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Coronavirus stars: BBC sports commentator Andrew Cotter’s dogs Olive and Mabel go viral | Life and style

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It is a common refrain among pet owners right now that dogs are the only ones whose lives have been improved by coronavirus. But the animals are making our isolation more enjoyable too.

Exhibit A: the BBC sports commentator Andrew Cotter who, bereft of actual sports to commentate, has turned his attention to his two labradors: the older Olive and the younger Mabel.

“So into the final minute and Olive in possession – but this is where Mabel is strong, chasing the game, using that intensity,” Cotter begins, deadpan and calm, with that recognisable Scottish voice heard at Wimbledon, the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

The dogs he films are engaged in a quiet power battle over an orange rubber bone that appears to have been in contention for some time.

Olive holds strong for a while but then gets cocky, loosening her grip and positioning the toy up lengthways to give it a little lick. This turns out to be the moment of her downfall. With a steady intensity of focus – “built on patience and sheer belief” – Mabel snatches it away, winning the title of “very good dog”.

Andrew Cotter
(@MrAndrewCotter)

Some sports are slower. More about the strategy. pic.twitter.com/JMBaGJ1tSd


April 9, 2020

Shared on Thursday night, the short clip was viewed more than 3m times in less than five hours – testament perhaps to a widespread craving for joy around the world.

But the contest between these “great rivals” wasn’t a one-off: it’s the second match in what we can only hope will be an ongoing series.

The first game – an eating competition posted on 28 March, in which Olive (“focused, relentless, tasting absolutely nothing”) reclaimed her title against the rising star – was viewed 9m times, retweeted by Ryan Reynolds and featured on ESPN.

Andrew Cotter
(@MrAndrewCotter)

I was bored. pic.twitter.com/bVoC0hyNzC


March 27, 2020

“None of this has changed Mabel or Olive,” Cotter told the Telegraph in the wash-out from the first contest, “although a few friends have said Mabel was robbed, because I messed up getting her bowl down. There are demands for a rematch.”

“It just shows how much we are all missing sport and what we term ‘normal life’,” he continued. “We absolutely take it for granted and we are at last realising that. I believe when sport returns, there will be a huge outpouring and it will not nearly be as cynical as before. Hopefully, that will be soon, as I am unemployed.”

Andrew Cotter
(@MrAndrewCotter)

Current lockdown situation. pic.twitter.com/I0CUvXVMjW


April 7, 2020



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The Latest: Kershaw starts pivotal Game 5 for Dodgers | Sports

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The Latest on Game 4 of the World Series (all times local):

The Dodgers have three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw starting the pivotal Game 5 in the World Series.

They could also have Walker Buehler available out of the bullpen against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Buehler, who won Game 3 on Friday night and would start Game 7 on Wednesday night if the Series goes that long, didn’t throw his usual between-games side session before Sunday night’s game.

The last time Buehler pitched in relief was June 28, 2018, when he was nursing a rib microfracture and rejoined the team after a planned rehab assignment. His only other relief appearances came in his eight games as a rookie in 2017.

Big right-hander Tyler Glasnow started for the Rays, a rematch of Game 1 when Kershaw and the Dodgers won 8-3.

The roof is closed for Game 5, and might not open again during this World Series.

Along with the dreary, misty conditions outside Globe Life Field before the start of Sunday’s game, there was an increasing chance of rain into the night —and beyond.

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Sports column: COVID is shaping football playoff picture – The Vicksburg Post

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The news that Starkville High School’s football team was dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak shook up the Region 2-6A championship picture. It will force the Yellow Jackets — who were ranked No. 1 in the state before losing their last game — to forfeit a key game against Warren Central next week and might wind up costing them a playoff berth when everything shakes out.

It was a stunning development, but also one that hardly came as a surprise. It was more of a ticking time bomb that finally exploded.

The COVID-19 protocols in place for both the Mississippi High School Activities Association and Mid-South Association of Independent Schools require teams with more than a certain number of positive tests to quarantine all of their players for two weeks. That means shutting down practices and workouts, as well as games, and it seemed inevitable that at some point a championship contender was probably going to go down not with a loss on the field but one in the testing lab.

Starkville got lucky in that it has an open date this week. It will only have to forfeit one game and has banked a few wins to put itself in a good position to still reach the playoffs, provided it can play and win its final regular-season game against Clinton on Nov. 6. Several other teams around the state have not been as fortunate, and their forfeit losses have effectively killed their playoff chances.

As long as we’re living in daily fear of the COVID-19 virus and insisting on lockdowns, mask mandates and quarantines, this is an unavoidable situation that no one takes joy in. Even Warren Central coach Josh Morgan, whose team benefited the most from the Starkville situation, was somber when talking about it on Wednesday. Morgan seemed to realize that his team could be next, and had a “There but for the grace of God go I” attitude rather than a happy one.

“I hate for any team to have to go through that, because we’re all dealing with it,” Morgan said.

Starkville was not the first team to be affected by the COVID-19 protocols, and might not be the last as we approach the final weeks of the season. Important region games and even playoff games might have to be forfeited because of quarantine measures.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens if a participant in the playoffs or championship games has an outbreak. Will the MHSAA and MAIS award byes or state championships by default? Will they be able to postpone the games until the all clear is given? Will whoever lifts the championship trophies in November and December forever have an asterisk by their names if a couple of forfeit victories in the playoffs helped get them there?

We all knew the “COVID season” was going to be a strange one, where the team that wins it all might literally be the last team standing. So far, our local teams have been fortunate to largely avoid the coronavirus’ wrath. St. Aloysius and Warren Central have had postponements caused by other teams’ outbreaks, but all four Warren County schools have avoided their own outbreaks.

Let’s all hope there aren’t any more surprises coming in the next few weeks, both for the health and safety of everyone involved and to avoid cheapening an achievement so many people are striving for.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post’s sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post’s sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper’s 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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Sports Scoreboard – Saturday, October 24, 2020 – Drgnews

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