It was bound to happen. The rivalry between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles segued into a friendly rivalry between the two largest head races in the country, the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta (HOSR) and The Head Of The Charles Regatta (HOCR).
Serious social media banter began late last week between Brendan Mulvey, Director of Operations for the HOCR and Jen Wesson, Executive Director, HOSR, in the run up to the 52nd Super Bowl on Sunday. In response to the challenge, HOSR tweeted "Well, well @HOCR... paying attention to the 'underdog'...Philly is ready! Losing regatta sends friendly donation to winner's local water/park clean-up organization. And of course, bragging rights for best city/river/regatta/home to Champs!"
It was a tweet heard around the world… well, at least to hundreds of thousands of Patriots, Eagles, and rowing fans. Mulvey adapted both logos placing a Patriots jersey and Eagles helmets on the HOCR and HOSR rowers respectively. And off they went. Comparing river arches to goal posts and boat bow balls to inches, the two regattas revved up the banter throughout the weekend, fighting for bragging rights and hometown love. The social media challenge showed the regattas' support for their teams and demonstrated the spirit of competition and collaboration that both football and rowing offer.
After the Eagles flew down the road to [Super Bowl] victory, HOCR followed through on their promise: the regatta is donating $152 to a Philadelphia charity that parallels the HOSR's off water effort: striving for a litter free Philadelphia.
The HOCR tweeted its concession on Monday:
HOSR replied quickly:
Not In Philly is a non-profit organization that provides citizens with resources and incentives to clean up their blocks. In addition to donations from each organization, a clean-up day in Philadelphia is planned and HOSR volunteers will provide support.
Though the two regattas playfully tease each other over the Super Bowl win, Head of the Schuylkill Regatta and The Head Of The Charles Regatta also partner to support the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation in its work to promote and develop single sculling in America. Along with USRowing, the partnership established the Lotman Challenge in 2017 awarding cash prizes to the top three male and female finishers in a three-race series.
"Our partnerships are incredibly important to the success of rowing and historical races like HOSR and HOCR. We welcome any playful social media banter and challenges if it means creating an awareness of community initiatives and exposing the benefits of teamwork and sport. Bring it on!"
Check out the full Twitter 'moment' below: