CHARLESTON S.C. (WCBD) – Dr. David French, an E.R. Physician at the Trident Medical Center, will be headed to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face-off against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The invitation comes after the NFL announced their plan to honor front-line workers by providing the chance of a lifetime: free tickets. Dr. French is one of the 7,500 healthcare workers selected to attend in-person.
For Dr. David French, his story of heading to the big game with nine of his closest friends began in 2005 when he met a group of friends through his residency at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The group bonded over both their love for football and their strenuous schedule.
The recent medical students stayed close throughout their residency. Post-graduation, they try to gather each Super Bowl weekend. But with the high demand for physicians amid a global pandemic, the thought of gathering this year was far from reality.
“At that point, it didn’t seem like we were going to be going anywhere,” said Dr. French.
But not all in his group lost hope, especially when the NFL announced their intention to have 7,500 vaccinated front-line workers seated for the game at Raymond James Stadium in Flordia.
Dr. French said when his classmates learned the news, one sent a typed letter to the NFL Commissioner which explained their situation and tradition of reuniting each year on Super Bowl weekend.
Following their story, they added that it would be a tremendous honor to get to go to the Super Bowl after the hardships the pandemic has shown them.
While unclear who wrote them back, some good news was delivered – one week ago, they received a ‘yes’ and 10 tickets.
“Everyone was pretty excited about it, and the whole group has been vaccinated. So, we’ve been taking care of COVID patients all over the country and taking care of some pretty sick folks … it was great for us to get in line to get the vaccine. Then, you know, this is just a great benefit on top of it,” he said.
Dr. French said when it comes to Super Bowl-related activities before and after the game, they will be playing it safe. Even though they have received the vaccine, they do not want to bring the virus home to their friends or loved ones.
As for who Dr. French said he plans to root for this weekend, he said as a Panthers fan; he’s simply excited to see both Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes in action.