This past football weekend, I heard no fewer than a dozen different sports commentators describe various athletes as having the “eye of the tiger” as a positive tribute to a particularly gritty or unrelenting athletic performance.
The phrase is a metaphorical reference to the prowling carnivore’s unrelenting hunger to survive – and it was introduced to the American sports lexicon in 1982 when Eye of the Tiger was the theme song for Rocky III, written and performed by the band Survivor.
According to Wikipedia, Sylvester Stallone commissioned the song for the movie when he was unable to license Another Bites the Dust from the band Queen.
To demonstrate how pervasive this phrase has penetrated the American psyche, when you start to type the generic word “eye” into Google, the first auto-fill search option that Google recommends is “Eye of the Tiger.”
Regardless, few people know that Survivor front man Jimi Jamison had several other alternate animal-body-part phrases that he ultimately rejected. Consider the following:
- Throat of the Goat
- Bowel of the Fowl
- Earwax of the Wombat
- Epiglottis of the Hippopotamus
- Derriere of the Bear
- Dander of the Panther
- Gizzard of the Lizard
- Jowl of the Owl
- Emphysema of the Hyena
- Back fat of the Musk Rat
Again, these were some of the alternate phrase ideas for “Eye of the Tiger” that the band rejected (or that might possibly be a complete fabrication on my part – I’m not really sure).
Below is the campy video for the anthemic ballad. You might want to try inserting a few of the various phrases during the chorus to see if Jamison chose wisely.
Question: Any other animal-body-part combinations the band should have considered?