Football is a big deal in Philadelphia, and this year’s Eagles season was nothing short of memorable. I was so grateful that SIG’s founder Jeff Yass was taking me and about 50 other employees (and a guest!) to this year’s Super Bowl.
In the days approaching our big trip, I bought green paper at an art store for an entirely unrelated project. While I was walking back from the store, a woman on the street (assuming I was making an Eagles sign) shouted “GO BIRDS” at me and I thought, “she’s right! Why not make a sign for the game?”
I spent the rest of the day using my green paper for my other project, and completely forgot about the sign idea. But as I left the house to head to the airport, inspiration struck, and I quickly grabbed some paper, markers, tape, and an old piece of cardboard and walked out the door.
On the SIG bus to the airport, we discussed ideas for funny signs. Someone suggested “marry me, Jalen Hurts,” but that’s not really my style. We couldn’t think of anything that was the right combination of short, comical, and clever, so I decided to go a different route.
I wanted to make a hunt of some sort, a contest, a riddle with a prize, something that real Philly fans could solve faster than the average Super Bowl watcher.
I spent the first half of the flight developing the plan and texting friends in Philly to help set it up. The second half was spent hunched over my tray table coloring in letters and numbers on my 8.5 x 11 papers.
On the bus to the stadium, I assembled the papers into this:
Once we got into the stadium, people started taking pictures. Some people asked for hints. Some people thought it was a joke. Other reactions included: “What’s ETH?” and “Put down the cardboard!” and “Oh. Math…”
Naturally, everyone was too busy watching the game to solve my puzzle during the Super Bowl itself. But on Monday, I started to get messages on Twitter about it, so I knew there were people at work on solving.
Around noon, the first correct answer came through. 1 ETH claimed.
If you want to try solving it yourself, please pause here. But for people who are interested – here is the explanation.
The numbers on the sign correspond to Eagles jersey numbers.
T.J. Edwards (57)
Haason Reddick (7)
Isaac Seumalo (56)
Robert Quinn (98)
DeVonta Smith (6)
A.J. Brown (11)
Rick Lovato (45)
C.J. Gardner-Johnson (23)
Haason Reddick (7)
Reading the first letters of their names gives you THIRD & ARCH. If you go to the intersection of 3rd & Arch Streets in Philly, you will find a QR code.
Scanning the QR code will give you three sets of lyrics from Philadelphia songs and the following instructions: “Each song will give you a number n. Take the nth letter of the song artist to find the answer. DM the answer to @chexmatrix on Twitter.”
Solving this puzzle will give you the answer = FLY.
More Philly puzzles to come! This was a really fun activity for me to put together on a very fun trip with my coworkers. I love seeing that Philadelphians are passionate about both sports and puzzles, and look forward to creating more Philly hunts in the future!