BURLINGTON TWP. - Fans poured into local Dick’s Sporting Goods stores to get their hands on championship gear soon after the Philadelphia Eagles throttled the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game on Sunday night.
Don Carpenter of Burlington Township was one of those fans, who took advantage of extended store hours to grab some gear of his favorite team, which will face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.
The stores opened up minutes after the Eagles’ 38-7 victory, then reopened at 6 a.m. Monday so fans could rack up on E-A-G-L-E-S paraphernalia ranging from cups to T-shirts to sweatshirts and anything in between.
Carpenter was back in the store at the Towne Crossing shopping center on Route 541 early Monday to try to trade in his purchases, but the pickings had already dwindled at the location. A table of Eagles’ gear was nearly empty.
“I bought a Super Bowl shirt and my girlfriend a Super Bowl shirt as well,” Carpenter said. “I want to exchange it for a different size. They’re sold out."
As for the Eagles' performance Sunday, Carpenter said: "It was great. I hope they do it again in the Super Bowl. It’s amazing, 100 percent amazing. There was a lot of doubt but (Eagles backup quarterback Nick) Foles looks good. He looks amazing.”
Bob Goldstrom of Westampton was at the store to pick up some Eagles items to bring to his daughter, who's stationed in the Army at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Goldstrom was heading out to visit her later in the day.
“Go Eagles!” he said. “It was quite a game last night, yes it was."
This will be the Eagles's first Super Bowl appearance since 2005, when they lost to the Patriots, 24-21. Goldstrom is excited about the rematch.
“Hopefully they can get some revenge … We will see," he said. "I like the underdog role. I think it feeds them and everything. I think they really like the underdog role and can feed off of that, especially the defense.”
Linda Baker traveled to the Burlington Township store from Leisuretowne, a retirement community in Southampton, to get some gear and said she would be back later when another shipment came in.
The game had the lifelong Eagles fan emotional Sunday night.
“I cried my eyes out,” Baker said. “I was really emotional. I’ve waited a long time for this and I really think they’re going to go all the way. I think they played awesome.”
The Eagles beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship game, advancing to the Super Bowl. SJ fans are gearing up. Celeste E. Whittaker/Staff Photographer
At the Dick’s Sporting Goods in Mount Laurel, plenty of fans pored over merchandise Monday morning, some before work and some on their day off.
“We’re really excited to share this experience with our customers and Eagles fans,” said Maria Potalivo, a community marketing manager who was on site at the Eastgate Square shopping center location.
“We opened up right after the game last night so everyone could come in and get everything hot off the press and then we opened up early this morning at 6 a.m. and we have a great assortment of all the championship gear so everyone can come in and gear up for the next two weeks as we get ready for the Super Bowl,” she said.
Mark Trachtman of Mount Laurel bought NFC Championship T-shirts and pennants for him and his wife.
“I’m a long, long time Eagles fan,” he said. “The week before and last night was unbelievable. Amazing."
Danielle Korte of Cherry Hill, who was shopping for Eagles gear at the Mount Laurel store, believes the Eagles will have a better fate than their last Super Bowl appearance.
“I’m so excited. I’m glad they play the Patriots again and they get a chance to redeem themselves,” she said. “The last time it didn’t go so well. I think we’re going to win. I think we really thrive being the underdog and I think that we’re going to show them that Philly came to win."
Joe Horton of Delran had a basket piled up with shirts, mugs and pennants. He was still grinning from ear to ear about the win.
“It was exhilarating,” Horton said. “I’m on a high. It’s going to be two weeks and I can’t wait. I don’t know why anyone would ever do drugs or anything. This is the best high and the best feeling in the world.
“I know they’re going to win it. Absolutely. Last night’s game is what made me so confident. In Foles we trust.”
Celeste E. Whittaker: @cp_CWhittaker; 856-486-2437; firstname.lastname@example.org
Also in South Jersey:
- Burst pipes shutter Burlington mall, but will it reopen?
- Burlington Stores hosts job fair for new Burl. Twp. store
- Mount Holly coffee shop employs special needs adults