Sarah Jackson
Minnesota Good Age editor Sarah Jackson; Photo by Tracy Walsh

I’m not a big football gal. Sure, it’s amazing to see modern-day gladiators, completing super-human feats of athleticism.

But I find it hard not to bristle at the culture of the NFL, the injuries the players suffer and the billions spent on the sport, including our new stadium.

However, the Super Bowl coming to town? Well, that’s different for me. I can’t help but get caught up in the excitement of our own wonderful state of Minnesota taking a national — if not international — stage.

Did you know we have an entire host committee working to showcase our state, recently branded as the #boldnorth?

Our Minnesota story, crafted by the committee, goes like this: “We are the Bold North! We’re a collection of innovators and idealists, scientists and risk takers, explorers, and storytellers. From arts and industry to music and medicine, we throw caution to the wind-chill.”

I mean, honestly, that just sounds cool. (Maybe it’s time we left our reputation for passive-aggressive niceness behind?)

MGA_0118_CoverRGBAnd who’s the woman behind all this boldness? It’s our Cover Star — marketing guru Maureen Bausch, the CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.

Not only has she spent the past three years working to make the most of this enormous event (last seen here in 1992), she has her own bold story to tell.

Bausch, after all, is the woman who sold the idea of Minnesota as a mega shopping destination before the Mall of America became what it is today — a draw for 40 million people every year, not to mention a generator of $2 billion in revenue annually. And that’s just part of Bausch’s fascinating biography found in this issue.

Not going to the game? Me neither, of course.

But you can get in on Super Bowl LIVE, a 10-day pregame extravaganza, including tons of free concerts (including a sing-along of Prince’s Purple Rain), a life-size snow globe you can climb inside and other quintessentially Minnesota activities (including Native American drumming every night).

This is our time to shine — yes, in February.

Game on!