It’s actually going to happen. The mural of a bald eagle gripping Tom Brady will become a permanent part of the Philadelphia streetscape — with one major change:
Tom Brady will be left out of the picture.
The original image, which was painted on the outside wall of Meg Saligman Studio in Bella Vista, went viral during the runup to Super Bowl LII. Eagles fans from all over the region made special trips and detours to the 800 block of Bainbridge to snap selfies with the flying football predator.
Saligman is a renowned muralist, with a handful of recognizable artwork already scattered around the city. So after the Eagles championship win, she and her crew decided to try to harness the love to create a long-lasting tribute.
They launched a crowdfunding campaign to turn the streetside sketch into a real deal mural. It ends on Friday, and so far, Indiegogo shows about $13,500 has been raised toward the $60,000 goal. But combined with support from “a number of local corporate sponsors, both large and small,” that’s apparently enough.
This week, Saligman Studio announced the project will definitely be moving forward.
Per the studio, a Center City location has been secured. Though the exact address has not been revealed, it is referred to as “prominent.” Also, Dan Edenbaum of Drago Illumination — whose credits include designing lighting for the Liberty Bell and the Ben Franklin Bridge — has agreed to add his expertise to the team.
However, the issue many people had with the original mural was that it had a New England Patriot in it.
“Why would you put a member of the opposing team on the mural, even if he is in the talons of the eagle?” wrote one Billy Penn reader on Facebook.
“Why would you immortalize the opponent? Did the Eagles win, or did Brady lose?” wrote another.
“We will win again,” pointed out one optimistic fan. “Don’t narrow our purview!”
Saligman took the feedback into account. The new design has been modified so that it no longer highlights a rival team, and is “100 percent about the Eagles.”
What will be in the majestic bird’s talons when it takes up permanent residence on the Philly skyline? The Lombardi Trophy, of course.
And the trophy-toting eagle is on track to show up soon. The new installation should be completed by this summer, potentially as soon as July, Saligman told Billy Penn.
“Once we get permits, permissions [and] equipment,” she said, “we will be ready to rock and roll so we can celebrate this special year before, during and after the championship flags fly above the Linc!”