is not going to be comfortable," he said.  But you also "don't want to overdress your feet," because if they sweat, "you're going to get clammy," and that will feel cold.


    Head


    "Most of the extremities that get frostbitten first are on my head — my nose, my ears, my cheeks," Schreader said.

    Use the hood from your midlayer, and add a beanie or stocking cap. A neck gaiter that can be scrunched down or pulled up can add a layer across your face.

    Another headgear option: "full fur, with the full flaps. You'll look the kids from 'A Christmas Story.'"


    Hands


    Start with a lightweight liner glove, like a Polartec. Look for the touchscreen finger pad design so you can use your phone screen.

    Add mittens that have liners as well as outer shells. Schreader says he recommends mittens for the main hand coverage because "having your fingers closer together, not isolated, is going to create a better heat pocket in your hands." And you can always add a packet of disposable air-activated hand warmers.
     
    -- By Jeff Baenen
     
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  • NFL saluting Medal of Honor winners at Super Bowl coin toss


    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL will salute 15 recipients of the Medal of Honor, the United States' most prestigious military decoration, when they participate in the coin toss before the Super Bowl on Feb. 4.

    World War II veteran Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams, who received the Medal of Honor during the Battle of Iwo Jima, will flip the coin, surrounded by the group of recipients.

    "The NFL is proud to honor our nation's heroes at Super Bowl 52," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "These courageous individuals deserve to be recognized on America's biggest stage. We are grateful for their service to our country and we are pleased to continue the NFL's longstanding tradition of hosting special tributes to service members at the Super Bowl."

    The other Medal of Honor recipients participating are:

    Bennie Adkins, Army, Vietnam; Don Ballard, Navy, Vietnam; Sammy Davis, Army, Vietnam; Roger Donlon, Army, Vietnam; Sal Giunta, Army, Afghanistan; Flo Groberg, Army, Afghanistan; Tom Kelley, Navy, Vietnam; Allan Kellogg, Marines, Vietnam; Gary Littrell, Army, Vietnam;Walter Marm, Army, Vietnam; Robert Patterson, Army, Vietnam; Leroy Petry, Army, Afghanistan; Clint Romesha, Army, Afghanistan; James Taylor, Army, Vietnam.

     
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  • The game isn't until next weekend but the fun starts now. 
     

    How to enjoy the Super Bowl on a budget

    Even if you can't afford a ticket to the game, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the experience of Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis beginning this weekend.
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  • With 10 days to go, plenty of rentals still available for Super Bowl visitors

    Star TribuneBut housing options are still plenty, and would-be hosts stand eager to serve.
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  • The "NFL Experience" is taking over the Minneapolis Convention Center during Super Bowl week, giving people a chance to try a 40-yard dash, field goal kick and more.
     

    Over a week from the big game, Super Bowl events start taking over the Twin Cities

     
    Super Bowl LII is still more than a week away, but events themed around the big day are already taking over the Twin Cities.
     
    A ticketed event the NFL is calling an “interactive theme park” debuts Saturday in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The “Super Bowl Experience” includes the chance to kick a field goal, run the 40-yard dash and participate in football clinics.
     
    A tower of television screens over a pedestal on a raised platform greets visitors in the main exhibit hall. The Vince Lombardi trophy is scheduled to arrive on that pedestal Saturday morning following a Fed Ex delivery. Fans who purchase tickets to the Super Bowl Experience can file past the platform and grab a glimpse and a selfie.
    "NFL Experience" and its biggest-ever Vince Lombardi trophy showcase. Trophy coming via FedEx tomorrow to the Minneapolis Convention Center.
     
    Elsewhere, visitors can snag NFL player autographs, step onto a field in virtual reality and browse NFL merchandise. A play area for kids on the lower level includes tackling dummies and a field for football clinics.
     
    It’s cheaper than the game, but the venue does still require tickets. The Super Bowl Experience costs $35 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. The venue is open every day through Saturday, Feb. 3.
     
    — Solvejg Wastvedt
    by Cody Nelson edited by Regina McCombs, MPR News 1/26/2018 9:34:21 PM
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  • Super Bowl flyover won't be the usual demonstration

     
    BLOOMINGTON (AP) — The Super Bowl will have the usual flyover — except it will be anything but normal.

    U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight is scheduled to perform the flyover at the start of the game Sunday. The Heritage Flight will consist of one F-16 Fighting Falcon, two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, and one P-51 Mustang flying in formation over U.S. Bank Stadium. This is the first time the Heritage Flight team will conduct a flyover for a Super Bowl, and it will be broadcast live on NBC and in U.S. Bank Stadium from multiple vantage points, including from a camera mounted on the P-51 Mustang.

    The teams in the flyover for the game will be the F-16 Viper demonstration team from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina; the A-10 Thunderbolt demonstration team from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; and a vintage P-51 Mustang from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation in California.

