Eagles outscore Patriots — in orders for pizzas

Brian Clossen displays an Eagles-themed underdog style creation at Little Italy Pizza in Townsend. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

TOWNSEND — Eagles 25, Patriots 0.

And the margin continued to widen all week.

Special orders for football-themed pizzas arrived steadily as the Super Bowl inched closer, all coming from one side.

While Brian Clossen created more than two dozen Philly-looking pies the past few days, nary a request involved New England.

“I’d do one if asked, but nobody has asked,” Mr. Clossen said as another day of work began at Little Italy Pizza Thursday morning.

“We’re not biased when it comes to business.”

Heck, Mr. Clossen volunteered almost hesitantly, “I even did one (for a Cowboys fan)” earlier this season.

Shown is the Eagles-styled football helmet image on a pizza by Brian Clossen of Little Italy Pizza in Townsend.

As Mr. Clossen spoke of his specially designed pizzas that take 45 minutes to create, owner Anthony Elentrio took another special order. Predictably, the caller asked for a 16-inch Eagles helmet made from dough, cheese, some oregano and tomato paste.

Each work began with a drawing that’s then cut out on the dough as a Neapolitan-style pizza comes to life at the family-owned business in southern New Castle County.

He’s heard his craft termed as “pizza art” and “food art.” Mr. Clossen is fine with knowing his work won’t be hung on a wall anywhere and will be quickly consumed once it leaves the shop.

“I’m glad that it works as a piece of art and the last way to appreciate it is by eating it,” he said.

“That’s full appreciation, that’s bringing it full circle.”

The 16-inch creations cost from $20 to $30 depending on the ingredients, intricacy and time required. Mr. Clossen has crafted at least 150 pop culture-themed works in the past year or so, including the Phillies, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Elmo, Buzz Lightyear, the Star Wars Death Star, Mario Brothers, Sonic Hedgehog, Maui from Moana and more.

“There were also some emoji requests too,” he said, noting that many of the requests were made to celebrate birthday favorites.

Little Italy Pizza owner Anthony Elentrio takes an order for an Eagles-themed pizza this week in Townsend.

Orders can be placed by calling 378-9494.

Once the pizza shop at 325 Main Street closes at 6 p.m. today, owners and staff will turn on two big screen televisions and root like crazy for their Eagles as they clean up from the day’s work.

“I really feel like this team is something special,” Mr. Elentrio said.

The community spirit has been palpable lately, and the owner estimated business rose by 33 percent on Sundays compared to non-contending years.
“People are pretty excited about it all,” Mr. Elentrio said.

A house divided

Since arriving in Delaware roughly 30 years ago, the Eagles have grown on Magnolia resident Tammy Price-Callaway. No matter what Sunday’s result – and she believes a victory awaits – an emotional experience seems inevitable.

Little Italy Pizza owner Anthony Elentrio takes an order for an Eagles-themed pizza this week in Townsend.

“The Eagles will win on Sunday because they are hungry for this win and they want it more than the Patriots,” she said. “ … I will cry and be overcome with emotion no matter the outcome on Sunday.”

The Philly love didn’t transfer to Ms. Price-Callaway’s son Cam, however – he’s a Patriots fan.

“We will be outnumbered in our house, having more Patriots fans than Eagles fans,” she said. “I am so very proud of the team this year and win or lose, we will be stronger and meaner than ever next year.”

Dover International Speedway and Dover Downs Hotel and Casino reported that nearly 50 employees gathered on Wednesday to celebrate the Eagles Super Bowl’ quest with several songs and cheers.

The employees, many dressed in Eagles gear, met in front of the Monster Monument in Victory Plaza presented by Smithfield, sang “Fly Eagles Fly,” the Eagles fight song, and held signs and flags in support of the NFC champions, a news release read. Additionally, the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Company brought a green 500-gallon fire engine and displayed a large American flag in front of the Monster Monument.

Staff writer Mike Finney contributed to this story.

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