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Category: Sports

Who Dat Dog helps the Saints come barking in

There were a lot of winners because of Sunday's Super Bowl in Miami. One of them was the CBS network, which won the largest television audience since M*A*S*H's finale with its Super Bowl broadcast. Another was former San Diego Charger quarterback Drew Brees, who had the last laugh over his old team; the Chargers let him go, but he went on to lead the Saints to their first NFL title and became the Super Bowl MVP in the process. Another winner was the city of New Orleans, which found a valid excuse to party in the streets for an extra nine days.

But the biggest Super Bowl winner, online at least, was this adorable beagle being riled-up/terrorized/mocked by Saints fans watching the game on TV. Indeed, Jerry "The Who Dat Dog" has garnered approximately a half million viewers on YouTube and close to 100,000 on Break.com.

You say you don't know who or what we're talking about? Let's back up.

In case you missed the fuss, down in New Orleans they have a chant for their football team: "Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints? Who Dat? Who Dat?" Apparently that chant is just as popular with the four-legged animals as the ones with just two legs. In the video above we see the most popular interaction between man and beast surrounding the Who Dat craze.

But there are other dogs, all claiming to be the ultimate Who Dat Dog. Take Moose the Great Dane, for example. Join us after the jump for videos of some of our other favorite Who Dat dogs.

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Cat obstacle courses and agility competitions gaining popularity

Cat course

Dog agility competitions make great TV, with pooches racing around an obstacle course, jumping through hoops and dashing through tunnels. If you've seen it, though, your reaction probably wasn't, "What about cats?"

But that's exactly the thought that Kim Everett-Hirsch of Portland, Ore., had before launching her first cat agility competition in 2005.

"I thought there was no reason cats can't do it."

At that first competition, there were 30 cats, none of whom had ever seen the obstacle course before. And in the building next to the cat show, there was a motorcycle show.

"These people came on over," Everett-Hirsch said. "They said, you gotta be kidding. So they paid admission."

And as the cats came out and got the hang of it, she says, "They were standing up cheering them, 'go girl go!'"

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Michael Vick's docu-series debuts on BET

Michael Vick's 10-part docu-series, "The Michael Vick Project," debuted on the BET network Tuesday. The Times' television critic Robert Lloyd recently reviewed the show; here's an excerpt:

Vick ["The Michael Vick Project's"] game plan is laid out clearly in the opening narration: "Against all odds, one man escaped and uplifted a family. But his humble beginnings led to a very tragic ending. But from darkness he saw the light. Blessed with a second chance, he must once again rise above to heal his family, his community, his legacy." (Heal his legacy?) It is a redemption story, couched in religious terms: "I'm Michael Vick," Vick says over the opening credits. "My fall from grace was tragic, but it was all my fault, and I'm on a mission to get everything back. Not the money and the fame, but to restore my family's good name."

You can decide for yourself whether this process is already, for all intents and purposes, complete. That Vick's Philadelphia teammates recently voted him the Ed Block Courage Award, for players who "exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage," seems to indicate that it is, as does a BET online poll in which 85% of those responding agreed that the quarterback had already done enough to "repair his image." It also indicates that the likely audience for this show is already on the star's side.

Indeed, there are plenty of people in this world who would not regard Vick's adventures in dog fighting as anything to apologize for in the first place -- nothing to go to prison for, anyway, as he did. Many humans are insensitive to the sensitivity of other species. (For that matter, many humans are unconscious of the humanity of whole classes of other humans.) And though Vick admits here that his treatment of his dogs was "inhumane and barbaric," the bloody specifics of his operation are avoided, including the fact that his partners -- and Vick himself at times -- would kill dogs that did not perform well, shooting them, hanging them, drowning them.

THERE'S MORE; READ THE REST.

Photo: Vick visits the BET network on Feb. 2. Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty Images

Michael Vick reflects on his dogfighting past in his soon-to-debut TV series, 'The Michael Vick Project'

Michael Vick

Michael Vick returned to the site of his gruesome dogfighting crimes, looked at an empty dog bowl left behind in a dingy cage and wondered how he ever could have risked fame, freedom and fortune for "Bad Newz Kennels."

"This is hard to imagine myself doing this years ago, man," Vick says, cameras rolling.

His visit to the property he once owned in Surry County, Va., where he trained pit bulls for vicious fights and helped drown or hang dogs that didn't do well, is a teaser of what's ahead in his docu-series "The Michael Vick Project."

Vick candidly tells how he became entangled in a dogfighting ring that sent him to prison and temporarily halted his NFL career as part of a series that debuts next month on BET. Vick says the 10-part series that premieres Feb. 2 will show he's a changed man after a tragic fall from stardom he says "was all my fault."

"At times, it's hard to talk about it, but for the most part, if you talk about it and let it all out, it kind of helps put the demons to rest," Vick told the Associated Press on Thursday.

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Michael Vick returns to Atlanta to boos, leaves with 2 TDs and cheers

Michaelvick

Back in the city he once ruled, Michael Vick put up a pair of touchdowns -- one running, the other passing, both of them his first since 2006 -- and basked in the cheers of the Georgia Dome crowd as the Eagles dominated the short-handed Falcons 34-7.

"It was as loud as it gets in the Dome," said Vick, who teared up on the bus ride over to the stadium. "I heard the chants all through the stadium and it sent chills down my spine. They were just letting me know that people still appreciate what I've done."

He was a three-time Pro Bowler with the Falcons and one of the most dynamic players in the NFL before his stunning downfall for dogfighting. After serving prison time and losing two seasons in the prime of his career, he’s trying to rebuild it all as a backup in Philadelphia.

