BOISE -- Three football fans that have made their way onto sports headlines, radio talk shows, and blogs this week are firing back at their long time cheesehead rivals with a new invention.
The men hale from Idaho and are huge Chicago Bears fans.
“I just fell in love with their kind of swagger you know,” said Jeran Dahlquist.
Dahlquist first learned his love for the Bears in 1985 as a kid and says those rival Green Bay Packers fans always bugged him.
So he decided to launch a little something of his own. It’s called Graterhead, and it's basically a cheese grater that fits on your head, much like the popular cheesehead hat that fans wear at Packers' games.
“I had the blueprints kind of drawn up and so I was like, you know, I am just going to go to the craft store get a shopping cart and just and just put everything in it that I think could try and help me make one of these,” explained Dahlquist.
Years ago, he made his first Graterhead hat with contact paper, cardboard and even fake finger nails. It took years to refine the design, ultimately using foam.
“When you have one of those ideas that stick around you just kind of wait for an opportunity to maybe do something with it,” he said.
Dahlquist said that opportunity came when the Packers played the Bears at Lambeau Field on Monday. The three business partners knew the game would be televised and that if they wanted the Graterhead to take off, they had to get there.
“If we are ever going to be caught on television that would be a great spot for it because we will stick out like sore thumbs in Lambeau field, you know, if could just be a perfect scenario,” explained Dahlquist.
The move paid off. The three men managed to get three side by side tickets on the 50 yard line in row six and their Graterheads made it on the big screen.
“John Gruden talking about us on Monday Night football, our website got 10,000 hits in one second, crashed immediately we had to start taking steps to get stuff back up and running,” he said.
The exposure and the orders started pouring in.
“We were getting orders all through the night three, four, five until six in the morning it never stopped and I think at this point I think we probably sold close to 1,000 units,” said Dalhquist.
There was also a ton of media exposure and Dahlquist said he managed to change his plane ticket home about three times to go to Chicago and do media interviews about the product.
“(I) went down to Ditkas restaurant and ran into Mike Ditka and got talking to him and he invited me to stay for his radio show the next night,” he said.
Product manufacturing will have to be sped up just to keep up with the orders. The Graterhead is made somewhere in the midwest, according to Dahlquist, but Boise remains the hub for business.
“It adds to the mystique that we have here with our football team here and with Shea McClellan being drafted by the Bears for that particular market it has kind of an interesting story surrounding it,” said Dahlquist. “It’s always nice any sort of entrepreneurship success you know that comes out of this town.”
Dahlquist said it all happened so fast, but they are already looking ahead to what’s next.
“We are going to try and be at every Packers game that we can be at moving forward.”