Eagles RT Lane Johnson wore a blonde wig, says it was 'badass'

Eagles RT Lane Johnson wore a blonde wig, says it was 'badass'

Who knew Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson would look so good as a blonde.

Johnson showed up to practice on Friday sporting a new hair-do, which was odd, seeing as he didn't have any hair at all the previous day. Needless to say, everybody at the NovaCare Complex was shocked to learn that was actually a long, blonde wig under Johnson's helmet, and not a gorgeous set of golden flowing locks he grew overnight.

"I knew it would pop out because there's nothing blonde about me," Johnson said. "There were choices -- black, brown and blonde, so I chose the blonde wig."

Johnson added he was going for an "Amazon" look, but Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was not a fan. The wig was discarded early in practice and not seen again for the rest of the day.

"I thought it made me look more like a badass, but I guess coach didn't like it," Johnson said.

"I could've left it on, but he said it was distracting him a little bit, so I took it off. Plus, it was itching a little bit."

While it was only the second day of full-team practices at Eagles training camp, Johnson felt the team could use a morale boost.

"I just want to have a little fun," Johnson said. "It's training camp. Everybody thinks it's going to be hard, tough, and everybody's dreading it, so I tried to create a few laughs."

Though Johnson seemed to have a solid reason for the gag, he was quick to throw Eagles center Jason Kelce under the bus when asked how he arrived at the decision to wear the wig.

"I just thought about doing it, and I asked Kelce what he thought of it, and he suggested I do it," Johnson said.

Kelce laughed, then offered a slightly differing account of events, denying any responsibility for Johnson's decision.

"My involvement was just laughing hysterically at it," Kelce said. "He had it on and he said he was going to wear it out to practice, and we all just started laughing. Then we actually saw him out here with it on. We wanted him to keep it on all practice."

Kelce added, "That's just Lane Johnson being Lane Johnson."

With training camps opening all across the NFL, the intensity certainly ramps up this time of year. Of course, camps aren't what they used to be, with less hitting, shorter practices and no two-a-days, so veteran players often have a lot more leeway to act silly and create some levity.

"It's such a serious game, and sometimes you lose the human aspect of it, so you come out here and realize these are some of your best friends, and let's have a little fun while we're playing," Johnson said.

Johnson's teammates seemed to appreciate that attitude -- perhaps this time of year more than any other.

"It's the little things in camp," Kelce said. "Guys doing stuff like that kind of breaks up the monotony, allows guys to have fun, lightens the mood.

"At the end of the day, we're still here working hard, but little things like that make it even more fun."

Leather Eagles Super Bowl jacket is amazing, crazy expensive

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Leather Eagles Super Bowl jacket is amazing, crazy expensive

Philadelphia fans aren't the only ones who can't get their fill of Super Bowl championship memorabilia. The Eagles' players want in on the surfeit of champs gear as well.

Take Beau Allen for example. A true man of the people, Allen tweeted his desire for this absolutely beautiful leather jacket commemorating the Eagles victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Allen tweeted aloud, wondering why the Birds' players hadn't been issued one of these leather jackets yet?

One guess? They retail for a cool $3,000. Totally worth it. 

You can pick one up right here for a low $2,999.99. It's listed as a "Men's NFL Pro Line by Fanatics Branded Black/Green Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl LII Champions Full-Button Leather Jacket."

You'll be happy to know it's an officially licensed NFL product and is made in the USA. Just like Beau.

Joel Embiid belongs among the very best

Joel Embiid belongs among the very best

You can't really fake it at an All-Star Game, especially one where people are actually trying. There's no lucking your way into a couple open shots and a couple generous foul calls and all of a sudden rolling your way to a 30-plus-point game; there's no isolating one defensive mismatch and exploiting it to make yourself look like '01 Shaq. Generally speaking, an All-Star Game shakes out as it should: The best shine the brightest, and those who aren't ready yet fade into the periphery with extra motivation to step things up for next year. 

And that's why it's so awesome that Joel Embiid, a mere 75 games into his NBA career, unquestionably belonged on the biggest stage with the biggest names last night. Playing for Stephen Curry's squad, JoJo posted 19 points on 8-13 shooting, with eight rebounds and two blocks, and a +5 rating for the night — the only positive plus/minus for the Steph starters. 

Out of context, those numbers may not sound particularly impressive for an All-Star outing, considering the final score of 2017's game was 192-182. But thanks to increased financial and personal motivation in this year's game, the competition was ratcheted up, and though the final score was still a robust 148-145 — Team LeBron emerging victorious — no one player really went off in this one, with Team Stephen being led in scoring by DeMar DeRozan and Damian Lillard (21 each). Consider that JoJo's 19 outpaced both teammates James Harden (12 points on 5-19 FG) and Curry himself (13 on 4-14 FG) — only two of the greatest scorers in NBA history. 

And what's more, down the stretch it was Embiid who seemed most ready to rise to the moment. With minutes remaining and his team up one, Embiid posted up LeBron James — LeBron James!! — for an easy bucket, and with the score tied and under a minute left, he got stuck isolated on the perimeter against Paul George, and still ended up blocking George's shot to win the possession back for his team. Had his squad been able to hang on in this one, he would've been able to mount a fairly compelling case for MVP, which would've made him the first player since at least the 20th century to win top honors in his first All-Star appearance. 

Of course, it didn't happen that way, and Team Stephen coach Mike D'Antoni might get most of the blame as to why. With his squad up one and Team LeBron inbounding out of a timeout, D'Antoni opted for some incomprehensible reason to bench Embiid, his best defensive player — which, somewhat unsurprisingly, resulted in LeBron scoring quickly and easily at the basket to go up one, and then DeMar DeRozan throwing the ball away at the other end. Embiid entered for the final possession, with his team needing a three to tie, and he had a chance to hoist one, but understandably passed to Curry, who drove his way into traffic and ended up not even getting a shot off. Team LeBron won, and James took home his third MVP. 

Frustrating finish, but it can't ruin what came before: Joel Embiid squaring off against the best the NBA has to offer, and proving himself a factor. (Also nailed a three and then blocked a Russell Westbrook drive at the other end, btw, so that beautiful random feud lives on.) He got as good as he gave — LeBron drilled a triple in his face immediately after JoJo took him down low — but he was in the mix, and a crucial part of his team's successes and failures. It should be the first of many such All-Star starring roles for Embiid, and hopefully the last for some time that doesn't also include him being flanked by Process Truster in Arms Ben Simmons. 

But even if it isn't — even if nothing good ever happens again with Joel, and we look back at this All-Star Game 25 years from now as the high point of this career — it still would have all been worth it. It was worth it when the team went 10-5 two Januarys ago. It was maybe worth it when Embiid gave his first-ever post-game interview following a Sixers win. 

That's what people will never understand about The Process, and that's what makes nights like this so gratifying. Franchises go decades, entire generations, without getting a moment to feel this way about one of their players, and even getting the chance to feel it about one of ours is worth seasons of sacrifice. JoJo lives, and somewhere in the bowels of the Staples Center last night, Our Once and Always Dark Lord Sam Hinkie had to be there and be smiling. Hope he enjoyed the Fergie national anthem as much as I did, as well.