After Philly violence, a battle of goodwill with Minnesota

Where football is concerned, it’s getting to be that charity begins on the road.

A week after Minnesota fans inundated a New Orleans Saints player’s charitable foundation with cash in admiration for his sportsmanship, Philadelphia fans — some of them, anyway — are pouring money into Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer’s charitable foundation, too.

“We are just under $7,000 as of this morning and the donations keep rolling in,” Corri Zimmer, who oversees the family foundation, tells ESPN. “They started coming in yesterday morning, sent with messages from Eagles fans apologizing for the bad apples and wanted to donate to show that they all are not like that. A lot of them also congratulated us on our season, complimented our team and said they look forward to competing against us next year.”

Seven-thousand dollars is nice. But, it’s nowhere near the $200,000 Vikings fans came up with for Saints punter Thomas Morstead’s charity — which he’s giving to Children’s Hospital — after the Vikings beat the Saints nearly two weeks ago.

And it’s still shy of the $12,000 Minnesotans are trying to send back to Philadelphia by way of a Farmington woman’s campaign to contribute to the Philadelphia Eagles charitable fundation.

“It would be easy for us to get mad, easy for us to welcome them to our home town with that same level of respect, but that’s NOT us.” Jessica Leibrock said on her GoFundMe campaign page.

But it seems every charitable challenge is met with another one.

Eagles fans don dog masks because their team was rated an underdog in its first-round playoff game and is an underdog in next month’s Super Bowl. So Eagles fan Seth Oberlin, 24, of Phoenix (his dad was from Pennsylvania), has also set up a fundraiser to direct money to Underdog Rescue, a Minnesota charity that finds homes for dogs, most of whom are rescued from the commercial breeding industry.

“I was inspired this week after seeing the support that many Vikings fans have given to Thomas Morstead from the Saints as well as the Eagles Charitable Foundation,” he said in an email. “There’s a lot of similarity between Vikings fans and Eagles fans, even if neither wants to admit it. They’re both incredibly passionate fans from blue collar, hard working areas. I felt like it was Philly’s turn to give back.”

Last year the organization found homes for 863 dogs, according to volunteer Kelly Barto, who said the money will be helpful to offset the expenses of medical treatment for the dogs they require after being rescued (example).

In a day, the campaign raised $1,000 toward a $52,000 goal.

The organization will get the money even if it doesn’t reach the goal, minus a 30-cents-per-donation fee and a 2.9% credit card company fee.