Cumru Township, PA -  Most sports pundits pinned the underdog label to the Philadelphia Eagles' wings as they flew into the playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons last week.

Eagles tackle Lane Johnson and defensive end Chris Long embraced the label and even donned dog masks during their postgame victory celebration Saturday.

Most Las Vegas oddsmakers have the Birds as the underdog again this week, by 3 points, as they host the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC title game.

Kickoff is Sunday at 6:40 p.m. The game will be carried on television by FOX and on WEEU 830 AM radio.

Like a dog with a meaty bone, Johnson has not let it go. According to, Johnson raised $50,000 for the Philadelphia School District by selling "Home Dogs Gonna Eat" T-shirts on his website,, this week.

Johnson said via his Twitter feed that 3,000 shirts were sold in the first 24 hours.

There is a local underdog that could use some help of his own.

Maui, a nearly 8-year-old pit bull, has been at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County shelter in Cumru Township for the better part of a year.

He put on a performance akin to Eagles running back Jay Ajayi as he dodged rescuers in Bern Township fields. He was roaming there as a stray, according to ARL kennel technician Brooke Castner.

Maui did have a two-month break when he was adopted out, but he was returned when the adopter's living situation changed and she didn't have enough time for him, Castner said.

The big guy has been featured three times as the ARL's pet of the week in the Reading Eagle, but still has not found a forever home.

He could stand to lose some weight, but loves to go on walks and play with toys, so that shouldn't be a problem. He came in at a hefty 81 pounds, was down to a svelte 60 pounds before being adopted, but has now put back about 10 pounds.

Castner said Maui is great with kids, but should be the only pet in the house. He doesn't like cats and is selective about his canine pals: Other males are out. He has no medical problems Castner said, but he is on preventive joint supplements.

As far as his personality, Castner said that he is easygoing and walks well on a leash.

"He's like a friend that isn't too clingy, but is always there when you need them," Castner said.

His adoption fee is sponsored, so all that is needed is the right applicant. Get an application in soon and Maui could be cuddling up on the couch for the Super Bowl, whether or not the Eagles make it to the big game.

Contact Susan E. Miers Smith: 610-371-5048 or