If you’re noticing a lot of Eagles fans wearing dog masks, there’s a story behind the late Halloween costumes. The Eagles have not been favored in a 2018 playoff game despite being tied for the best record in the NFL, and entering the postseason as the NFC’s No. 1 seed. You can understand this has not gone over well with Eagles players, and two players decided to have some fun with their newfound underdog status.
Why have the Eagles been underdogs? Philadelphia lost starting quarterback Carson Wentz towards the end of the regular season causing many in Vegas to be skeptical of the Eagles offense without Wentz. Nick Foles has performed better than many expected, and has been a big reason why the Eagles reached Super Bowl LII.
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Chris Long and Lane Johnson brought dog masks to Lincoln Financial Field during their first playoff game against the Falcons hoping they would have the opportunity to wear the masks after an Eagles victory. Long and Johnson got their wish, and could be seen wearing the masks after the game. Long went with a German Shepard mask, and explained to NBC Sports how they came up with the idea.
“So I [got] this mask,” Long explained to NBC Sports. “Somebody was like, ‘What’s up with the wolf mask?’ First of all, it’s a German shepherd. And it’s the underdog mask and I wasn’t going to field any questions but I decided I would field them in the dog mask.”
Long could be seen drinking a beer through the dog mask after the Eagles’ NFC Championship victory.
“Just having some fun,” Johnson told NBC Sports. “We were called underdogs all week so I figured we needed a good dog mask. I had it hidden in [Jason Peters’] coat. If we hadn’t won the [Falcons] game that mask would have never been seen.”
The stunt prompted many Philly fans to join in on the fun, and embrace the chip on the shoulder mentality the Eagles players are using as motivation. The masks could be seen all over the stadium during the NFC Championship. The challenge for Eagles fans has been finding dog masks to buy as many of the Amazon sellers sold out.
According to ESPN, one Amazon distributor restocked their supply, and sold 200 masks in six hours on the Monday heading into the NFC Championship game. ESPN also reported another Amazon store raised the price of a mask from $16 to $39.99 to keep up with the demand.
While Eagles fans are turning all kinds of dog masks into underdog masks, the German Shepherd likeness has become especially popular given it matches what Long and Johnson originally wore.
Johnson turned the popularity of the underdog story into a charity opportunity by selling dog shirts on his website to raise money for Philadelphia schools. According to CNBC, the Eagles offensive lineman also collaborated with Oldies.com to sell masks with 65 percent of the proceeds going towards Philadelphia schools.
The popularity of the shirts caused the NFL to create their own version.
After Long and Johnson suggested the NFL also donate the proceeds to charity, the league agreed to follow suit.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Johnson’s idea has raised over 100,000 for the School District of Philadelphia. For those wondering, fans will be allowed to wear the dog masks during the Super Bowl, but will have to take them off to get through security. One challenge with the masks, there is not a lot of visibility, so it is difficult to watch the football game while wearing the mask.
Yes, the Eagles are once again underdogs in the Super Bowl as the Patriots are favored by 4.5 points heading into the big game.