Now that Super Bowl 50 is over and done with, the focus has already shifted to next year's title game in Houston.
But in less than two years, the spectacle is coming to Minnesota. Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune took a look at how the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is prepping for the spotlight.
Olson talked with Host Committee CEO Maureen Bausch about how it can make the area sparkle for festivities that will be scheduled in advance of U.S. Bank Stadium hosting Super Bowl LII.
"We're going to do a major, major debrief when we get back," Bausch said after listening to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Houston leaders, Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and coach Gary Kubiak of the champion Denver Broncos.
"We had so many partners out here that we've got to pull all of our ideas together," Bausch said. "Everyone sees [Super Bowl week] through different eyes."
Roughly 100 organizers from the host committee will attend Super Bowl LI in Houston in 2017.
Host Committee spokeswoman Andrea Mokros said the group will try to glean any bit of info they can to make sure things go off without a hitch in Minnesota.
To pull that off, everything has to be perfect. A logistical miscalculation — such as waits of several hours to get back to the hotel, as has happened at prior Super Bowls — can cause enduring and unforgettable headaches.* *
"You can do 99 things well, and people will talk about the one thing you didn't do well," Mokros said.
Vikings could be among NFL's best in 2016
After a strong 2015 season that saw the Vikings win the NFC North and put up a fight in the playoffs, there is reason for optimism looking ahead.
Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune is among those who believes the Vikings could take another step forward this upcoming season.
Souhan thinks that only two teams can be pegged ahead of Minnesota at this point, with the Vikings able to contend with several other elite teams.
Today, I think the only teams that can enter 2016 accurately thinking they are clearly better than the Vikings are the last two teams to lose to the Broncos:
The Patriots. And the Panthers.
Other than that, the Vikings could be expected to slug it out with any team in the NFL next season, if they upgrade their offensive line.
Vegas oddsmakers higher on Vikings
It's never too early to look ahead, especially in the NFL.
Marino Eccher of the Pioneer-Press recently took a look at where Vegas oddsmakers tabbed the Vikings entering the 2016 seasons.
The Las Vegas Westgate SuperBook released its odds for next year's title game Monday, installing Minnesota at 20-to-1 to win. That's the 10th-best mark in the league, along with Indianapolis and Kansas City.* *
It's not quite in the upper echelon of favorites, headlined by Seattle, New England and Pittsburgh at 8-to-1. And it's still behind a handful of other NFC powers in Green Bay, Seattle and runner-up Carolina (all 10-to-1), along with Dallas (16-to-1).
VegasInsider.com, meanwhile, has the Vikings 12th in the league at 25-to-1 — but those odds were last updated before Sunday's game. The team came into this season around 30-to-1, and gave the eventual champion Broncos a tough game at home in October that, much like the Super Bowl, turned on the strength of Denver's relentless pass rush.