Mike Trout hasn't decided if he will travel to Minneapolis to watch his beloved Eagles play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Trout said he enjoys staying at home and watching the game on television with his family. (There's something cool about that.) He also digs the commercials.
Wherever baseball's best — and highest paid — player decides to watch the game, he will have one important accessory with him: his dog mask. The same one he wore at Lincoln Financial Field during the Eagles' trouncing of the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.
"I will definitely be wearing that dog mask," Trout said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. "Gotta ride with it."
Eagles tackle Lane Johnson gave Trout the dog mask that has come to symbolize the Eagles' place as an underdog in the playoffs and again in the Super Bowl. The Eagles have come to relish that status.
"A lot of people doubted them," Trout said. "They lost the majority of their captains and starters (to injury), but they're still fighting. Next-man-up mentality."
Even some of Trout's teammates with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim doubted the Eagles. But no more.
"They give me grief all the time," Trout said. "Now they're all rooting for them. Throughout the season, there were a lot of ups and downs. But now we're going to the Super Bowl."
Trout, of course, was raised and still lives in Millville, New Jersey, less than an hour's drive from Philadelphia. He grew up a fan of all the Philly teams and, in fact, was in the parking lot outside of Citizens Bank Park celebrating with friends the night the Phillies won the World Series in 2008.
Trout, 26, is a season-ticket holder with the Eagles and a close friend and hunting buddy of Carson Wentz. Trout, who saw his first Eagles game back in the Veterans Stadium days, was able to visit with several Eagles players after Sunday's big win over the Vikings.
"I told them to go get it," he said. "Obviously, there hasn't been a Super Bowl champion in Philadelphia. I told them to go get it."
Trout recalled watching Super Bowl XXXIX more than a decade ago. The Patriots beat the Eagles, 24-21, in that one.
Trout sees a different Eagles team in the rematch.
"This team is just a little bit different," he said. "They want to win and it's not just one guy carrying them. Every guy has a part in it."
Trout's buddy, Wentz, won't be playing in the Super Bowl. He may have been on his way to the NFL's MVP award hadn't he been knocked out by a season-ending knee injury in December. Nick Foles has taken over and been at the helm for two playoff wins.
In six spectacular seasons in the majors, Trout has won two American League MVP awards and finished second three times. (That's why he will make $34 million in 2018.) He finished fourth in the voting in 2017 and would have finished higher if he hadn't missed significant time with a thumb injury that required surgery. He feels for Wentz, who has to watch from the sidelines.
"It's definitely difficult," Trout said. "I went through it last year. It's tough for him. I thought he was the MVP. It was hard to watch when he went down. But he's working hard. He's walking. I'm sure he'll be ready for next season.
"What he did on the field this season was amazing, and now Nick has stepped up."
Tuesday's conference call was set up by the Angels' media relations department because of the large demand to speak with Trout, who has emerged as the Eagles' most visible fan, woofing and pumping his fist in triumph with the rest of the fans at the Linc. Trout said he'd never heard the place louder than it was as Patrick Robinson ran back that game-turning pick-six in the first quarter Sunday night.
Philadelphia fans dream of a day when they will be cheering for Trout rounding the bases in a Phillies uniform. He is signed through 2020. His free agency is not that far away.
As always, Trout deflected a question about whether he could see himself playing in Philadelphia someday.
"I'm an Eagles fan," he said. "Obviously, I grew up a Philly sports fan. I love playing in Anaheim. I have a couple more years on my contract. I love Anaheim and the West Coast."
That wasn't exactly a no.
Trout was more direct when asked about what he expected in the Super Bowl.
"It's going to be tough," he said. "Anybody that goes against Tom Brady is going against the best and maybe greatest of all time.
"I still think the Eagles will pull it out and they're going to win, 31-24."
And the decisive play will be?
"An interception of Brady," Trout said.