PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Super Bowl 55 is Sunday on CBS3, and a couple of Philadelphia-area natives will be in the stands. They’re getting a break from fighting on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a thank you for their incredibly hard work, the NFL is offering some 7,500 health care workers tickets to Super Bowl 55 in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday. Most of those 7,500 work on the frontlines near Tampa, but Eyewitness News caught up with a few of them who have direct connections to Philadelphia and are huge Eagles fans.READ MORE: Philadelphia Students To Remain Virtual As Mediation Process Between School District, Teachers' Union On Phased Reopening Nearing End
When the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018, Luke O’Neill’s South Florida neighbors knew it.
“I was the only person screaming at their television. I went outside. I set off both of our car alarms,” O’Neill said.
The Haddonfield, New Jersey, native is a second-year resident at the University of South Florida, where he’s been on the frontlines at Tampa General Hospital helping care for patients stricken with COVID-19.
“It’s tough because this is a tough illness,” O’Neill said. “And you’re thinking, you’re seeing sick folks come in. It’s always there. It’s always in the differential. You’re always worried about it. Could this be from COVID? Is this from COVID?”
So, when O’Neill heard from the Eagles’ front office that he was selected to attend Super Bowl 55 in Tampa, he said he was honored to be part of it.
“It’s an incredible opportunity. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to the Super Bowl,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill won’t be the only guy representing Philly this weekend.
“I’m a registered nurse at Tampa General Hospital’s recovery room,” Kevin Boyd said.
Boyd, also offered a ticket, is a born and bred Philadelphian. He even worked for the Eagles as a volunteer strength and conditioning coach back in 2014.READ MORE: Delaware County Company Develops 'The Hurricane,' Device Using UVC Technology To Kill Coronavirus
“It means a lot. I mean, everything that we’ve been through for pretty much the last year,” Boyd said. “We didn’t know what we were facing initially and now that we have an opportunity like this. It’s like I won the lottery.”
But those lottery tickets are only for those selected and vaccinated health care workers.
Do they get a second ticket to bring someone?
“We do not. Unfortunately, that is the first question my wife had,” Boyd said, “and the answer is, unfortunately, no.”
Both O’Neill and Boyd will be wearing their Eagles colors this Sunday at the game.
CBS3 is the place to watch Super Bowl 55. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. and kickoff between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is at 6:30 p.m.
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