After Caps Fan Appreciation Night last week, some curious tweets surfaced regarding a “shellacked baguette” dressed in Caps gear. Obviously this screamed “Bog,” so I set out to find this curious bread and find out why it was posing as a hockey fan.
The baguette is named Bilbo Boudin Baggett, or “Bo” for short, and he belongs to Cheryl Phillips, a teacher at Pennington Traditional school in Manassas. Phillips acquired her doughy friend almost four years ago during a trip with Discovery Education to the Boudin Bakery in San Francisco, where the teachers were given a baguette to take home.
“Back at the dorm, I turned Bo into a little person and he was a hit,” Phillips laughed. “I decided I would start traveling with him and make him an education spokesperson. So everywhere he went and took pictures, it would be places of interest in history or sports to get kids involved. He’s been everywhere from California to Washington State to Florida to laying on the 50-yard line at Gilette stadium. He’s even met the cast of Glee.”
Bo was originally preserved using polyurethane, but a fateful encounter with hungry birds forced a more secure situation.
“We went to the birthplace of George Washington, and I put him down to get a picture of the chickens there,” Phillips said. “One of the chickens came over and pecked a hole in his head.”
Phillips’s husband coated Bo with resin to strengthen his armor. Various accidents have also required surgery, and Bo now has a metal dowel running through him to keep him together.
Bo has been to many Caps and Nats games, taking pictures with fans. He has a business card, a Facebook page, and Phillips wants him to meet as many of our local players as possible.
“I was hoping to have him meet Caps players after the appreciation night,” said Phillips, who didn’t have much luck. “But I was so happy to have his picture with Slapshot, because I’ve been waiting for that for a long time.”
In addition to meeting some of the Caps and Nats players, on Bo’s bucket list is to make it to some Redskins and Wizards games, but only after he has been outfitted in the proper attire.
“He has his little Caps outfit and his Nats outfit, but he needs ones for the other teams,” Phillips said.
Phillips knows that Bo is silly and told me that her husband and sons are often embarrassed by their bready tagalong. But the purpose of Bo is to get her students more interested in learning about historical places or their local sports culture, and she says Bo has made a difference in her classroom.
“Before, the students weren’t always excited to learn about stuff,” Phillips said. “But when they see Bo’s picture in various places, or with different people they recognize, their faces light up. I’ve definitely seen a change.”
“Kids love him,” she added. “And adults love him too. People smile when they see him. It’s fun.”