PHILADELPHIA — A man who goes by the name of “The Professor” answers the phone and, with some grit and attitude in his voice, confirms that, yes, the demand for Philadelphia Eagles tattoos is soaring.
“It’s the first time they won, brother,” said the owner of Philadelphia Eddie’s Tattoo. “Everybody that was a fan was getting them.”
Or at least it seems that way. On the day of the parade celebrating the Eagles’ first Super Bowl championship, “people were coming in six feet deep” to Eddie’s. During the playoff run, the business did maybe a couple Eagles tattoos a week. But in the days surrounding the Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots, the Professor said they were cranking out at least 20 a day.
The surge occurred in parlors across the area, including at Eastern Pass Tattoo in South Philly.
“We definitely had a very large influx of Eagles tattoos after [the title win],” said Weilan, a tattoo artist at Eastern Pass. “Definitely more than doubled.”
The fresh ink is all over social media. Many went the traditional route, getting tattoos of the team logo or the Lombardi Trophy with “LII” accompanying the image. Others went outside the box. There’s the “Philly Special” play design; an image of center Jason Kelce in his parade-day Mummer’s suit, eating pork roll and scrapple — two Philadelphia breakfast dishes; and, a personal favorite, quarterbacks Nick Foles and Carson Wentz in sweater vests doing their best “Step Brothers” impersonation.
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“I think the weirdest ones I did were two ’52 Champs’ with the Eagles logo two days before the Super Bowl,” Weilan said. “They were two dudes that grew up in Philly that flew [from Los Angeles] into Philadelphia to get tattooed by me before the Super Bowl to get that on them. I was like, ‘Man, don’t you guys worry about jinxing it?’ And their view was if they lost the Super Bowl after doing that, it would have been the most Philly thing possible — too overconfident before the big game.”
In their defense, some Eagles players were feeling equally sure of themselves. Days before the big game, running back Corey Clement, who came up with a huge 22-yard touchdown reception in Super Bowl LII, put his appointment with Dan Czar on the books.
“He hit me up before the ‘Bowl and said, ‘Let’s plan for Wednesday after the Super Bowl.’ And I was like, wow, this guy is really trying to get in because I knew how busy he would be,” said Czar, a tattoo artist at AC Ink in Somer Point, New Jersey, whose work is becoming increasingly popular in the sports and entertainment world. “He hit me up and was like, ‘It’s time for that Super Bowl tat. Let’s go.’ And once he told me it was an Eagle, I was wired. It was awesome.”
The only direction Clement gave Czar was that he wanted “an Eagle ripping out of my arm.” Czar laid down the design from there. Clement has proudly been showing off the final product in the days since.
Clement also got “SB LII” tattooed in small lettering down the side of his neck.
The ticket into this world for Czar was Johnny Manziel. A photographer he was friendly with called Czar up in February of 2017 and said that Manziel was looking to get the Eiffel Tower on the back of his forearm, STAT.
“He gave me two days’ notice: ‘Hey, I need you in Miami. Johnny wants to get some work.’ And this is probably the first time I did anyone of any importance as far as that realm … so I dropped everything and went right down and tattooed him maybe at 1 in the morning,” Czar said. “Two months later he proposed to his wife at the Eiffel Tower, so that was pretty cool.”
From there Czar’s NFL clientele list grew, and eventually included Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones, who got a “W” tattooed for his college, the University of Washington, as well as a rose for his mom. That’s how Clement found Czar.
So far, the recent ink he gave Clement is the only request he has had from an Eagles player for an Eagles-themed tattoo, but Czar doesn’t think it will be that way for long.
People all over the city are getting them. Some members of the military got leave so they could watch the game in their home city, and made sure to get inked while they were here. Same for some Philadelphia natives now living in other parts of the country — such as Boston — who wanted something to show off when they head back. According to the Professor, there were even out-of-towners with no real connection to the city or the Eagles who got caught up in the moment and decided to walk into the shop and have some work done.
“Stuff like that, the Eagles winning and all that, that’s what tattooing is based on: celebrating personal landmarks or family landmarks,” he said. “That’s really the basis of tattoo.”