In the realm of sports, there exists a catchphrase that encapsulates the mental fortitude and unwavering determination of athletes in crucial moments.
This phrase, “Got That Dog in Him,” has gained remarkable traction over the past decade, permeating the sporting world before spreading to various fandoms in the early 2020s.
While its origins remain shrouded in uncertainty, its impact on evaluating athletes’ mettle has been profound.
From its inception in the Twittersphere to its lighthearted adoption as a comedic trope, let us explore the backstory and the burgeoning popularity of this intriguing expression.
Got That Dog in Him: The Backstory
Pinpointing the exact origins of the phrase “Got That Dog in Him” proves to be a challenging endeavor.
The earliest known usage of the phrase can be traced back to a tweet posted on May 25th, 2009, by a Twitter user going by the handle @djparker25.
In this tweet, @djparker25 opined that the renowned basketball luminary Kobe Bryant lacked the tenacity associated with having “that dog in him” due to his tendency to pass the ball excessively.
Thus, this tweet marked an early instance of utilizing the phrase to evaluate an athlete’s mental toughness.
Throughout the 2010s, “Got That Dog in Him” emerged as a linguistic tool in the realm of sports analysis, employed to discern the mental fortitude of athletes.
In November 2018, esteemed sports pundit Skip Bayless utilized the phrase to characterize the basketball prowess of Jimmy Butler, emphasizing his ability to excel in critical moments on both ends of the court.
This marked a significant instance of the phrase being employed to illustrate an athlete’s clutch performance, underscoring its evolving significance in sports commentary.
Got That Dog in Him: Popularity
As the 2020s dawned, the phrase “Got That Dog in Him” took on a more whimsical role within sports fandom.
Fans humorously embraced the expression, transforming it into a comedic trope that adeptly captured the essence of seemingly profound sports analysis that could, at times, lack substance.
The phrase became a means of highlighting the seemingly insightful but ultimately empty observations that pervade sports commentary.
On June 23rd, 2022, Twitter user @rodger jested that ESPN should appoint an analyst solely responsible for evaluating whether a player possessed “that dog in him.”
This jest underscored the growing awareness among fans of the phrase’s potential hollowness while still being perceived as insightful.
Additionally, fans of college basketball playfully embraced the phrase during the annual championship tournament in March 2022, with user @oeste humorously admitting to repeating the phrase while engrossed in the games.
The phrase’s popularity extended beyond the sports domain, finding traction in various fandoms.
On June 27th, Twitter user @SinfulBoredom used “Got That Dog in Him” to describe the actions of Goku, a beloved character from the Dragon Ball series, in a particular episode.
This example exemplifies the phrase’s transcendent appeal, bridging the gap between sports and entertainment enthusiasts.
In an intriguing twist, the phrase “Got That Dog in Him” gained additional momentum through the utilization of a peculiar visual trope. In 2022, it became commonplace to pair the phrase with a photoshopped image depicting an X-rayed chest containing an actual dog.
Twitter user @prince_thieves employed such an image in a tweet on June 19th, 2022, garnering significant engagement and contributing to the phrase’s cultural spread.
Got That Dawg in Him: Examples
Got That Dawg in Him: Meme Templates
The catchphrase “Got That Dog in Him” has transformed from a means of assessing an athlete’s mental toughness into a lighthearted emblem of insightful but potentially vacuous sports commentary.
Its origin story remains elusive, but its impact is unmistakable.
As fans across diverse domains joyfully incorporate this phrase into their lexicon, it continues to celebrate the indomitable spirit and unyielding determination displayed by athletes and fictional characters alike.
“Got That Dog in Him” remains a testament to the human spirit’s resilience in the face of challenges, a rallying cry for those who strive to perform at their best when it matters most.