“I got to be our tour director and host and whatever else we needed,” Lohmiller said in a phone interview last week. “It was fun to do that. Coach [Joe] Gibbs had us so focused, I only remember Monday and Tuesday. When we started getting into practice on Wednesday, I don’t remember anything from that week until the game. It’s crazy to say that, but that’s how focused we were.”
One thing Lohmiller does remember from Super Bowl week is an ice fishing excursion in 30-below wind chills with teammates Earnest Byner, Monte Coleman and Art Monk. ESPN reporter Dan Patrick and camera crews from ESPN and Minneapolis TV station KSTP tagged along to shoot stories about the trip to Cedar Lake, a five-mile drive from downtown.
“I think he’ll have to come up with about $250,000 in life insurance,” Coleman told The Post of Lohmiller’s ice fishing idea. “But if he wants to go, I’ll probably go. It’s an experience. I can either die or catch a fish.”
Coleman didn’t die of hypothermia, thanks in part to the Minnesota Vikings hoodies that he and Monk, who evidently didn’t pack enough winter gear for the week, sported on the lake. Coleman didn’t bother taking the tags off the Vikings knit cap he wore.
“We came out to try to relax a little bit, and hopefully catch a fish or two,” Byner said. “I don’t want to leave until we catch something. I don’t want to get skunked.”
“Anticipation,” Coleman sang in the story that aired on KSTP, channeling his inner Carly Simon. “These fish are keeping me waaaaaaaiiiiiting.”
Patrick, who is back in Minneapolis this week, reported that the four players combined to catch one fish. Lohmiller said the drive to the lake was more exciting.
“That was the year that Minneapolis had the big Halloween blizzard, so there was a lot of snow,” Lohmiller said last week. “We get out on the lake and they’re like, ‘Wow, this road is kind of bumpy.’ To see the expression on their faces was priceless.”
“It was all great until we started to drive out there on that ice,” Coleman told The Post in 2012. “And we’ve got this big truck we’re in. In Arkansas, people fall through ice all the time, and we’re going to drive a truck? We was like, ‘Hold up, Chip, are you sure we’re going to be safe?’ He assured us we were going to be. Got the drill thing and able to drill holes. We didn’t catch anything — we didn’t get a bite — but it was a great experience.”
“It was fun to see Art Monk and Monte Coleman venture out on the ice,” said local chef and ice fisherman Paul Wagner, who prepared a fish fry for everyone on the trip. “They had never seen ice before, but once they got out there they really had a good time.”
Lohmiller also took the Redskins on a considerably warmer trip to the headquarters of Zubaz, the zebra-striped clothing brand founded by Minneapolis friends Bob Truax and Dan Stock.
“They reached out and said, ‘Hey, bring the guys by,'” Lohmiller said. “It was a big fad back then. It was a challenge getting enough cars and vehicles to get up there. They said grab whatever you want. Everyone was just grabbing clothes, grabbing stuff for their families.”
In 2013, Truax told the New York Times that Patrick Ewing, Jason Priestley and John Madden were among the other celebrities who stocked up on Zubaz gear before the Super Bowl that year. (Ewing’s Knicks were on a West Coast road trip during Super Bowl week, so maybe he dropped in when New York was in town to play the Timberwolves just before Christmas.)
“Madden used to come out quite a bit, actually,” Truax said. “It was very, very common on a year-round basis for people to stop by and get some product. We would have country singers’ buses pulling up outside. But during the Super Bowl, it was everybody.”
“The crowd of 64,000-plus was a sea of Zubaz striped pants and team-logo shirts, almost as if they were required for entry to the game,” The Post reported after the Redskins’ triumph.
Lohmiller said he still has his Zubaz gear.
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