By Chris Rotolo |
SEA BRIGHT – The National Football League will see the NFC Championship decided on Sunday in Philadelphia, but the opening salvo of this anticipated meeting between the Eagles and Minnesota Vikings was heard, not in the City of Brotherly Love, but at the Borough Council meeting on Tuesday.
Prior to a session that saw the approval of the purchase of a new Department of Public Works Vehicle (a 2018 Ford F250 Cab Pickup Truck), as well as the acceptance of a proposal allowing T & M Associates to prepare a benefit cost analysis for an Additional Funding HMGP Flood Mitigation Grant — which was used for the reconstruction of six bulkheads and new pump stations around town — two local residents, draped in the colors of their favorite football teams, were called to the front of the room by councilman Charles Rooney.
This “showdown” between Susan O’Connor — dressed in the green and silver of her Eagles — and Joe Eskridge — who donned the purple and gold of his Vikings — was engineered by Rooney, who explained how his manipulation of the borough’s Welcome to Historic Sea Bright sign this past weekend caused a bit of a stir.
“Some of you know that I take care of the sign, and about a year ago I put some lights on that sign,” Rooney said. “On Saturday afternoon I sent a text message to Susan letting her know that I put green lights on the sign for the Eagles, and she was very excited. The next day I put it out on Facebook that I lit the sign up purple for Joey Eskridge, because he is a huge Vikings fan and they had a very big win on Sunday. Then Susan left a comment of her own…”
O’Connor discovered Rooney’s post and left a comment in jest that the councilman ought to readjust the sign’s coloring, implying that her Eagles would have their way with the opposition on Jan. 21.
The exchange led to Tuesday’s meeting, where the pair were called upon to partake in an official coin flip to decide what color the sign would be illuminated during the first and second halves of Sunday’s title game. O’Connor won the flip, earning the right to have Sea Bright’s bridge-side placard dressed in green for the first two quarters of play.
LOVATO SET TO SUIT UP FOR EAGLES
Though a Lincroft resident, Rick Lovato Sr. was on hand Tuesday evening to assist with Rooney’s coin flip, representing his son — Rick Lovato Jr. — who will be suiting up on Sunday for Philadelphia.
Lovato Jr., who helped Middletown South to three straight state finals appearances from 2008 through 2010, will serve as the Eagles long snapper on Sunday against the Vikings, and received a series of well-wishes from Rooney at Tuesday’s session.
“We wish him the best of luck this weekend, we’re all pulling for him back here,” Rooney said. “We know he’s going to have a great game, and we hope he’s able to help bring his team to victory. Everybody is behind him.”
Lovato will wear number 45 for the Eagles, who are set to kick off against the Vikings at 6:40 p.m. on Sunday.
A MOMENT OF SILENCE
Following Tuesday’s roll call, council president Mark Leckstein asked all in attendance to rise and join him in a moment of silence to honor Sea Bright resident Thomas Scriven, who passed away at the age of 82 on Jan. 6. Scriven served as a Sea Bright councilman from 2005 to 2008.
This article was first published in the Jan. 18-25, 2018 print edition of the Two River Times.
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