Pope Francis, Sam Bradford Petition Took Off Faster Than Expected: Temple Student | NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Pope Francis, Sam Bradford Petition Took Off Faster Than Expected: Temple Student

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    Newly-acquired Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford smiles as he addresses the media during a news conference at the team's NFL football practice facility, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    When diehard Eagles fan Pratik Patel set out to create a petition requesting Pope Francis bless Sam Bradford's knees, he didn't expect it to be this popular.

    "I made it for fun basically," said Patel. "While making it, I knew it had a chance to go viral- just not this quick!"

    The Temple student's "Have Pope Francis Bless Sam Bradford's Knees" petition was created Friday, and it took off instantaneously.

    "I made a @BradfordPope215 account... and kept tagging different media outlets that would love the story," Patel said.

    Barstool picked it up first, and eventually major news stations nationwide had picked up on it, including the NFL. The petition surpassed 5,300 signatures Wednesday afternoon.

    The petition reads: "With this Eagles season coming up, a lot of our Super Bowl hopes rely on Sam Bradford's knees staying healthy. So, with one of the most religious representatives in the world visiting our wonderful place we call home, how about we get him to bless Bradford's knees during his visit to Philly! This town deserves a Super Bowl, and a healthy Bradford is the only way we will have a parade down Broad Street!"

    Bradford has suffered multiple ACL tears in his NFL career, and was traded to Philadelphia from the St. Louis Rams this offseason.

    The quarterback was originally unaware of the petition, but said upon finding out, "I think that would be pretty cool. If he wanted to bless my knees, I'd be all for it."

    Patel mentioned that he would be in attendance at the Eagles preseason game on Sunday, and said it's a great time to spread the word.

    "We can make this happen as a city," Patel said.