What You Will See in the Super Bowl Was Honed in an Oregon Barn

Cooper Kupp spent last spring in Wilsonville, working with two Portland-area physical trainers.

The Super Bowl kicks off in Los Angeles at 3:30 pm Sunday (there, you don’t have to Google it). At first glance, the game has few Portland connections—neither the L.A. Rams nor the Cincinnati Bengals has notable fan bases here.

But one of the five best players on the field tomorrow spent his offseason in a barn in the Portland suburb of Wilsonville, honing his craft.

That player is Cooper Kupp, a wide receiver for the Rams who chased several NFL records this season. Last month, a lengthy Sports Illustrated profile detailed how Kupp spent last spring in Wilsonville, working with two Portland-area physical trainers. They turned a backyard tennis court into an indoor football field where Kupp could craft quick-twitch moves that would give him inches of separation from defenders.

The story describes the backyard barn like this:

In Kupp’s latest football experiment, the dynamic organism was … him. Hence the barn, the space covered and enclosed, the design created by a Rams wideout moonlighting as an interior designer. Kupp had turf put in by the same expert local sports teams used. He added a “curve” treadmill for speedwork; a “timing gate” that measured in seconds and miles per hour, with 20 mph serving as his benchmark; and what’s called a “towing unit,” which he wore while sprinting to add resistance (typically 50% to 75% of his 208 pounds). He didn’t overly complicate this lab with technology, only what he needed, everything deliberate and precise. Like him.

The result: Kupp, a Yakima, Wash., native who played college ball at Eastern Washington, led the league in receptions, yards and touchdown catches this season. And the Rams are Super Bowl favorites in large part because analysts don’t think the Bengals will be able to defend him.

The two Oregon companies, by the way, are Headquarters Wellness Solutions, based in Beaverton, and EForce Sports in Lake Oswego.

As you prepare the guac and pigs in a blanket, read the full story here.