The ‘Home Dog’ Phenomenon Is Philly Fans’ Greatest Triumph Yet
There is home field advantage, and then there is 65,000 screaming psychopaths wearing creepy latex dog masks in the middle of January.
Lane Johnson’s strut off the field in a twisted German Sheppard mask was the perfect final touch on a night that will go down as one of the top 5 most iconic moments in franchise history. A night that once more united a city, restoring confidence that this still could be THE year. The movement that came after it, embodies what the city of Philadelphia is all about.
On the surface, the dog mask is simply a representation of just that, a dog. A team with the best record in football, blatantly disrespected by everyone, slapped with the label of underdog against the lowest possible seed this playoff format has to offer. The motivation of proving the underdog label was an undeserved one delivered the win and the introduction of the mask to the city. But, if you’ve taken any bull shit high school English class, you know there are always underlying themes.
The mask is ugly, it’s imperfect. I really don’t know who goes on Halloween as a dog but that’s besides the point. The true underlying theme is that being ugly and imperfect may just be the way we get to our first ever Super Bowl parade.
We’ve all envisioned how we would get there and after drafting Carson Wentz, we believed he was the one to do it. When he became an MVP candidate, most of us KNEW he’d be the one to do it. It would be the perfect, fairytale ending: Wentz over Brady in the Super Bowl, ushering in a new era of dominance where Wentz reigns supreme and the Brady/Belichick regime dies off. Except, if we’ve learned anything as Philly sports fans, it’s that nothing will ever come close to perfect. We’ve been through injuries, “injuries” if you’re Markelle Fultz, and heartbreak. The perfect ending doesn’t exist (although free Bud Light for an entire city does seem close). Carson Wentz as the MVP, hoisting the trophy is the dream ending. But maybe, squeaking out 15-10 wins behind the arm of Nick Foles is the realistic one, the one only this city could appreciate.
Right now, some poor shmuck at an Amazon packaging and distribution center, is cluelessly fulfilling an influx of creepy dog mask orders. When we show up on Sunday to that game in those fucked up masks, it’ll be like the taunting CC Sabathia during Brett Myers at bat, defining moment of the year for our fan base. Hopefully it’s the defining fan moment of our first Super Bowl victory and God can only hope it overtakes the Santa/snowballs story.
In Vegas, we’re underdogs. At The Linc, we’re just straight up dogs. It’s the way it’s gotta be.