Eagles fans offer kidneys, naming rights for Super Bowl tickets | Helen Ubiñas
Eagles fans desperate to get to the Super Bowl share creative, funny and sometimes heartbreaking stories about why it would mean everything - E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! - for them to go to the Big Game.
One fan offered a kidney.
Another offered whatever body part it took.
Others offered play-by-play pictures, eternal gratitude, and naming (or renaming) their first-born after whichever fairy football godmother came through with tickets.
And yet another enterprising Eagles fan risked premarital bliss by saying he'd forgo everything on his wedding registry — even the marriage-saving crock pot — in exchange for a couple of Super Bowl tickets. If she loved him, surely she'd understand!
After Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game, Eagles fans wasted no time jumping on social media to make brazen pitches for Super Bowl tickets.
Even before the playoff game ended, Philly fans from across the country turned to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and numerous crowd-sourcing sites like GoFundMe to get their asks in. The pleas came in fast, funny, and, best of all, shameless.
Bottom line: They would do anything for tickets.
On Twitter, @SuperDave26 got specific: "If there is anyone who has access to Super Bowl tickets and needs a kidney, I will donate mine in exchange."
@AStumpo11 got prenuptially brave: "Would it be wrong if I put 2 tickets to the @Eagles Super Bowl as the only thing on my wedding registry? I don't really need a knife set or crockpot. #AskingForAFriend.
Many were joking — fans got caught up in the moment just trying to have a little fun, and show off their Philly senses of humor or trademark colorful honesty:
"Broke ass b—- trying to get to the Super Bowl."
Even those who claimed they posted in jest conceded a small part of them held out hope that someone might see their post and make their dreams come true. And why not: Hope has been the long-tortured Eagles fan's go-to emotion.
Justin Bartolomeo of Glenolden asked for a mere $15,000 on GoFundMe — which actually might be a little low, given how much the trip of a lifetime is going for. Although face values of tickets for Super Bowl LII range from $950 for the cheap seats to $5,000 for fancyville, it's almost impossible for regular fans to get their hands on the golden tickets. Between pricier tickets from secondary markets, such as StubHub, airfare, hotel and all the Super Bowl fixings, you're looking at taking out a not-so-small loan.
"I have been a loser my entire life," Bartolomeo said, striking a common chord in his post. "And I want to experience the Eagles being winners, which in turn won't make me feel like such a loser virgin dork … "
Funny, but for the record, Bartolomeo, 31, is none of those things. He's gainfully employed, married, and has a 15-month-old daughter whom he is raising to be a diehard Eagles fan.
It was hard not to notice all the similarities in the posts: They are all diehard fans, each and every one is the team's No. 1 fan. Going to the Super Bowl is a lifelong dream whether they were born in this millennium or 99 years ago.
Fans got creative. Some weaved (sometimes tall) tales. Others turned to scripture. Many claimed that they were the team's good-luck charm. Shut 'em out at your own risk, Eagles.
The fiancee of one of Ryan Fehr's friends gave the lyrics of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air a twist in hope of getting him home from California to watch the game with his father.
In West Chester, born and raised
On the playground is where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool
And all cheerin' on some Eagles outside of the school
When a couple of Patriots who were up to no good
Started makin' trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
And said "You're going to the Super Bowl with your daddy to fly with Carson and his crew …"
That last part is obviously wishful thinking, but with the help of his friends, Fehr, 27 and an only child from Schuylkill Haven, Pa., said he is planning to be home to watch the game with his dad.
Of all the posts, though, one stood out and broke my heart. If there is a shot at getting a ticket, I'm rooting big time for Andrew Immordino.
Immordino lives in California but is from Lambertville, N.J. He posted his fund-raising plea a few days before the playoff game.
"Send Me To The Superbowl For My Bro," he wrote on GoFundMe.
Immordino's brother, Scott Mantz, died suddenly of a heart attack on New Year's Eve at age 31.
Scott had became more of a father to him, Immordino said, when their mother died in a drinking and driving accident when he was 3, and 11 years later when his father died of a drug overdose.
"He was pretty much everything to me," Immordino said of his brother.
The boys bonded over many things, but sports was among the biggest, specifically their beloved Eagles. On the funeral home prayer card, the family put: "Scott T. Mantz, February 17, 1986 — December 31, 2017. Fly, Eagles, fly."
On the night of the playoff game, Immordino was back in California watching the playoff alone. After the 38-7 Eagles win, he broke down.
The number 38 was his brother's favorite, the one he wore for his high school football team.
"It just felt like he was with me, like he was telling me he was OK and that he was happy," said Immordino.
He'd been saving money to go to the Super Bowl, but it was the final score that told him he had to find a way to go to Minneapolis with his brother's ashes.
"I would love to get his ashes to the game so he could see his Eagles play in their most important game of the season," he wrote. "I know the team could use a 12th [man] on the field!"