Goodyear blimp to fly over 11 Florida hospitals to thank health care workers ahead of Manning-Brady golf match

The Goodyear Blimp will fly over 11 Florida hospitals this week to honor health care workers fighting COVID-19 on the front lines in the days leading up to a celebrity golf match that will raise millions for coronavirus relief.

The Wingfoot Two, one of the Goodyear airships famous for hovering above major sporting events around the country, hasn’t seen much action with pro sports seasons suspended or canceled due to the pandemic. But it’s in town for the “The Match: Champions for Charity” coronavirus relief event that will feature golf legends Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, as well as NFL all-time greats Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

In its return to service, the airship’s giant LED screen will show a scrolling “THANK YOU” message as it travels across the skies of the Sunshine State.

Similar flyovers, in tribute to health care workers and to lift the spirits of everyday Americans in coronavirus-stricken communities around the country, have been performed by the Navy’s Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds, as well as various squadrons of the Air National Guard and other organizations in recent weeks.

The blimp will fly over five hospitals in South Florida Friday beginning at noon: the Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Memorial Regional Hospital, Broward Health Medical Center and Holy Cross Hospital.

On Saturday, it will travel over six hospitals in North Florida, beginning with Broward Health North at 11:30 a.m. before it heads to Delray Medical Center, Bethesda Hospital East, JFK Medical Center and St. Mary’s Medical Center.

The charity golf match will see Woods and Manning take on Brady and Mickelson on Sunday to raise at least $10 million for coronavirus relief.

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When asked on the “Stupodity” podcast last week if he would ever get tired of beating Manning -- as he has done on the NFL field 11 times in 17 games -- Brady joked that he was happy he wasn’t facing Manning’s younger brother, Eli Manning.

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It was the younger Manning who led the New York Giants to beat Brady’s former New England Patriots in two Super Bowls.