When the New England Patriots try for their sixth Super Bowl victory this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, the teams will be playing for more than a championship. At stake is a bet between the archbishops of Boston and Philadelphia, each of whom predicts their hometown team will score a win and take home the Lombardi Trophy.
“In the spirit of friendly competition, we have issued our wager because we have confidence in our teams and, more importantly, based on our admiration for the commitment of the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots to assist their local communities and respond to the needs of the less fortunate,” Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, and Archbishop Charles Chaput, who heads the church in Philadelphia, said in a joint statement issued Wednesday.
Should the Pats win, which oddsmakers say is likely, Archbishop Chaput will donate $100 to Catholic Charities of Boston, enough to cover a heating bill for a family of four. In the event of an Eagles win, which would be a first for the franchise, Cardinal O’Malley will donate the same amount to Saint John’s Hospice, an organization that assists Philadelphia’s homeless.
In addition, each prelate has decided to put up some local cuisine as part of the bet, with Cardinal O’Malley wagering lobsters, a New England staple, and Archbishop Chaput, Philly cheesesteaks.
Each prelate has decided to put up some local cuisine as part of the bet.
As for the score, the cardinal thinks the Pats will edge out the Eagles 34 to 21, while Archbishop Chaput put his money on the Eagles, 24 to 20.
Betting aside, both archbishops praised the owners of the teams—both of whom happen to be from Massachusetts—for their commitments to the local communities.
“It is a blessing for the people of Philadelphia and Boston that Jeffrey Lurie and Robert Kraft have always held service to others as a foundational principle of their personal and professional lives,” the statement reads. “We pray for a safe and enjoyable Super Bowl for both teams and all spectators, and that the gifts of God’s love and peace may bring us closer together as a society.”
The Super Bowl is this Sunday in Minneapolis, with kick off at 6:30 ET.