For Eagles fans, joke "underdog" masks are serious business

When the Philadelphia Eagles lost their star quarterback Carson Wentz to injuries last month, oddsmakers expected the team to quickly fade out of the NFL playoffs. That's why moments after the Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons on Jan. 14, offensive lineman Lane Johnson and defensive end Chris Long donned rubber German Shepherd masks as evidence of the team's gusto in embracing its status as underdogs.

Eagles fans soon wanted in on the joke and started buying their own dog masks, creating both a windfall and a headache for businesses that provide bits of latex make-believe that people usually wear on Halloween. Demand was further bolstered heading into this weekend's NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings because oddsmakers once are pegging the Eagles to lose. 

However, Eagles fans hoping to join in on the fun are out of luck.

Divisional Round - Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles defensive end Chris Long celebrates after the underdog team's 15-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional Playoff game.

Al Bello / Getty Images

China-based manufacturer Creepy Party is sold out of the masks that Johnson and Lane made famous and won't be able to take orders on Amazon (AMZN) until Jan. 25, according to its website. Other Amazon sellers can't deliver similar canine disguises until February at the earliest. Switching breeds doesn't help: Siberian Huskies won't be in stock until Jan. 26, and a Labrador Retriever can't be delivered until next month under standard shipping.

"We are producing the mask as much as possible," Creepy Party said in English. "Once the Philadelphia Eagles win the next football game, we will send all of our products to America with the fastest logistics channel."

The Eagles are playing along with the joke, telling fans headed to Sunday's game at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field that they're welcome to bring their dog masks -- as long as they take them off while going through security.

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    Jonathan Berr is an award-winning journalist and podcaster based in New Jersey whose main focus is on business and economic issues.