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Yesterday the American Eagles played the George Washington Colonials in what is surely the most patriotic game of the 2022-23 NCAA men’s college basketball season. It was such a fun time that this dog wanted to get in on the action.

Ripped from here as the actual ESPN+ version of the game is all messed up for me. In the broadcast, one of the announcers notes that he also has a dog.

As you can see from the above video, the George Washington bench is no fan of dogs, or at least the kind of dogs that materialize suddenly during the early stages of a college basketball game. Ricky Lindo Jr. jumps out of the way, as does James Bishop IV. (Perhaps it was just the players named after their fathers who felt this way.) The dog didn’t interrupt the actual game, sadly, as it ran onto the court only after a whistle. What if it had been during play? This is as close as we have come to a real Air Bud situation on the court. Ain’t no NCAA bylaw that says a dog can’t play basketball as long as he’s enrolled in the school and passing all his (obedience) classes.

The question of what a dog was doing courtside was answered in short order. It was part of the halftime show, as you might’ve guessed.

The website of Mutts Gone Nuts features testimonials from Barbara Bush (“I laughed until I wept”) and Lee Greenwood (“Funniest act I ever worked with”). Their schedule includes dates at Maryland, Rutgers, and the Indiana Pacers later this month, and then Purdue next year. While it is unlikely that this incident was some kind of viral marketing gambit for those events—when you see a dog doing goofy dog things, it is safe to assume that it is just being a dog—the court invasion will probably coax some fans off the fence all the same. There is a chance that you could see this very dog boop the ball into the basket at one of these games. And if it doesn’t, you will at least get to see a show that’s approved by The Washington Post’s Weekender section (“A must see”).

American beat George Washington, 69-64. They outscored the Colonials 69-62 after the dog ran on the court.

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