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Frosted Flakes: Minnesota Super Bowl Fun - A Loppet, A Zip Line, And Wondering About Walleye

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It’s a fun weekend in Minnesota, and there’s the Super Bowl too.

Rae Sremmurd at the Verizon Up Stage During Super Bowl LIVE Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Verizon

This is your obligatory Super Bowl post.

Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday, and like the past few years, I haven’t paid very much attention to what’s going on in the lead-up. Two teams I don’t care about are playing, and it’s a hard choice between them; should the New England Patriots win another Super Bowl or do I root for the city of “Brotherly Love,” a joke of itself nickname when one considers how bad their fans are. I know that we have Huskers playing in it, and I have always liked Rex Burkhead but even that is not enough to get me to root for the Patriots. Still, the Eagles. Gag. I have no plans to socialize with other human beings at a Super Bowl party. I thought about heading down to the local VFW, but I’d rather avoid alcohol so I will probably stay home and watch the game with Mrs. CornNation (if she’ll have me).

The Super Bowl is taking place in our fair city of Minneapolis. I’ve avoided most of the commotion surrounding the Super Bowl as I had heard trying to park downtown has been a nightmare.It occurs to me that I might’ve become the most boring human being any of you can think of. You’d think I’d get out and do something, but it’s -5° outside, and on the day of the Super Bowl the high will be 6° with a low of -1°. I have had a hard time dealing with the cold since my heart attack and probably should find another state in which to live. Unfortunately, I’m not ready to retire nor end my career. It’s a lot of work to figure out where you’d move next; then there’s the moving to do.

There is a shit-ton of events taking place around the Super Bowl. We spent last night during dinner reviewing the activities as detailed in the “City Pages,” which is a rag you can pick up around town for free. I refer to it as the “Shitty Pages” as do other locals. (It’s not shitty, but I used to write for a computer rag, and if memory serves, that’s where I heard the nickname.)

Tonight (Friday) you could see Pink at the Minneapolis Armory for $225. I like Pink, but I don’t think I’d shell out that much for her. Imagine Dragons played on Thursday night at $175. The Chainsmokers are available for $200. Then there is Jennifer Lopez, also at the Minneapolis Armory with tickets going for $250-$325. I don’t think I’ve heard a Jennifer Lopez song in at least a couple of years. If I were forced to pick between all these, I’d chose Imagine Dragons in a heartbeat.

There are of course your events like Super Bowl Live, Super Bowl Breakfast, Super Bowl Experience, and Taste of the NFL. It will be interesting to see how well these events are attended. These sound like events that are available at every Super Bowl and so might be a bit generic for Super Bowl fans, although I should point out that Minnesota’s Super Bowl live event includes live performances from Minnesota bands such as Morris Day and the Time, Bob Mould, the Suburbs, Soul Asylum, the Jayhawks, and Sheila E.

I found a couple of events of interest. One of these is the Bold North Zip Line, which states you can zip line 750 feet across the Mississippi River. For $30, it sounds like it’s more up my alley. I’m not sure about going on a zip line at 0° but if you’re going to a Super Bowl in Minnesota, why not do something fun and memorable. Unfortunately, the zip line event is sold out.

I had never heard of a “loppet” before reading through the event listings, but apparently, there is a loppet at Lake Calhoun called the City of Lakes Loppet. A “loppet” is a long-ass ski race. Here’s what the race website says about the loppet:

A cross-country ski festival for the whole family! Ski races for all ages and abilities, skijoring races, a kubb tournament, a snow sculpture competition, a youth ski carnival, sprint races, ice biking, and the quite popular Luminary Loppet, a beautiful night-time ski around Lake of the Isles, lit up with thousands of ice luminaries. Come out and enjoy winter with us!

You haven’t lived until you’ve played kubb. If your children wonder what happened before video games, you yell “kubb” and throw wood batons at them. If you don’t have a baton, just throw a chunk of wood. Then chug a beer. Kubb is a tense sport. If you don’t believe me, check out this national championship match from 2017. Forward it to the 17: 00-minute mark to see how tense it gets. (Okay, maybe don’t do that.)

About skijoring - how many of you had someone pull you down a snowy, icy street behind a pickup wearing cowboy boots or skis? Think about that, then replace the pickup truck with a horse, dogs, or a motor vehicle like a motorcycle or snowmobile. Is it exciting? It is whatever you want it to be. Since I know you’re now enthralled about skijoring, here’s a nice video from the 2013 City of Lakes loppet:

They look very serious about their loppeting and skijoring, but not nearly as much as these guys:

That’s the deal about winter sports - they are whatever you make them. If you’re going to be a miserable, whiny butt because it’s cold out, then just stay home. But if you’re going to get out of the house and partake, just go all in, and get behind a motorcycle on skis.

Regarding the eating establishments around the Twin Cities - I’ve been to a number of them, but you probably figured out by now that I don’t get out much. There aren’t any “bad” restaurants in downtown Minneapolis. The constituency won’t tolerate them. Eating in downtown Minneapolis is more about what your taste is than whether or not you’re going to have a bad experience. On the other hand, I’m not that picky, and I rarely get upset when I go out to eat because I just don’t let things bother me. If a waitperson seems snippy or slow, I just ignore it instead of trashing an entire establishment and chalk it up to the possibility of someone having a bad day.

