What is 'Dobbsnail Boot?' A quick SEC history lesson on the art of revenge
Epic SEC moments need quickly applicable nicknames. Who wants to ask an Auburn fan if they remember where they were when Chris Davis completed his 109-yard return of an Adam Griffith missed field goal in the 78th Iron Bowl? But say the words “Kick Six” around a War Eagler and wait two seconds for their story.
So it’s not shocking that the Tennessee faithful immediately needed something a little more catchy to apply to Joshua Dobbs’s 43-yard bomb to Jauan Jennings with no time left to win this year’s UGA-UT game.
Witness the birth of “The Dobbsnail Boot.”
Of course, to get the story behind the Dobbsnail Boot, you have to have a fairly long memory or climb into the SEC time machine and head back, back, back to 2001.
The Hobnail Boot
Fifteen years ago, Georgia had a new head coach named Mark Richt. Tennessee was still led by Phil Fulmer. UT’s nine-game winning streak over UGA ended the previous year, when Georgia won in Athens. In 2001, Tennessee was ranked No. 6 in the nation and hosted the Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium.
UT trailed late but hit a 62-yard touchdown pass to grab a 24-20 lead with just 44 seconds to play.
Georgia, led by freshman QB David Greene, drove right back down the field. At the UT 6 yard line with 10 seconds left, Greene play-faked and found fullback Verron Haynes open in the end zone.
And longtime Voice of the Georgia Bulldogs Larry Munson went a little bit crazy. Munson’s famous call:
“We just stepped on their face with a hobnail boot and broke their nose!” Munson yelled. “We just crushed their face!”
Munson’s call was typical Munson.
An unabashed homer, Munson’s use of “we” and enthusiasm for Georgia football made epic calls like “the Hobnail boot” instant classics.
For Georgia, the “Hobnail boot” moment was one that catapulted Greene and Richt back into the heart of the SEC East race. Greene went on to become one of the most accomplished QBs in Georgia history, and Georgia, which had been to zero SEC championship games in the nine seasons before Richt, went to five of the next dozen SEC title games, winning two.
For a little more insight into what the “Hobnail Boot” play meant to the Bulldogs, check out the video below:
Of course, one man’s classic is another man’s insult.
Suffice it to say that Vols fans probably didn’t especially enjoy hearing Munson rejoice for breaking their metaphorical noses or crushing their face.
Memories run long in the Southeastern Conference, and it didn’t take long for Vol fans to exact a measure of revenge — although not through the person of Voice of the Vols Bob Kesling, whose animated but professional call of Dobbs’ miracle touchdown pass didn’t give birth to the Dobbsnail moniker.
Some unknown soldier in the Vol Nation found a way to dig a little deeper at the Bulldog brethren and to associate Tennessee’s miracle win with one of Georgia’s greatest moments in the series.
Welcome the Dobbsnail (or Dobbnail, per some) Boot.
That T-shirt is already on sale here.
Final lesson: Love runs deep in SEC fandom. But not as deep as the collective memory of a fan base scorned.