February 07, 2023
We are just days away from Super Bowl LVII, when the Philadelphia Eagles will take on the Kansas City Chiefs for a chance to win the coveted Lombardi Trophy. As the city brims with excitement, some of Philadelphia's most valued institutions are placing wagers against Kansas City in the hopes that the Birds will emerge victorious.
Though some are just in it for the love of the game, others are hoping that the Eagles' Super Bowl run will allow them to bring more attention to important causes. There were plenty of quirky bets placed ahead of the Eagles' victory against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, which brought a healthy dose of Philly spirit to Boston back in 2018.
Though it's unclear if Mayor Jim Kenney is planning to challenge Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas ahead of Sunday's game, the Eagles' last Super Bowl victory forced Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter to put an Eagles jersey on the statue of boxer Rocky Marciano. Carpenter also sent a bottle of Rocky Marciano wine to City Hall.
In the spirit of healthy competition, here are a few ways that organizations around Philadelphia are preparing for Sunday's big game and, in some cases, hoping to raise money to support residents in need.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been "competing" with three other children's hospitals around the country this postseason in a fundraising drive as part of the Touchdown for Kids' Health. Now, as the Eagles and the Chiefs head to the Super Bowl, fans can donate to CHOP or Children's Mercy Kansas City through Sunday night in order to see which children's hospital comes out victorious.
The @Eagles know how to create touchdowns on the field, now help us create touchdowns for kids health! 🙌 We're in a friendly challenge against @ChildrensMercy. Support our patients by donating today ➡️ https://t.co/XCq3wdYCtj. #TouchdownKidsHealth #FlyEaglesFly #ItsAPhillyThing pic.twitter.com/VdXdHg9gdB— Children's Hospital (@ChildrensPhila) February 6, 2023
The original donation goal of $15,000 per hospital has already been exceeded, but CHOP and Children's Mercy are still engaging in a friendly battle to see which city has the most sports pride. Philadelphia has raised $20,125 as of Tuesday afternoon, and Kansas City has raised $44,465.
San Francisco raised $75,885 for Stanford Medicine Children's Health and Cincinnati raised $13,213 for Cincinnati Children's Hospital when their teams were still in the playoffs. All of the funding will be donated to children's heart research at each hospital in honor of Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety who suffered cardiac arrest during a game against the Bengals in January.
Inspired by the big game, Philabundance has challenged Kansas City-based food network Harvesters to see who can raise the most funds to feed community members in need.
The Huddle to End Hunger began on Saturday, Feb. 4 and runs through midnight on Sunday, Feb. 12, when the Super Bowl LVII champion will be revealed.
"We are so grateful for any and all support for a serious issue: hunger in our communities," Loree Jones Brown, CEO of Philabundance, said in a release. "Every donation helps Philabundance meet the growing need for food and nutrition. The real winner here will be the communities we serve."
The food bank that raises the most money — regardless of the outcome of Sunday's game — will send some branded gear to the losing food bank, which the CEO will be required to wear. Stephen Davis, CEO of Harvesters, said that he fully accepts the challenge and is hoping he won't have to wear Eagles green on Monday.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has wagered a master painting from one of its signature collections on the Eagles' success in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Sasha Suda, the museum's director and CEO, has offered to loan a piece to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City in the event of a Philadelphia loss.
An Eagles victory, however, would bring a delegation from the Nelson-Atkins Museum to Philadelphia for a visit along with one of their paintings, which would be showcased on loan from the museum for several weeks.
"When the Eagles soar to victory, will will warmly greet our friends from the Nelson-Atkins and treat them to unforgettable cheesesteaks here in Philadelphia," said Suda. "They have such a remarkable collection, and we will be thrilled to share a piece of it with our visitors, in a very special Point After Touchdown. We'll make it feel right at home in our galleries and display it with Philly pride."
Julián Zugazagoitia, CEO and director of the Nelson-Atkins, added that "we expect to offer our Philadelphia friends something they'll long remember after the Chiefs make short work of the Eagles."
Following the Eagles' victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, the Art Museum received John Singleton Copley's "Mrs. James Warren (Mercy Otis)" on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
The Philadelphia Zoo is getting in on the action too, challenging the Kansas City Zoo in a Twitter exchange on Monday. If the Eagles win the Super Bowl on Sunday, "Polar Mahomes," a polar bear statue at the entrance to the Kansas City Zoo, must wear some Eagles gear. If the Chiefs take home the Lombardi Trophy, the Philly Zoo's elephant statue will don a Chiefs-branded outfit on Monday.
GETTING READY FOR THE BIG GAME! 🦅 🦅 Our red panda Khumbie is ready to cheer on the @Eagles in #SuperBowlLVII! Hey @KansasCityZoo, care to make it interesting with a friendly bet? pic.twitter.com/F46RaRECqh— Philly Zoo (@phillyzoo) February 6, 2023
The Kansas City Zoo accepted the challenge, adding that the winning team will also receive a donation to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' SAFE program of their choice. The SAFE programs leverage the expertise of zookeepers and aquarium owners to help save endangered species from extinction.
Students at Jay Cooke Elementary School in Logan have accepted a challenge from students at Chapel Hill Elementary School in Kansas City to see which group can read the most books by Friday, Feb. 10 in advance of Super Bowl Sunday, the School District announced on Monday.
Students in kindergarten through second grade will earn one point per book read, while students in third through fifth grades will receive one point per 10 pages read. Students in sixth through eighth grade will receive one point per 20 pages read. Green and black paper chains will be hung outside of the school's library to keep track of the challenge by the end of the week.
Kansas City schools previously placed this bet when they went to the Super Bowl in 2020, Fox 4 reported. While there is no grand prize for the winner, Jay Cooke Elementary will hold a pep rally to get students excited for reading on Wednesday morning.