    "Never before in my more than 35-year flying career have I flown over the world's biggest sports stage: 111 million eyeballs is quite the audience," says Steve Hinton, who will pilot the P-51. "I'm extremely proud to represent the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation and fly alongside Air Combat Command pilots to honor the countless servicemen and women past and present who selflessly serve our country."
    Hinton has logged more than 7,000 flight hours with World War II fighters at air shows all over the world.

    "This particular warbird, Sierra Sue II, is one of my favorites to fly," he says, adding he hopes he will be "inspiring a new generation of pilots."

    How fast can vintage airplanes fly? At the same speed as current aircraft for the flyover. They will travel in formation at approximate speeds of 315 to 345 mph at an elevation of 1,000 feet above U.S. Bank Stadium.

    "The P-51 Mustang is the most iconic fighter plane from World War II and a powerful symbol of the United States' aviation combat history," Hinton explains. "It was a remarkable aircraft during its era, armed with high-caliber machine guns and the ability to carry bombs, rockets and fuel tanks under its wings. By the end of World War II, P-51s had had destroyed almost 5,000 enemy aircraft in the air, more than any other fighter in Europe. It's a popular fixture in the Heritage Flight performances."

    Flying Sierra Sue II is fitting: In 2015, the plane joined the Wings of the North vintage aircraft collection as the cornerstone of its new museum in Eden Prairie.
     
    -- Barry Wilner
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  • Madden NFL 18 predicts Patriots win Super Bowl again

     
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Go ahead and take the New England Patriots to win their sixth Super Bowl title with Tom Brady to earn his fifth MVP award.

    Those are the predictions of EA Sports using their Madden NFL 18 simulation for Sunday's Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.

    For those who doubt the accuracy, EA Sports has predicted 10 of the 14 Super Bowl winners since the company started simulating the game in 2004.

    Madden NFL predicted the Patriots would rally late in the fourth quarter of last year's Super Bowl , including overcoming a 10-point deficit in the third quarter. The game also predicted Matt Ryan would throw two touchdowns and the final score.

    The simulation wasn't perfect, missing Falcons receiver Julio Jones with his 87 yards receiving with a prediction of 89 yards. The simulation also missed Jones scoring a touchdown.

    In predicting Sunday's game, the Madden NFL 18 simulation predicts the Eagles take an early lead on a touchdown run by Jay Ajayi with Philadelphia's defense holding New England to a field goal. The Eagles are forced to settle for a field goal late in the first quarter. Brady, on the cover of Madden NFL 18, throws TD passes to Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks in the second quarter with the Eagles adding a field goal late in the first half.

    In the simulation, the Eagles start blitzing Brady in the second half getting two sacks and forcing an interception. Nick Foles converts Brady's interception into a TD pass to Alshon Jeffrey putting Philadelphia ahead going into the fourth quarter.

    But Brady is predicted to throw his third TD pass, this to Danny Amendola, to give the Patriots the lead. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins strips New England running back Dion Lewis of the ball, but Patriots defensive back Stephon Gilmore knocks away a Foles pass to Jeffrey as time expires to seal a 24-20 victory and a sixth title for New England.

    The simulation predicts Brady to finish with 342 yards passing compared with 241 yards for Foles. Gronkowski has a game-high 107 yards receiving on four catches, while Jeffrey finishes with 98 yards on six catches.

    Madden NFL also predicted the final score in February 2015 of the Patriots' 28-24 win over the Seahawks . That included New England trailing 24-14 in the third quarter before rallying along with Julian Edelman scoring the game-winning TD.

     
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  • Super Bowl ads aim for the heart -- and sometimes lower

    NEW YORK (AP) — After a year of political and cultural upheaval, Super Bowl advertisers appear to be pulling back from themes of unity in favor of in-game stunts and ads that aim for the heart — and in some cases even lower.

    The stakes are high since a 30-second spot costs more than $5 million for airtime alone. The goal is to capture the attention of the more than 110 million viewers expected to tune in to the big game on Feb. 4 — ideally by striking an emotional chord with the game audience that will rub off on brands.

    Next best: Simply drawing attention, even if an ad offends some people. Worst of all? Being forgotten immediately.

    "More people will see me in this than they have in the last three movies I've made," actor and comedian Bill Hader ("Trainwreck") muses in a teaser for Pringles' first Super Bowl spot.


    Measuring the mood


    Each year Super Bowl ads offer a snapshot of the national psyche. Last year, just after President Trump took office, ads offered themes of inclusion. Airbnb showed faces of different ethnicities with the copy "We all belong," and Coke re-ran an ad featuring "America the Beautiful" sung in different languages.

