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From Germany, With Love For The Eagles

Posted Jan 17, 2018

Michael Danner picked the right time to take holiday and come to the United States from his home in Munich, Germany. An Eagles fan since he saw a group on Facebook that liked the Eagles and encouraged him to check out the team, Danner is making sure to maximize his E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES experience ...

Michael Danner picked the right time to take holiday and come to the United States from his home in Munich, Germany. An Eagles fan since he saw a group on Facebook that liked the Eagles and encouraged him to check out the team, Danner is making sure to maximize his E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES experience.

“It has been so exciting,” said Danner, who arrived in Philadelphia on Monday and will return to Germany on Saturday. “The team is preparing for the NFC Championship Game. The entire city is all Eagles. I love it.”

Danner was doing some shopping on Wednesday in the team’s Pro Shop at Lincoln Financial Field, having himself a great time. He enjoyed the Lincoln Financial Field stadium tour a day before, and he’s going to inhale the Eagles until his plane lifts off.

That he can’t stay for the NFC Championship Game is no matter; Danner is thankful for the experience of being in Philadelphia during the most important week of the season.

“It’s been so much fun seeing how alive everyone is about the Eagles,” he said. “I will watch the game at home on a livestream. Kickoff is at Monday morning at 12:40 a.m. I can’t wait. It’s going to be a late night but that’s fine with me. I know we’re going to win.”

Danner’s mood mirrors that of the City of Philadelphia and the entire region, and all of that enthusiasm is reflective in the extremely busy flow of customers at the team’s three Pro Shops - at Lincoln Financial Field, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and at the Rockvale Outlets in Lancaster, Pennsylvania - and in the it-never-stops online business.

This has been a year to remember.

“It has been the craziest, most exciting period from the time we clinched (the NFC East) until now. It just keeps getting busier and busier,” said Emily McNichol, the team's merchandise director. “We’ve had constant, steady traffic in all stores, not just at the stadium, which is exciting for us. We have a lot of traffic on gamedays, but to have it in all three stores is really exciting.

“The people have been super positive. They want to wear the gear; they’re proud to wear the gear. They’re buying multiples of things and they’re all hoping this continues for weeks to come.

The biggest sales item? The sideline knit hat, worn by the players and coaches. Three previous orders sold out. The Pro Shop at Lincoln Financial Field welcomed an order of 1,800 hats on Wednesday. They won’t last long.

Eagles fever is here to stay.

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“I was able to get tickets to Sunday’s game and I’m going with a former classmate of mine so I’m down here getting ready for the game,” said John Guglielmi of Philadelphia, who was shopping for a very particular sweatshirt on Wednesday. “I like the energy of the entire city. This city needs another victory so I’m excited. Anxious, but excited.”

Quarterback Carson Wentz, of course, dominates the sales. His gear is among the highest-selling of all players in the NFL. Even though Wentz has been out of action since suffering a torn ACL in his left knee on December 10, his Q rating in the store remains sky-high.

There are roughly 25 items with Wentz’s name or likeness on them in the store ranging from his jersey, all kinds of T-shirts, a stuffed animal wrestling buddy (which has sold out four times), pictures, plaques, desk figurines ... anything you can think of, the Eagles have.

“You would be surprised how strong the sales are, even since he’s been hurt,” McNichol said. “You might think that after he was injured his sales would drop off out of sight. It’s been exactly the opposite. He’s continued to sell jerseys, novelty items, everything. People haven’t lost sight of the fact that he was a huge factor in getting us here.”

The holiday season was huge – the Eagles' Elf on the Shelf sold out – and now the playoff push has continued a fantastic year of sales of Eagles merchandise which you see all over the streets of Philadelphia in the form of scarves, hats, sweatshirts, jackets, and gloves.

Anything to get ready for the game.

“Being here makes me feel like I’m part of the action with all the fans,” Danner said. “I don’t have that in Germany. There aren’t as many Eagles fans. This is so much fun. I don’t want to leave!”

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