If my dogs were king, TV sports would die

by Ken Carpenter

I noticed my dogs looking a little bit morose the other day, throwing quick nervous glances at the TV as if they expected it to attack them. It didn’t register at the time, but I later figured out what their concern was. It is football season now, their least favorite time of year, the time when they can expect bellows of frustration and triumph to strike terror into their tiny hearts.
Sports horror is not new to my household, nor has it always been restricted to canine victims. My oldest son, now 21, was gurgling happily in his cradle back in 1981 when he was initiated to game time in the Carpenter living room.
It was baseball, not football, and Nolan Ryan was working on another no-hitter. An outstanding defensive play saved the no-hitter and the resulting shrieks sent the baby into a squalling fit and our dog of the time scurrying behind the couch. The cat opened one eye, shot a withering eye-dagger at me, and went back to sleep.
The dogs especially hate it when the Oakland Raiders are playing, for they are my youngest son’s favorite team and his sports tantrums are legendary. Calling the Raiders his team is a bit deceiving though, for I am pretty sure he would trade everything he owns and everyone he knows for Raider tickets. They became holy many years ago, so they are more his religion than his team.
I think the dogs know this, for they beagle-eye the Raider logo wherever it may pop up. God help the man who enters my house wearing a black eye patch, for a nest of vengeance seeking wiener dogs is not a pretty thing to deal with.
They have mixed emotions at kickoff time, for they know there is a good chance some tasty snacks will be circulating. Their worst nightmare is that dear old Dad burns the snacks, sending smoke billowing into the living room. This prompts them to hide under the bed and quiver until the smoke clears, and by that time the game might have progressed far enough to enter the first fit-throwing stages, so their terror is doubled.
It is not an unlikely scenario that my house will be the setting for the world’s first wiener strike when playoff time arrives in December. I can see them lining up, stern of visage, sporting jaunty little white berets with No More Raiders on the front. Of course their undersized brains will not have realized that they don’t have a leg to stand on.
One shot of burnt pizza smoke will bust that strike wide open.

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