SAN DIEGO - The bolo tie is making a comeback, and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers may be to thank for its recent popularity.
Fans first noticed his choice of tie after the Chargers beat the Broncos in Denver in early December. Following that game, Rivers was seen wearing a bolo tie and rattlesnake boots.
On Sunday, Rivers wore a bolo tie after the Chargers' win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Since then, the Boot Barn store in Kearny has sold about 40 bolo ties. Prices start at $15 and up. As of Tuesday afternoon, they are almost sold out – with about 10 left and more on the way.
An employee at the El Cajon Boot Barn location said Tuesday that normally the bolo ties are not that popular of an item, but since Sunday, they have sold about 20 or so.
At Wild Bill's Western Emporium in El Cajon, it is a similar story. Owner Howard Smith says there has definitely been an increase in interest.
He estimates about half of their calls have been related to bolo ties and that people have come into the shop asking about them. With the spike in interest, there has also been a spike in sales.
"We've sold about 13, 14 today," he said during an interview on Tuesday. "There's a run on them … probably more tomorrow."
He says some of the most popular bolo tie styles are one with a lightning bolt and another one with longhorns and turquoise.
Despite selling "quite a few bolos," his shop had about 50 ties in stock as of Tuesday afternoon, with prices ranging from $10 to $150.
Smith says a friend who owns a buckle and bolo company in Denver -- of all places -- is creating a custom Chargers bolo for him.
He thinks the design will be a powder blue background with a simple lightning bolt and says he will have possibly half a dozen of them made. Each will go for probably $100-plus, Smith said.
"For the ultimate Charger fan, it'll make one heck of a gift, particularly if they keep winning," he said.
He estimates they will be in his store Thursday evening or Friday morning -- just in time for the Chargers' #BOLOTieFriday, in which fans are encouraged to wear bolo ties.
Smith also hopes to get one of the custom bolo ties to Rivers himself before team leaves for Denver on Saturday.
"That'd be fun, really fun. We'd love it," said Smith. "It'd be great to be a part of that."
If bolo ties are not your thing, starting Wednesday, James Gang Printing in Ocean Beach will be selling Chargers themed bolo tie t-shirts that read, "Fear the bolo." The shirts cost $10 each.