A mention of the Everly Brothers in a recent post reminded me of a memory from my high school football days, of a time when one of the duo’s biggest hit songs became a dreaded sound for me. It was a song called “Bird Dog,” which most fans of music from the era will remember as one of the Everly’s top sellers.
Whether you’re a football fan or not, it’s easy to understand that the competition in any sport is often decided by one side or the other gaining an edge on their opponent. Sometimes that can be something very small, like a defensive lineman knowing in advance which opponent will be trying to block him.
Every day in football practice, with my mind spinning from all the various blocking assignments I’d had to memorize, I’d line up for a play and subconsciously angle myself toward the guy I was supposed to block. The coach would then yell and call me a ‘bird dog’ and everybody would laugh, but a few plays later I’d do it again. I guess I had a mental block about it, but the result was that the coach would get angrier — and louder, as coaches do — and I’d look for a hole to crawl into.
All of which set me up for part two of the problem — everywhere I went in those days, radios and jukeboxes seemed to keep playing the latest big hit from the Everly Brothers. The funny thing is that I think it eventually helped me, because the song would run through my head whenever I took my place on the football line. Of course, I was usually too slow to block the guy anyhow, but at least I didn’t ‘bird dog’ my intentions.