Circa 1000 A.D.

The Viking longboat slid through the icy waters of Dan, silent but for the rhythm of the oarsmen and the creaking of the crude planks.

Leif Eiriksson stood at the bow, gazing off to the west, though all he could see was mist and fog. Just as his father Eirik had been an explorer and the discoverer of Greenland, so Leif hoped this voyage would find new lands for his people. The ship cleared the fjord, the mast was raised, and the winds and the gods took over.

Leif grabbed one of the thralls and said, “Bring me your mistress, the prophetess, to throw the bones.”

The seer, in her long robe encrusted with precious stones, held her staff up to the sky and called out, “Oh Allfather, great One-Eye, help us to safely cross the great waters on this voyage. Redbeard Thor, send us an easy wind.” Then, as the others crowded around, she cast her bones and twigs on the wooden deck.

To the thralls and the freemen, it was just a scattering of bones marked with runes, but to the prophetess, they held great meaning. Just then, one of Odin’s ravens flew past. “We will find a great new land filled with forests and game, but I also see a great battle.”

Leif looked into her ancient, clouded eyes. “Ragnarok?” he asked.

“No, not Ragnarok,” she answered, “but a battle to rival it. I must cast the runes to discover the name of the battle.” She threw down the bones again, and then, studying the runes, her brow furrowed. ” The runes say the battle will be known as…Superbowl 51.”

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