PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The former Philadelphia Housing Authority police chief is now guarding the enemy, so to speak. The diehard Eagles fan has a new job in the heart of Patriots Nation.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Dr. Branville Bard grew up loving the Eagles, hoping and praying for a Super Bowl win.
“I remember shedding a tear as a little boy when they lost to the Oakland Raiders in 1980,” he says.
Last August, he got a dream job as Commissioner of the Cambridge Police Department in Massachusetts, adjacent to the Boston epicenter of Patriots Nation. To avoid the hate, he watched games at home out of the site of Pats fans, but fanned the flames of a friendly football rivalry within the department.
“They always ask, ‘who you supporting, who you supporting, who you supporting,’ as if there would be any question,” he chuckled.
But the day after the Patriots clinched the AFC Title and his Eagles nabbed the NFC Championship, Bard decided to throw down the gauntlet by prominently displaying his Reggie White and Randall Cunningham jerseys for all of his officers to see.
“To eliminate all questions,” he says, “now you can’t get off the elevator without seeing them.”
It’s sparked commentary on Twitter and more trash talking at work that’ll likely continue over the next two weeks. Bard, of course, predicts it’ll end at the Super Bowl.
“I will not be watching the game with Patriots fans unless it’s in Minnesota,” he says, “but I know they are just as passionate as we are, but we have been looking for bragging rights in Philadelphia for a long, long time.”
Bard is looking for tickets to Minnesota. He went to Superbowl XXXIX and believes this is finally the Eagles’ time.