It was going to be such an exciting, fun week leading up to the Super Bowl.

Sure, it's cold, and there is now a lot of snow on the ground, but there was going to be a celebration of Minnesota, showcasing that life here doesn't end when the green grass goes into hiding for a few months.

And the local NFL team was going to be taking part in the celebration, becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium, perhaps claiming the sport's ultimate prize in the organization's fifth try.

But then the Minnesota Vikings went to Philadelphia. And 38-7 happened.

And the team and its followers were harassed by hooligans and meatheads, a segment of the national population whose voice seems to have grown louder in the last year, bringing a frustrating end to what had been a pretty good season.

It seems to have taken some of the luster off of hosting Super Bowl LII.

But the NFL's show must go on, and it will. Even though you're disappointed that the Vikings won't be the team that loses to New England, you might draw some enjoyment watching the Eagles get humbled by the NFL's model franchise.

And for the next week, you can enjoy anĀ ice castle, zipline, giant slide and polar plunge. The NFL will have its fan headquarters along Nicollet Mall open each day, which is free, and there will be concerts and parties to pass the time.

You might have to put up with plenty of East Coasters who will crash the party. As long as you don't chuck full beers, rocks or batteries at the guests, or call them vulgar names, or salute them with your middle finger at every occasion, you'll be better hosts than the Philadelphians. Don't be upset when you hear some of the bigwigs complain that there is no beach or golf course open next week. Just tell them that there are no mosquitos, either.

Yeah, it doesn't seem quite as exciting as it was a week ago. Though some fans have gotten way too crazy over the results of a professional team, it would have added something to the week to have the Vikings around.

But that's not going to happen. Maybe, as we roll into next week and experience some of what the NFL offers at this annual showcase, the fun and excitement will return. Driving could be a hassle, and public transportation will be tested to capacity, but the biggest game of the season is coming to Minnesota.

It's time to put the results of the NFC Championship into that crowded memory bank and have some fun. In four months, golf courses will reopen, and a couple of months after that, beaches will be popular.

Chad Courrier is a Free Press staff writer. To contact him, call 507-344-6353, e-mail at ccourrier@mankatofreepress.com or follow his Twitter feed @ChadCourrier.

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