Most of America may be rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl LII on Sunday, but the host state of the game – Minnesota – seems to strongly favor a New England Patriots win.
“I’ll be rooting for the Patriots because Philadelphia kind of ruined all our hopes and dreams this year,’’ said Matt Maguette, a 22-year-old Minnesota Vikings fan.
The Super Bowl, to be held at U.S. Bank Stadium, comes two weeks after the Vikings suffered a stinging 38-7 loss to the Eagles in the NFC Championship game in Philadelphia.
An analysis of Twitter data immediately following the AFC and NFC championship games earlier this month showed that nearly all of the United States outside of New England was hoping for a Philadelphia win.
However, public opinion in Minnesota appears to have shifted as video footage emerged of Eagles fans behaving boorishly toward Vikings fans during the NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia. One video showed beer cans being thrown at Viking fans entering the stadium.
“I had personal accounts from friends, as well as other people I know, who didn’t have a great experience when they went out to Philadelphia,” said Nick Hanson, 32.
“I don’t like the Eagles fans because they were mocking us at the game we lost,” said Jordyn Dagget, 17. “And they stole our chants.”
Charley Walters, a columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, said Minnesotans’ temperament favors civility.
“Vikings fans are rabid, but they’re not nuts, like some people reportedly were in Philadelphia,” he said.
“People in Minnesota are nice - they wouldn’t act like what the people reportedly did in Philadelphia. People here will clearly be rooting for New England.”
Of course, there are other reasons.
Tamara Dagget, 53, likes the Patriots because Tom Brady’s mother hails from Minnesota and the star quarterback used to spend summers here.
Vikings fan Maguette had a similar reason.
“Tom Brady’s pretty cool,” he said.