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Some Coaches Are More Hands-On Than Others

, , , , , | Friendly | October 11, 2021

One fall Friday, I took my two-year-old Dalmatian — named Coach, for obvious reasons — to watch my seventeen-year-old son’s football team play another local team. The game was played in the afternoon, so Coach and I easily found first-row bleacher seats near midfield. My son was a defensive back, and with constant player substitutions, I sometimes had trouble figuring out where he was on the field, but not Coach.

In the game’s third quarter, [Son] fielded a punt and started to run upfield before being gang-tackled by opposing team members. Suddenly, Coach pulled the leash from my hand and ran onto the field, literally jumping on top of the pile of players and growling and ferociously protecting [Son]. For a few short moments, it was pure bedlam, with players disentangling from the pile and retreating more quickly than most had probably ever run before on a football field.

I ran, too, straight onto the field, yelling Coach’s name as loudly as I could — confusing all the real team coaches, I am sure. I grabbed the leash and walked the dog back to our bleacher row seat. No one was hurt, thankfully, but a few minutes later, the referee blew his whistle to stop the game and came over to our sideline seats.

Referee: “Mister, you are going to have to move the dog. The other team is afraid to run to your side of the field.”

We watched the rest of the game from the other side of the field, and while it didn’t happen, I truly believe if my son had tried to return another punt, he could have walked the whole way untouched.

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