The other Thanksgiving sports: Dogs versus poker | VailDaily.com
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The other Thanksgiving sports: Dogs versus poker

Ian Cropp
Daily file photoIan CroppCroppaganda
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Most sports are discriminating. Short people can’t play pro basketball. Skinny people can’t be effective sumo wrestlers.This is why I enjoy watching most sporting events in which just about any part of the general population can compete.Thanksgiving showcased several events on television that were quite indiscriminate.Other than the classic football games, there were two debatable sporting events televised on Turkey Day. One, poker, I abhor, while the other, dog shows, I adore.Poker, while fun to play, should never be televised unless Fidel Castro, Osama Bin Laden, George W. Bush and Kim Il-Jung play a high-stakes game in which their respective ideologies are being wagered.Dog shows, on the other hand, should be televised more than the Detroit Lions.Let’s break it down and look at what goes on during these respective events.

During a televised poker match, you see the cards, and wait to see what the people who are playing them do. End of story.During a dog show, you watch animals waltz across a rug. But, it is in the watching that people derive enjoyment.I equate watching poker to watching people play video games. Unless I’m given a full frontal lobotomy, I won’t ever have the patience to watch. How many people sit and watch their friends play poker? I’d venture to say that of the five people that do, none will admit to it.A dog show lasts as long as any major sporting event, and showcases the beauty of a great animal. During the show, just about every breed of dog imaginable is on display.You can admire an Alaskan Malamute, a Norwich Terrier, or a Giant Schnauzer. Even if you don’t like animals, but you still respect science or evolution, dogs shows are a great way to see species variety. Televised poker, on the other hand, shows just how far we have devolved as a society. If, in fact, Big Brother were watching us watch poker, he’d ask if we had anything better to be doing, like washing our hair, or our dogs’ hair.

Home feelColoradans, of all people, should appreciate the appeal of dogs on television. Dogs are treated rather well by their owners in this state. They are allowed in public places and fed and clothed better than many of my friends. On several occasions I’ve enjoyed the company of a dog over that of a human while at a bar. Figures of dog owners range from 43 million (American Pet Association and CNN) to 68 million (Kansas City Star). I assume that a dog owner likes other dogs of the same breed, and other breeds.Even those who don’t own dogs may want to watch them. What people want to see on the television has a lot to do with aesthetics. Let’s look at which event has the better looking individuals.Have you seen the people who play at, and win poker tournaments? They are dressed like slobs, have manners comparable to poorly behaved dogs and crack jokes at which only a dealer could laugh.Dogs on televised shows are the best of the best. They have impeccable coats, great manners, and usually control their bowels. And most dogs can be considered cute (with the exception of Irish Wolfhounds and Afghan Hounds, breeds that only a mother could love).



AlternativesThere is an endless list of things I’d rather do than watch poker on television.I’d rather watch a tax lawyer file through my massive earnings from the past year than see someone win $1 million dollars on a pair of sevens. Also, I wouldn’t mind watching a 10-minute profile on said tax lawyer and his education in lieu of hearing about how some Horatio Alger character pulled himself/herself up by his/her bootstraps to win a poker tournament.I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. Maybe if dogs learned how to play poker, I would watch, but otherwise, I’m going with Canis lupus familiaris.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or icropp@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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