Humans love sport. When they get together they talk about it all the time, their newspapers have pages and pages about sports and they watch it on TV more than anything else. There is one thing which dogs can never figure out about this human love of sport and it is this: If humans love sport as much as they claim how come they never play them?
I, like many dogs, study humans. How they ‘play sport’ seems to be very unusual. They do not get dressed in special sports clothes, put on the right shoes and run out on to a field. In fact they do something very different. They get themselves a drink, some popcorn, sit on a couch and ‘play sport’ by letting their eyes follow someone else kick a ball.
Bonnie has told me that the people who are actually playing the game could be anywhere in the world and all the humans sit in front of their television and watch them. I find this idea very difficult to believe. Imagine! Somewhere there is a little field with two gangs of humans playing sport and all across the world people are watching them on television and drinking their drinks and eating their popcorn. However, all my experience is that is what actually happens.
The human approach of ‘playing sport’ by letting your eyeballs following someone with their golf sticks or tennis rackets or kicking a ball explains something else. Many dogs have wondered how humans came to like the game of fetch so much. They are just throwing the sticks. It is the dogs who are running after it and competing against other dogs to win it and bring it back. However, the human is once again ‘playing sport’ the way they like to play it – with their eyeballs. They throw. They watch us dogs chase off together and try to win the stick. The winner then returns in triumph to the human with the stick and they can throw it again. I suspect they would like fetch even more if someone televised it and they could sit on their couch, drink their drink, eat their popcorn and watch someone else throw the sticks.