    This year, following a year of heated debate over immigration, NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem and the #MeToo movement highlighting sexual misconduct, many Super Bowl advertisers are playing it safer by showcasing famous faces, focusing on inoffensive causes and trying to stand out with silly humor and stunts. Of course, a few are going straight for whatever will grab attention.


    Going low


    Most people remember the 2004 Super Bowl for the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" when Justin Timberlake ripped off part of Janet Jackson's shirt during the halftime performance. But it also featured an unusually large number of tasteless ads, including crotch and fart jokes by Sierra Mist, Budweiser and Bud Light and the now-famous Cialis ad that warned about erections lasting longer than 4 hours.

    Advertisers largely dialed it back afterward, excepting a 2009 Doritos ad that included a snowglobe-in-the-crotch joke. But this year, Justin Timberlake returns to the Super Bowl ... and so does sock-it-to-the-lower-body humor.

    Groupon's ad, for instance, stars Tiffany Haddish asking people to support local businesses — then cuts to a wealthy man who plots to crush small businesses, only to double over after players nail him with a kicked football.

    Groupon insists the man isn't hit in the groin, although the ad video is ambiguous. "The crotch hit is the lowest thing in the book," Advertising Age columnist Barbara Lippert said in a phone interview. "I was hoping it was retired forever."

    The Groupon ad is also notable for its distinctly anti-1 percenter tone. "We think the vast majority of consumers will appreciate the over-the-top comeuppance our 'villain' receives," said Jon Wild, Groupon's head of marketing for North America.

    An ad for Febreze air freshener goes all in for toilet humor. It presents a pseudo-documentary about a boy whose "bleep doesn't stink," alluding to a profane phrase that commonly refers to people who are full of ... themselves.


    The rich and famous


    It wouldn't be a Super Bowl without celebrities chugging sugary drinks and hawking junk food. Cindy Crawford will reprise an iconic 1992 Super Bowl spot for Pepsi. The beverage maker will also feature Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman in linked ads for new versions of Doritos and Mountain Dew.

    In a Pringles ad , Bill Hader has a snack on set and introduces a made-up practice dubbed "flavor stacking," in which the actor stacks together different Pringles varieties. M&Ms has released a teaser showing Danny DeVito dressed as an M&M being dunked in chocolate.
    For a non-snacking celebrity appearance, Squarespace hired a bearded Keanu Reeves and sat him by a campfire to tout its web hosting services.


    Aiming for the heart


    Other advertisers are aiming straight for warm and fuzzy, figuring it's best to bet on "things that are universally liked," said Kelly O'Keefe, managing director of Virginia Commonwealth University's Brandcenter.

    NBC created five cinematic 60-second ads showcasing Olympic athletes to drum up excitement for the Winter Olympics, which start airing starting four days after the Super Bowl. The ads showcase Americans athletes such as skier Lindsey Vonn and figure skater Nathan Chen.

    An Anheuser-Busch ad shows a factory producing cans of water instead of beer, highlighting the brewer's donation of drinking water to places in need. Its Stella Artois brand also teamed with Matt Damon to sell a limited edition beer glass, with proceeds also targeted at providing access to water.

    Lexus is promoting its new LS 500 luxury sedan, which it is aiming at a 45-to-55-year-old demographic, with an action spot starring the Black Panther, a Marvel superhero.
     

    Stunt marketing


    Recent Super Bowl ad stunts have yielded mixed results. Snickers isn't returning to the game this year after a live spot last year fell flat. But marketers aren't giving up.

    Tide, which last year did a fake-out ad with Terry Bradshaw that appeared to be commentary during the game, will be back with Bradshaw this year.

    -- Mae Anderson
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  • Mpls. Super Bowl chief: Have fun, stay warm

     
    Super Bowl week officially kicked off in Bloomington Monday morning. 
     
    Gov. Mark Dayton, Super Bowl host committee organizers and Vikings officials welcomed media and visitors to Minnesota at the Mall of America. Dayton proclaimed it Super Bowl Week in Minnesota, as well.

    Host Committee CEO Maureen Bausch urged visitors to look beyond the cold weather forecast for the coming days and see what else Minnesota has to offer.

    But she included warm clothes on that list.
     
    “The best thing we can do is prepare people and tell them, we’re not kidding,” she said. “Dress warm.”
     
    She said the opening weekend of the Super Bowl attractions was a bigger draw than organizers even hoped and said as many as a quarter million people may have visited downtown Minneapolis for the first days of Super Bowl festivities.
     
    — Tim Nelson, MPR News
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  • 4 a.m. bar close and more: What locals need to know about the Super Bowl

    What's the big game mean for locals? From road closures to what's gotten a makeover, here's what Minnesotans need to know.
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  • No uptick in Pre-Super Bowl sex trafficking -- yet

    There hasn't been an uptick in sex-trafficking in the week before Super Bowl LII. But it is early yet, two outreach workers said Monday.
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