Football is a given in our American culture. It ranks fourth on the list behind apple pie, hotdogs and baseball. However, it’s not a sport I ever imagined our girls liking, let alone enjoy playing. I’d like to know when our dogs became such footballs fans. And, I’d especially like to know when they became such good defensive linemen.
Take Amore for example….
Like her offensive counterparts, her defensive linemen dog approach lines up directly on the line of scrimmage, close to the ball, or in her case, the closest available human. Good defensive linemen dogs are big, strong, and alert. They are quick to react to the snap of the ball or movement of her human and can get up field to jam up the offensive blocking scheme in a nano second.
If it’s a run play, she’ll play a good gap defense and make the block using whatever moves and dexterity she has in her arsenal to get to the quarterback, i.e., Malcolm and/or myself. If it’s a passing game, Amore will disrupt the timing of the throw or try to make either one of us hesitate just enough to make her play. And just like that, (finger snap!) Amore’s block is a success.
Her first tactic is to walk right besides us, usually from the right side of the field. Pacing her paws in time with our gait and with a slight increase in speed, Amore angles her whole body across our path. Shoulders down, paws wide apart, Amore comes in for the interception. She puts her all into a full body block to interrupt our field play.
Amore plays the game of football in the trenches, going nose-to-nose with our knees. Her mission, rushing one of us and stopping the running path directed up the field. Her goal, stopping Malcolm for a 30 second time-out for some extra love and petting. She knows she has scored once Malc starts to rub her sides and shoulders.
And then there is Dolce….
She plays more of a defensive back position. Rather than blocking us, she likes nothing better than to defend against pass plays by covering Malcolm and/or myself from completing the play. In a rushing situation, Dolce’s job is to contain the human either by forcing one of us out-of-bounds or by tackling us herself. Dolce is the last line of defense for a walk-block and pet, especially if Malcolm or myself have gotten past Amore.
Her fave blocking technique is to come from behind, swoop in between our legs, and lift the back of her head up to our crotch. It’s a guaranteed ball block with a 90% guarantee of interception. Her odds of a loving pet are high enough that the bookies in Vegas give her a 21 point spread against her opponent.
Her tackle is assured if I have a skirt on. Less so with jeans. Once we’ve come to a full stop to give her a rub behind the ears, Amore joins the fray for her share of scratching.
So the next time you’re watching a football game, keep your eye on the trenches. Underneath the dog pile you just might see Malc or myself calling foul!