Friends first. Super fans? Always.

Neutral turf.

That’s what New York City will be for two of America’s Best Young Dentists when Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine hosts its annual photo session to prepare for the fall edition that honors the profession’s  “40 Under 40”.

Later this week at a brand new destination near Madison Square Garden: Rock & Reilly’s, beautiful rooftop views of the city are sure to offer an awe-inspiring setting for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

But if  Dr. Giles Willis Jr., of Willis Family Dentistry in Cary, North Carolina, has his way, a golden-hued Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towel will make its way into the prop cabinet. Or if his longtime friend (and fierce NFL sports team rival) Dr. Taurance N. Bishop, of Smile Brite Dental Care, Newark, Delaware, prevails, a bright purple Baltimore Ravens jersey will serve as the backdrop on the photo set.

Though friends since 1999, during their dental school days at Howard University College of Dentistry, their intense sports competition did not come to life until 2000 when the Ravens won the Super Bowl, according to Dr. Bishop (shown, above left, in the Ravens T-shirt in 2015 when the Ravens won 23-20 in Pittsburgh during the closing seconds of the game, and above right, with a Terrible Towel in 2010 after the Steelers won in Baltimore 13-10.)

Then about seven or eight years ago, Dr. Willis explained, they began attending NFL games together – a tradition as diehard as their friendship.

“In the cold, rain, night games, and season openers, even playoff games,” Willis said they attend. “He pays for the Ravens tickets and I pay for the Steelers. We have a standing bet that the loser of the game wears the other person’s jersey right there in the stadium. It can be quite humiliating, but sooooo fun!”

When asked if they can recall their favorite game moments, their instant responses (and willingness to provide photos of the competition loser in rival gear) speak volumes:

“The best memory was when the Ravens beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh in the final seconds of the game 2015.”

“Week 13, 2010. (Troy) Palomalu jumps on Joe Flacco in Baltimore in the 4th quarter, with minutes left for the strip sack. Steelers win 13-10.”

Dr. Bishop confirmed that no matter whose team reigns supreme, their good sportsmanship prevails on and off the field.

“We meet for lectures, games, school events and family gatherings. We often talk to discuss difficult cases and practice ideas,” he said.

The Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 photo session later this week will provide another opportunity.

“I’m excited that we both were nominated, and chosen,” said Dr. Willis.

Already in his suitcase? A Terrible Towel, of course.

“For the photo shoot, just in case we get a few pics together.”

 

 

 

 

 

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