*Sunday Night Football *sideline reporter Michele Tafoya wasn't born in Minnesota, but she's considered the state "home" for many years.
Tafoya spoke with other media members earlier this week and expressed appreciation for the unique opportunity to cover Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis for NBC. She said she's excited to "show off" Minnesota to her family and friends.
Jace Frederick of the *Pioneer Press *wrote about Tafoya's comments on Minnesota.
And this Minnesotan, who lives in Edina with her husband and two children, can't wait to show off her state to the world this week. There are a lot of minds she feels need to be changed — or, rather, exposed to what Minnesota really is.
When people back in California ask about the cold, Tafoya explains she has a coat. When they ask about the people, she says, "These are some of the greatest people you're ever going to want to meet." Yet they still can't understand why she wants to live in Minnesota.
"I want them all to tune into this game so they can discover why," Tafoya said.
Frederick wrote that Tafoya is "as Minnesotan as anyone."
Tafoya can't imagine living anywhere else and takes ownership of Minnesota and its "Bold North" culture on display this week in advance of Super Bowl LII, which will kick off at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.
"There is so much richness to Minnesota that people don't know about, and in some ways, we kind of prefer it that way because we're kind of in our own place," Tafoya said. "But I am so proud about what happens here on a day-to-day, year-to-year basis that I'm really excited people get to see more of it and see how dang beautiful the stadium is. Oh my gosh, it's beautiful."
David Carr opines Smith as 'Defensive Player of the Year'
On Saturday night, a number of awards and recognitions will be announced at "NFL Honors," including this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees.
In addition, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors will be given. In anticipation of the awards ceremony, NFL.com asked many of its personalities to name their choice for the latter.
Former quarterback-turned-analyst David Carr selected Vikings safety Harrison Smith as the top candidate. Carr wrote:
Harrison Smith played lights-out this season and was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded player on Minnesota's stellar defense.
Eight of the 12 voted for Jacksonville's Calais Campbell. Other votes included Saints defensive end Cam Jordan, Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones.
Greenway continues his involvement in community through 'Lead the Way Foundation'
Chad Greenway is nearly a full year removed from his retirement from the NFL, but he hasn't stepped away from community involvement.
Greenway continues to give back to the Twin Cities through his "Lead the Way Foundation," and he recently spent time at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota to help the young patients have some "football fun" in the week leading up to Super Bowl LII. Vikings long snapper Kevin McDermott also participated in the activities.