PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles fans, desperate for the organization to win its first NFL championship since 1960, have turned to a higher power than coach Chip Kelly.
The pontiff is scheduled to visit Philadelphia in late September. He is scheduled to give Mass on Sept. 27, the day the Eagles play a game against the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. Ambitious Eagles fans started a Change.org petition asking for Pope Francis to bless the knees of Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford.
Perhaps this will reverse the whole snowballs-at-Santa narrative.
Bradford has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee twice, ending each of his last two seasons with the St. Louis Rams. Kelly traded for Bradford in March, taking the chance that Bradford could get through the season without incident.
"This town deserves a Super Bowl," the petition says, "and a healthy Bradford is the only way we will have a parade down Broad Street! Please sign this petition and Go Eagles and Welcome to Philly, Pope Francis!!!!"
The petition, started by Pratik Patel of Audubon, Pennsylvania, had 1,700 online signatures by 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
One of the petition's signatories -- Jeremy Briggs of Hemet, California -- expressed a typical sentiment: "I would like my grandpa [to] see the Eagles have a chance to win a Super Bowl," Briggs wrote.