January 17, 2018
They’re the Lords of Dogtown.
Philadelphia Eagles Lane Johnson and Chris Long ran off the field Saturday night with dog masks on their heads after beating the Falcons, a gimmick they came up with after oddsmakers made the top-seeded Eagles underdogs on their home field.
The two Eagles players were out to lunch last week, smarting that they were 2½-point home ’dogs in the divisional round, so Johnson said they found the latex German Shepherd masks on Amazon, stashed them on the sideline and pulled them on after they won.
“Just something a little fun,” Johnson had said.
Eagles fan punches police horse after being ejected from stadium
Now it’s a thing, the Eagles are getting points again at home in the NFC title game, and Philly has officially gone to the dogs.
The Eagles, getting 3 points against the Vikings, notified their rabid fans that indeed, dog masks will be permitted at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday night. Fans can put them on after they go through security, and now there’s a doggone craze sweeping the region that’s made the canine costumes a commodity.
Derek Lee of D&J Costumes in Northeast Philly answered the phone Tuesday morning and was in mid-conversation, talking about dogs, before he even said “hello.”
“Everybody’s calling,” he said. “This is big.”
Lee said he sold out of dog masks Monday and has an order in for 20 more that he expects in Wednesday. He’s hoping fans will settle for dalmations, because his distributor has already run dry and that’s all Lee could get his hands on before Sunday’s game.
It is difficult to find a store in Philadelphia that is still selling dog masks, and it is nearly impossible to find the exact replica of the ones Johnson and Long wore last weekend. Amazon swifty sold out of the masks the Eagles wore Saturday.
Lane Johnson and Chris Long wore dog masks to celebrate their victory as underdogs against the Falcons.
“There’s no more around,” Lee said. “You can’t get the German Shepherds in America.”
The Daily News was unable to find masks at several other costume stores. Pierre’s Costumes on 3rd Street said they don’t normally stock the masks but they’ve gotten a “ton” of calls about them. Party City on Cottman Avenue also did not have any in stock.
Eagles stop Falcons at goal line, advance to NFC title game
While dog masks are hard to come by, underdog-inspired merchandise is also in high demand in Philly. Johnson is selling his own “Home Dogs Gotta Eat” T-shirts, with an image of he and Long wearing the masks on the front. He’s hawking them on his website for $18 a pop, and all the money he makes will be donated to the School District of Philadelphia.
The Monkey’s Uncle, a retro sports fashion shop in Doylestown, Pa., put their own green “Philadelphia Underdogs” shirts on sale Monday night. Owner Derrick Morgan said they sold “several dozen” in the first few hours and had to place a second order with the printer that he hopes to have in by Friday or Saturday, ahead of the big game.
And if the Eagles should advance to the Super Bowl, dog demand may even increase.
Sports fashion fads have been around forever. In 2001, Jets fans wore green Shrek ears because the team made a habit of winning ugly games. The Packers wear cheese on their heads and Detroit Red Wings fans have a special place in their hearts, and maybe their wardrobes, for octopus-related swag. Cleveland Browns fans have been wearing masks and populating the Dawg Pound for years, and Raiders fans have always dressed like they’re going to a Halloween party. Frankly, it’s surprising Darth Vader’s likeness never became a thing at Yankee Stadium, where the Evil Empire calls home.
‘Disrespected’ Eagles, the No. 1 seed, face Falcons as underdogs
But underdogs (and point spreads) have been around even longer than those fashion statements, so it’s surprising nobody ever embraced the underdog character this hard until now.
Philadelphia has gone to the dogs, but perhaps this is the birth of a new trend in sports where underdog teams will continue to literally dress the part.
“I think it’s going to be a thing,” Lee said.
BY EVAN GROSSMAN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 12:45 AM