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Vignettes from Indianapolis

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  February 4, 2012 11:47 PM

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INDIANAPOLIS -- As if the Patriots’ stickers on Beth Goldrosen’s cheeks and the team-themed earrings in her ears, as well as the Patriots socks, jersey, jacket, and even underwear were not enough, today there will be face paint. But only after Goldrosen, who is from Whitman, Mass., goes on her 13-mile morning run. She is, after all, training for the Boston Marathon.

“Priorities,” the 46-year-old quipped yesterday in the middle of the madness in downtown Indianapolis as she strolled with her nephew and sister, who live in Indianapolis.

Upping the celebrating factor, her sister’s birthday happens to fall on Super Bowl Sunday this year.

“Tom Brady was so nice to bring me a Super Bowl for my birthday,” said her sister Andrea Healy who turns 42 today.

To call them uberfans would be an understatement.

“We brushed our teeth with Patriots toothbrushes,” Goldrosen said.

And today?

“I’m going to paint my face, a star on each cheek, this side red and this side blue,” she said pointing to her right and left cheeks respectively.

The stars will be white or silver -- depending in how much paint she has.

-- Akilah Johnson, Globe Staff

Did you know the Pope was in town for the Super Bowl?

He is, as a life-size, cardboard cutout in the lobby of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. A faceless nun and a headless priest cutout stand next to the pontiff, waiting for passersby to snap their photos with the trio.

The church, which sits in the heart of the Super Bowl Village, decided to put the cutouts up to attract visitors. According to its newsletter, the church is “Opening Wide the Doors to Christ during Super Bowl XLVI.”

Visiting priest Rev. Shaun Wesley, in town from Arkansas to help with confessions and Mass this weekend, said the cutouts were a lighthearted way to let people know about the church, which opted not to close amid the crush of football fans and spectators this weekend -- more than 200,000 on Friday alone.

But, he admitted, there’s a serious, if subtle, message behind the figures: “That is to say, can you see yourself here in one of these vocations?”

The church doors will be open throughout today for anyone who gets tired of the bars.

-- Akilah Johnson, Globe Staff

All week, Linda Miller has been a one-woman smile machine at the Hampton Inn in Fishers, a suburb of Indianapolis, where she has presided over the continental breakfast like she’s hosting Thanksgiving for her family.

“Hoosier hospitality,” she likes to say.

And, so far, it has gone over well with the visitors from the Northeast who are, perhaps, not as known for their gentility. But then, at the grocery store, she was introduced to a very particular type of charm.

“I saw a guy who looked like an out-of-towner, and I said, ‘I hope you’re having a good time in Indianapolis.’” He looked at her funny, she said. Then he asked, very rudely, “Do you work here?”

Miller was taken aback. She did not like that attitude one bit.

“As soon as he looked at me, I thought, ‘He’s a New York person, and I was just being nice.’”

-- Billy Baker, Globe Staff

Rachel Cameron of Watertown was walking through the Super Bowl Village in the rain yesterday with only one real goal: she wanted to see famous people.

It wasn’t going so well. “So far, I saw the back of Jimmy Fallon’s head,” she said.

But her friend, Ross Feinbergcq of South Boston, had done a little better, depending on how you look at it.

“We were drinking, and Cal Ripken was drinking right next to us, and he waved at us, and in some cultures that’s like having a beer with Cal Ripken.”

-- Billy Baker, Globe Staff

Normally, Mel Tockman is a doctor in Tampa. In Indianapolis, his job is to sell programs for $20 a pop inside the NFL Experience.

Tockman had come to Indianapolis with his church group to volunteer at the Super Bowl, and though he wasn’t exactly saving lives, he was still handing out important advice.

A fan approached. His face was itchy and he needed advice. He didn’t know Tockman was a doctor, but he did know Tockman had a beard. And the man, who had grown his “playoff beard,” wanted to know: Will it ever stop itching?

Tockman told him he would be fine -- and didn’t even ask for a referral.

-- Billy Baker, Globe Staff

When the Patriots beat the Denver Broncos for a ticket to the AFC title game, Dicky Eagan, who was a bit drunk, used his phone to buy plane tickets to Indianapolis.

“I didn’t want to jinx it,” said Eagan, a Fall River native who is now a television writer in Los Angeles, “but I still wanted to be ahead of the game.”

As soon as they beat the Baltimore Ravens for a trip to the Super Bowl, Eagan got on his phone and started trying to figure out the big question for many out-of-town fans: Where to find a place to stay?

First, he rented an RV in Chicago and booked a spot at an RV park outside of Indianapolis. Then he and his fiancé got a rental car as a backup. Then someone gave them a free hotel room so he cancelled the RV.

It was a mess. But on Saturday, they finally made it to the city.

“Now we just need to find some tickets,” he said.

One thing at a time.

-- Billy Baker, Globe Staff

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