The entire sports world has come to a halt during the novel coronavirus pandemic, leaving a vacuum in so many fans’ lives.
At our house, with no games on television to keep us entertained, we’ve turned to the most entertaining thing we could think of.
That’s right. Daisy Duke.
Our precocious 2-year-old bloodhound has kept us entertained from the minute she came to live with us, and her athletic achievements — some real, some imagined — continue to amaze us.
Bloodhounds are generally clumsy and ours can be as well. But from time to time, she shows this incredible athletic ability — a burst of speed here, a tall leap there. It’s just enough to make us wonder where Daisy Duke would fit if she played the sports we’ve been missing for the past couple of months.
When you see Daisy Duke stand up and stretch to reach her toys on the mantle, you could really imagine her playing basketball.
She would be a 6-foot-6 guard who could get to the rim and would bite you if you tried to stop her. Her outside shot could use some work, mostly because she’s never been required to develop it since her athletic ability has enabled her to dominate lesser competition throughout her career.
She was hoping to be recruited by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. That’s the only school in the country with teams known as the Bloodhounds.
She would settle for a call from Steve Forbes, although her academic standing might not be all that great considering how she did in obedience school.
There’s no doubt Daisy Duke would be a two-way player on a football field, even in this day and age of specialization. You just can’t keep an athlete like that off the field.
Rushing the passer might be her best athletic trait. We’ve learned this the hard way while playing fetch. If you drop back to pass and she really wants the ball, she will sack you like J.J. Watt. And she’s relentless. She’d never have to come out of the game for a rest.
Once you were sacked, you’d be playing scared the rest of the way. You don’t just get hit. You get slimed as well.
On offense, she’d be a wide receiver. Her numbers in the scouting combine wouldn’t be that good because she’s a bit slow getting off the ball and she had trouble holding the bar in the bench press drill, but once she gets running, she’s a load.
Perhaps her biggest weakness — especially for a wide receiver — is her lack of production at the position. In two years, she has exactly one catch. Along the way, she’s dropped about 375 passes.
That’s not a good ratio, but considering she has no hands and tries to make every catch with her mouth, she’s not bad.
Let’s see Larry Fitzgerald try that.
There’s not much future in baseball for Daisy Duke. Imagine a first baseman who can’t hit — or catch.
You can really fool her with an off-speed pitch. Since she holds the bat in her mouth, she momentarily loses sight of the ball when she starts her swing.
On defense, she can stretch like the best first basemen do, but it wouldn’t do any good. She can only catch the most perfect of throws.
Since she catches with her mouth, she really doesn’t need a glove. In fact, she’s more likely to take the glove to a corner of the yard and chew it into an unrecognizable pile of leather.
However, if your team needs a pinch runner, she’s your dog. She could score from first base on a routine single to right field. If there’s a play at the plate, she doesn’t know how to slide. But you’d pity the catcher trying to block her way.
Track & field
Middle distance would be Daisy Duke’s thing. Once she gets up to speed, she can run and run. Her biggest problem would be staying in her lane. If a rabbit or a bird somehow distracted her, she’d be off course in a second. She might be running in world-record time, but we’d never know because she wouldn’t cross the finish line.
Daisy Duke has spent a lot of time around cars so she might be considered a natural, especially considering she was born in North Carolina, where she lived the first five months of her life.
However, two problems come to mind when it comes to stock-car racing. There’s no way she’d agree to wear a helmet so she’d have to be one of those daredevil-type racers from the old days.
The other problem? She doesn’t know how to drive. She loves to hang her head out the window on the passenger side, ears flapping in the breeze. She’d have to hire a driver to do the actual racing, though, while she simply enjoyed the view.
Apparently there’s no golf in Daisy Duke’s future.
When we tried to chip in the yard and have her fetch the ball, she was more concerned with the club. That made golf about the most dangerous sport she has tried.
It ended up with our would-be golfer laying on her back being rubbed on her belly the the club.
It’s probably a good thing. If we took her out on the golf course, she’d likely get in trouble for trying to bury a bone on the greens. The courses frown upon that.
This is one of Daisy Duke’s favorite sports. She’ll run and jump and do just about anything when there’s a tennis ball in the back yard.
Her biggest problem? She had no idea you were supposed to use a racquet. Once she found out, all she wanted to do was eat the strings. And her backhand is going to take some work.
This might be her best sport. As a goaltender, Daisy Duke would shine with her leaping ability and willingness to get the ball regardless of who is in the way. She’d knock it out of the air with her paws, mouth, chest — whatever it takes.
Like in soccer, Daisy Duke’s best position would be goalie.
She doesn’t have a future on the ice, though. She’s never skated and would need four skates — size 2 — just to get started. The only way she could hold her stick would be in her mouth.
She’d stop a few pucks just because that’s what she does, but she’d soon realize hockey wasn’t for her. She’s a warm weather hound.
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Hopefully sometime soon, the sports world will return to normal and we’ll be able to watch the games again.
Until then, we’ll keep entertaining ourselves with an athletic hound who always plays the games by her own rules.
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Joe Avento is Sports Director for the Johnson City Press and Kingsport Times News. Contact him at [email protected].