The Popcorn Stand: Tuf-Tuf must be a Trojan fan

Tuf-Tuf is a Trojan fan! That’s what I’d like to believe after USC’s thrilling 52-49 win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl on Monday.

As a USC alum and San Francisco 49ers fan, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to watch a football game as meaningful as Monday’s Rose Bowl. Pete, my shih tzu, though, remembers the days when USC and the 49ers used to play meaningful games so when things started to get really tense and I started making a fool out of myself, Pete was too smart to hang around. I’m sure he remembered the past, thought “here we go again,” so he got out of Dodge and went to read a book or something.

But for Tuf-Tuf (you know, Sir Tuffington something or other my Jack Russell), this was his first experience watching me make a fool out of myself during a football game. So as the Trojans began their thrilling comeback, Tuf-Tuf started barking.

I’ve been told it was probably Tuf-Tuf just thinking I wanted to play when I jumped up like a mad man, so he started barking, but I beg to differ. Especially when I ran through the house like a mad man when USC kicked the winning field goal, because Tuf-Tuf ran right along side of me.

Pete also seemed to know when the Trojans won and when the coast was clear because that’s about the time he returned to the living room. You could tell Pete has been through this before.

Of course, I’m having a hard time teaching my dogs my disdain for ESPN. I really got tired of hearing Chris Fowler and “Herbie” talking about “Penn State second half this” and “Penn State fourth quarter that,” but the dogs didn’t seem to care one way or another.

Overall, my dogs seem to handle the roller coaster of a ride I go through during a football game. When I go from “I hate you guys, I can’t believe you’re going to lose this game” to “I love you guys, I never doubted you,” the dogs seem to take it all in stride in their own way.

It was a memorable dog day afternoon.

— Charles Whisnand


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