We had a regular reader and occasional commentator here back in the day, her name was Lana from Valdosta, Georgia. She was one of the two regular female fans who hung round these parts. The other was French Lady Fan, who hailed from Northern Italy.
Lana was proud of her local high school team—the Valdosta Wildcats, arguably the winningest high school team in amateur football history.
Lana coined the phrase “Stay on Football!” whenever anyone here (including myself) inquired about her social status as an eligible dating partner. Our Gatekeeper Brizer found her coyness annoying and labeled her a “vile strumpet”.
Yet Lana also brought us the endearing term “boy dog” to describe the way she wanted the 2009 Eagles to play the game.
Lana explained that the head coach at Valdosta High used the term “boy dog” to motivate his players to perform to their highest potential as all-out go-getters on the field.
Why “boy dog”? Because, as Lana explained, “boy dog” is the polite Southern Georgia way to say “son of a bitch”.
Yeah, it all made sense. Play more aggressively, play like a dog hungry for a bone. The term “boy dog” started to catch on in our expanding circle of influence emanating from the EYE.
Then it ended prematurely when the Eagles signed Michael Vick as a backup QB.
Suddenly it was politically incorrect to even use the word “dog” in football conversation. You couldn’t say a blitz was a linebacker “red dog” anymore. Old-fashioned terms like “dogfight” had to be censored, even when merely referring to a tough football competition. “Underdog” was out of the question.
We couldn’t go there anymore.
And now, with nearly a decade passed, and with a great amount of healing surrounding the old Michael Vick issues, it’s okay for Philly players and fans to embrace their inner dog again.
Suddenly, Lana from Valdosta, Georgia is relevant again!
It’s cool again to wanna be a Boy Dog!
As the seconds ticked down and the Eagles knew that they had advanced to the NFC championship game, Jason Peters reached into his coat pocket, pulled out a dog mask and handed it to Lane Johnson.
This wasn’t some passing of the torch from a Hall of Famer to his young protégé, although Johnson has arguably become the NFL’s best right tackle. This was about something else. The Eagles were the first No. 1 playoff seed to be divisional-round underdogs, and Johnson and defensive end Chris Long thought they’d have some fun at the expense of the oddsmakers and the many who had picked against their team.
With the Birds primed to be underdogs again in the NFC Championship against the Vikings, expect to see a few more of those masks around town and maybe even in the stands at Lincoln Financial Field.
Johnson, without endorsing a brand, said they got the masks from Amazon where there are almost one dozen options for German Shepherd masks.
There are other masks that look a little less similar available for purchase online, including this one for $20.99 from Walmart that could arrive in time for Sunday’s game.
The Eagles don’t list masks on the list of prohibited items at the Linc. The team is even encouraging fans to wear dog masks (doggone it) as long as they take them off when they go through security.
All I know is Lana from Valdosta, Georgia has got to feel vindicated by all this renewed interest in the “Boy Dog” craze she stirred up herself back in 2009.