It occurs to me that Minnesota doesn’t have a decent nationally defined food presence. You can make jokes about Wisconsin regarding cheese or bratwurst, and everyone accepts that stereotype. Minnesota… Maybe lutefisk? Calling casseroles “hot dish”? Those are both sad. There is the “Juicy Lucy,” which is a reverse cheeseburger where the cheese is on the inside and when you bite it, it fills your mouth with molten lava. I’ve had a few in my day; you need to be careful with them. They’re okay. I wouldn’t travel a long way out of my way for one, but if you’re never going to get them where you are, have at one, just remember the molten lava bit.

If I had to define Minnesota’s nationally defined food presence, it would be walleye and wild rice. Not the two together necessarily, but walleye is an excellent fish that can be found in nearly every restaurant in the state. Wild rice is damned good, especially in a lovely chicken wild rice soup this time of year.

Minnesota has a fairly decent-sized Hmong population, and along with the Hmong has come excellent Asian cuisine. I don’t see this mentioned anywhere, but that’s not entirely shocking as Minnesota sees itself as a mostly white state.

There’s not much of a question about whether I will watch the Super Bowl. It’s a cultural phenomenon, and since it’s here in Minnesota, I might get to see people I know in the Justin Timberlake half time show. This is important - recognizing people you know in a broadcast that’s seen by hundreds of millions. It’s especially important if they do something stupid like fall over when they’re not supposed to or “accidentally” expose their breasts.

It’s a good time for the Super Bowl. There is very little Husker action this weekend; only the WBB playing on Sunday. Have a good time this weekend.... and let me know if we should have a Super Bowl thread.

NEWS

Spring Game Tickets on Sale Next Week - Nebraska Huskers
Nebraska fans can secure their tickets for the Red-White Spring Game presented by First National Bank beginning next week. The spring game will be played on Saturday, April 21 at Memorial Stadium, with kickoff set for 11 a.m., marking the public debut of Head Coach Scott Frost’s 2018 Huskers.

Pair of in-state teammates make 2019 Top247
Nebraska isn’t a heavily recruited state at the power five level, but that could change for the 2019 class as it is home to two players inside the initial Top247 rankings.

Evaluators have Nick Henrich and Chris Hickman, teammates at Omaha Burke, squarely in the Top247 rankings, with both players actually in the top 115 players in the country.

Moos in early talks trying to make Iowa regular Black Friday foe
"I have talked to both the Big Ten and to my counterpart at Iowa about the prospects of really starting to develop a true rivalry between our two schools," the Husker athletic director told Nebraska247 on Wednesday. "And especially in football, that game on an annual basis, whether at their place or ours, be on that Friday following Thanksgiving."

Iowa AD Gary Barta is failing women’s athletics and should be fired - Black Heart Gold Pants
It’s time for him to be held accountable for his actions.

Barta: 'In hindsight, I'd probably announce it now' | The Gazette
Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said Thursday he didn’t realize that not announcing basketball coach Fran McCaffery’s would raise an uproar.

The decision not to publicly announce the deal was Barta’s. He regrets it.

“Ideally, I would prefer to have those done before the year or after the season is over,” Barta said. “I made the decision not to announce it. I know that’s created concern. I do feel badly for that. My goal was to not announce it at that point, but do it after the season.”

Ole Miss transfers building appeal cases proving they were misled by Hugh Freeze - CBSSports.com
ix Ole Miss players seeking immediate transfer waivers have assembled what are being portrayed as previously unknown smartphone and electronic interactions showing they were allegedly misled as to the extent of potential NCAA violations and punishments for the Rebels in statements made by former coach Hugh Freeze, CBS Sports has learned.

Is the NFL using the CDC to 'manufacture doubt' on head injuries? - HealthNewsReview.org
But there’s more to the story says Sean Engel, MD, a sports medicine physician at the University of Minnesota, who senses that popular culture and belief are tending to outpace the evidence in this area.

“Repetitive, subconcussive trauma is certainly a concern, but there’s still no consensus on whether it leads to brain damage,” said Engel.

“And there’s probably good reason for this lack of evidence. Mainly, the definition of what is subconcussive? Because that would include everything up to a concussion. So anything that jostles your brain and doesn’t cause a concussion would then be considered a ‘subconcussive blow.’ So if you put it in that context, you can begin to understand just how hard it is to define, study, and evaluate subconcussive blows. Let alone prove causality.”

Then There’s This

Thieves busted with 9,000 pounds of oranges crammed into 3 cars | abc7.com
The families that were pulled over claimed they found the fruit on the ground.

‘Jeopardy!’ contestants could not answer a single football question and it was excruciating - SBNation.com
"I will dieeee" - Alex Trebek

Welcome to Minnesota: A Primer - Surly Brewing Co.
Be ready to experience first-class passive aggression. If someone says your old school Ron Jaworski Eagles jersey is “interesting,” they are not a fan. If someone says, “I’m not mad,” they are, in fact, mad. If you get to a 4-way stop at roughly the same time as another driver(s), your best bet is to just abandon the car, get out, and walk to your destination, as who gets to go first will never be resolved by conventional means.