Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Post Super Bowl thoughts from southern Minnesota February 5, 2018

I started my Super Bowl Sunday (after attending worship services) by dining at the Faribault Lions Club Super Sunday Pancake & Sausage Feed with my husband, Randy, and his brother. Neil was on his way home to Missouri after visiting family in Minnesota for the weekend. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2015.


FOR ME TO STAY UP past 11 p.m. rates as rare. But I did last night. Until nearly 12:30 a.m. Monday. I wanted to watch The Tonight Show from Minneapolis, ending way too much time for me in front of the TV on Super Bowl Sunday. But, you know, when the championship game plays out in your home state, you get caught up in the excitement—even if you don’t much care about sports, which I don’t. I finally have it down that a touchdown earns a team six points.


Not a ref from the Super Bowl…image used here for illustration only. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2015.


During past Super Bowls, I’ve focused primarily on the commercials and the half-time show. I still did this year. But, for the first time ever, I watched most of the game. Except for the 33 minutes and 35 seconds I missed when my Wisconsin daughter called during the third and fourth quarters. Family trumps football any day, even on Super Bowl Sunday.


Icy cold beer served up in a Minnesota Vikings mug chilled in the snow. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


It was an exciting game. I found myself rooting for the underdog Philadelphia Eagles, even if they kept the Vikings from the biggest game in football and even though I can’t stand those creepy dog masks worn by some Eagles fans. I did, though, feel, for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has a strong Minnesota connection via his mom, born and raised here. Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of Brady. That just shows how much of a football fan I am not.

As for that half-time show…I’m not raving like most are about Justin Timberlake’s performance. But then I’m not a Timberlake, nor a Prince (gasp), fan. Unfamiliar with the songs performed, I couldn’t understand the lyrics. And when Minneapolis lit up in purple during half-time, I didn’t even notice the Prince symbol displayed.


Two weeks ago a major storm dumped 16 inches of snow on Faribault and other parts of Minnesota. Snow also fell on Super Bowl weekend. But it is the cold, below zero temps and minus double digit windchills that marked the weather. I was delighted with the weather, which played perfectly off Minnesota’s Super Bowl tag as the “Bold North.” Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo January 2018.


I saw many, but not all, of the commercials. My favorites focused on the theme of bringing our country together in an especially divisive year. Strength. Unity. Togetherness. Diversity. I especially liked T-Mobile’s “Little Ones” spot featuring babies of multiple ethnicities paired with empowering words. Most, but not all, of these social cause ads worked for me. In the didn’t like/work would be the Dodge Ram Truck ad using the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I didn’t appreciate his inspiring words used for a commercial purpose.

TurboTax nailed the humor, at least for me, with ads themed on convincing viewers they have nothing to fear in doing their taxes. A monster creeping from under a bed, a ghost in an attic—both were memory relatable. I just hope no little kids got scared.

The Mucinex spot that zoned in on post Super Bowl Monday as a sick day also tickled my funnybone and, in a round-about way, connected to that daughter who called me during the game. Thirty years ago she also used boogers to illicit laughter. “How do you make a Kleenex dance?” she asked kids and parents during a family skate time at a (now closed) Faribault rollerskating rink. “You put a little boogie in it,” she delivered in her sweet preschool voice.


A wonderful blend of textures is presented in Wild Rice Hotdish, another popular Minnesota dish. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


A year from now I likely will have forgotten who played in Super Bowl LII. I will have forgotten the record low game time kick-off temp of one degree above zero. (An effort is underway to collect cold weather gear for Minnesota homeless from Super Bowl attendees returning to warm weather destinations via “Pass Your Parkas.”)  I will have forgotten the Mucinex and other commercials. I will have forgotten who performed at half-time. I will have forgotten how Jimmy Fallon gushed about Minneapolis and the Tater Tot Hotdish (not casserole) served to him by a Champlin family. But that memory of my sweet preschooler—now a grown woman—telling that joke about boogers, that I still, and will always, remember.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “Post Super Bowl thoughts from southern Minnesota”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Ok, you got me with that one! tears flowing as I remember my own dear little girl (30 this year!) delivering that same joke! Cheers from AZ!

  2. The good thing about being on Mountain Time is the Superbowl was not nearly as late running as it was on east coast time. We had it on, but were busy entertaining guests we invited over to the campsite and just glanced at it once in a while. We had the recorder on–mainly for the This Is Us episode airing after the Superbowl, so I’ll l have to go back and watch the commercials. I will have to pass on the little boogie joke–too precious! Overall, I was pleased with the winning team.

  3. Jackie Says:

    It was kind of exciting to have all the hoopla going on in Minnesota for the super bowl. I’m still sulking that the Vikings weren’t in it, but there was a sense of “I dont really care who wins this” going on at our house. We sat around and enjoyed family, and still enjoyed a “good game”. I’m with you , the half-time concert was just ok! I’m glad you had a call from Miranda….way better than any football game, Right 🙂

  4. Apparently the Dr King family has a policy that his image and words not be used for commercial purposes. However, a son gave permission without asking the rest of the family because he thought it was good to get the messsge out. I agree with you – and the majority of the family-it was kinda in poor taste. Great messsges deserve better platforms.

  5. Beth Ann Says:

    I didn’t stay up quite as late as I did not watch Jimmy but did stay up and watch This is Us. It was a great night with a game that was pretty fun to watch. I love when the teams are more evenly matched and there is an actual competition. Glad MN got some good press this year.

  6. Valerie Says:

    I’m the same kind of football fan as you. We did enjoy the game and were cheering for the underdogs.

  7. Littlesundog Says:

    Forrest and I watched the game, which was a good game. Neither of us cared for many of the commercials, and found none of them outstanding. The half time show probably didn’t appeal to many people our age or older. Like you, I couldn’t understand a word of what they were singing. I don’t understand the silly body gyrations of the singers and dancers, which I suppose made it humorously entertaining. Forrest and I found ourselves laughing at the hilarity of not understanding much of anything about the halftime show. But, the game itself was good. We were sorry to hear about the destruction following the game. That’s another aspect of celebration I can’t understand.

    • I agree with you fully on your perspective of the half-time show. I didn’t find any of it entertaining. And, yeah, it’s probably an age thing that factors in to the lack of appeal.

      I haven’t heard/read about the destruction. But that doesn’t surprise me. It seems all too common and makes zero sense. Sigh.

  8. Sue Ready Says:

    loved your Super Bowl wrap ups posting and yes we all deserve a little splurge once in awhile to sit and enjoy mindless Tv munching some chips.

  9. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I watched too with yarn in hand. I don’t really understand football at all. I think I may have annoyed my hubby by asking why the quarterback was grabbing the butt of the guy in front of him. The look on his face and the explanation of how they pass footballs was priceless.

    • Oh, I asked lots of questions, too, because I watch maybe one or two games a year. By the following season, I’ve already forgotten many details of how the game is played. You are not alone. I think my husband is thankful I show some interest.

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