Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagles Enjoying Time on Big Stage

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagles Enjoying Time on Big Stage

Article excerpt

Byline: The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Wrestling masks have replaced the dog masks.

The underdog Philadelphia Eagles are having fun with the media frenzy leading up to the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. They're staying relaxed, loose and won't be intimidated by their opponent's incredible success.

Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson on Wednesday donned masks that resembled the ones WWE star Rey Mysterio and other luchadores wear in the ring.

"This was a gift from Mexico so I can have super powers all week," Cox said about the green mask featuring an Eagles logo.

"I'm just having fun right now. We know why

we're here. We can't come into this all uptight. You have fun when it's time to have fun and get serious when it's time to get serious."

Johnson and defensive end Chris Long pulled out German shepherd masks and wore them off the field and in their interviews after the Eagles beat Atlanta in the divisional round. The Eagles (15-3) were the first No. 1 seed to enter their first playoff game as an underdog.

The city, which has always had an underdog personality, embraced the masks. Johnson and Long then turned it into a charitable venture. They created underdog T-shirts that were sold with all proceeds going to the Philadelphia school district's not-for-profit arm.

The Eagles were underdogs again in the NFC championship game and routed the Vikings 38-7. They're in the same spot against the Patriots, who are 41/2-point favorites on Sunday. But these Eagles don't fear Bill Belichick, Tom Brady or New England's dynasty. Johnson called Brady a "pretty boy" and made it clear he's not bothered by the hype.

"I definitely respect him and all that he's done in this league," Johnson said. …

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