Vick ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the third quarter, his first since Oct. 15, 2006. With the game out of hand, he slipped a 5-yard scoring pass to Brent Celek early in the fourth, his first TD throw since that final season with the Falcons.

"It couldn’t have happened at a better time," Vick said. "I want to become one of the top quarterbacks in this league again."

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Michael Vick says he wants another dog, denies having electrocuted pit bulls at Bad Newz Kennels

VickAt a speaking engagement at a Boys and Girls Club in Newark, N.J., NFL star and convicted dogfighter Michael Vick said he wished he could have a dog again "more than anything in the world."

According to NBC New York, Vick told the assembled school-age children that he hopes to one day own another dog -- he's currently legally prohibited from doing so -- but that whether he'll be able to is "up to my judge at his discretion."

Interestingly, Vick declined an offer by BAD RAP, the Oakland-based rescue group that has worked to rehabilitate 10 of the dogs seized from his Bad Newz Kennels, to see the dogs when his team, the Philadelphia Eagles, played the Oakland Raiders in October.

During the Boys and Girls Club appearance -- which was arranged by the Humane Society of the United States, the group with which Vick has formed an unorthodox partnership on its anti-dogfighting campaign -- Vick also answered questions from the children about the Bad Newz operation and his part in it, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports

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After the death of Uga VII, PETA asks University of Georgia to stop using bulldog mascots

Uga The death last week of Uga VII, the bulldog mascot for the University of Georgia's football team, hit a number of fans like a ton of bricks. (Perhaps fittingly, Uga VII himself rather resembled a ton of bricks, tipping the scales at 56 pounds.) Uga VII, like his father Uga VI, apparently died as a result of a heart condition.

Over the weekend, Uga VII was memorialized at a ceremony held at the university's football facility, Sanford Stadium, before being laid to rest along with his six Uga predecessors at a mausoleum for deceased team mascots near the stadium's entrance.

"Everyone has been so kind. Everybody loves that dog," Swann Seiler, the daughter of Frank "Sonny" Seiler, who has owned each of the seven Ugas, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Reportedly, the elder Seiler is on the lookout for the next bulldog in the long line of Ugas. 

But if PETA has anything to say about it, there won't be one. Today, the animal-rights group's animals in entertainment specialist, Desiree Acholla, fired off a letter to University of Georgia athletic director Damon Evans, asking him to "honor Uga VII by choosing an animatronic or solely use a costumed mascot to represent the Georgia Bulldogs in the future."

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Yes, those bears are really playing hockey

A video of bears playing ice hockey has (again) gone viral recently. The two-minute clip (above) shows brown bears sliding around a rink, deking, shoving and slap-shooting.

The bears are outfitted with sticks and jerseys as a rather sizable crowd watches. The animals actually play the sport surprisingly well. But there's no way this can be real, right?

Oh, it's a very real.

Back in May, the New York Times' Slap Shot hockey blog did a roundup of all of the crazy bear hockey videos floating around. We thought it was worth pointing out since there still seem to be questions as to whether a bear can be taught to rock the rink.

The video has been around for more than a year, yet people continue to doubt its authenticity. It appears there aren't any bear-hockey-CGI effects going on. This is a real (crazy) Russian phenomenon.

We're going to spend the rest of the day thinking of good bear puns. Like Wayne Grizzly. Or Mario Le Boo Boo. Or Sidney Crosbear. Or Jaromir Yogi. C'mon, help us out in the comments.

-- Mark Milian (Follow on Twitter @markmilian)

Uga VII, University of Georgia's bulldog mascot, dies

Uga 7 died today Uga VII, the white English bulldog mascot for the University of Georgia's football team for almost two seasons, died Thursday of heart-related causes, the dog's owner said.

The 56-pound dog, nicknamed "Loran's Best," was known as a laid-back mascot who seemed oblivious to crowd noise during boisterous games and would sit patiently as excited fans snapped photos of him. He often roamed the sidelines in a shirt with a "G" stitched on it, sometimes resting on a bag of ice to cool off in his customized doghouse.

The school said that there would be no mascot at Saturday's game in Athens against Southeastern Conference rival Kentucky, but that a wreath would be laid on Uga VII's doghouse on the field's sidelines. Sonny Seiler, the dog's owner, said he probably wouldn't name a replacement until next year.

"We are all in a state of shock," Seiler said in a news release issued by the university. "We had no warning whatsoever."

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PETA's latest anti-fur celebrity spokesmodels: Atlanta Falcons star Tony Gonzalez and his wife, October

GonzalezPETA certainly has its issues with certain NFL stars who shall remain nameless. But one major sports star -- who just so happens to play for that nameless player's former team, the Atlanta Falcons -- is certainly in the animal-rights group's good graces.

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez and his wife, October, are just the latest celebrities to pose for PETA; their anti-fur ad, in which they're covered up (just barely) by the tagline "We'd rather go naked than wear fur," was released recently to considerable fanfare. (For the record, Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the two "had clothes on" during the photo shoot -- but if that's the case, the clothes were certainly skimpy.)

"We should be protecting animals, not sacrificing their lives for the sake of fashion or luxury," Gonzalez explained of the couple's motivation to work with PETA. "October and I have changed many of our habits in light of the inhumane treatment of animals that occurs not only in the fur industry but also on factory farms." (Gonzalez was briefly vegan, but told the Associated Press that he reintroduced some animal products to his diet after he lost more weight than he intended. "I eat a little meat now, but it comes from clean sources: grass-fed cows, free-range chickens, wild fish, stuff like that," he said. "I'm OK with it as long as you do it humanely.")

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