Starting this summer 2020, the NBA began its experiment to proceed with the basketball season without fans in the stands. All games will be played inside of a quarantine “bubble” at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The goal is to keep basketball alive while simultaneously reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the NBA, zero players have tested positive for coronavirus since August 5.
Of course, the ambiance is a big part of watching professional sports. The NBA decided to fill the stadium seats with virtual versions of real fans. It’s one way for fans disappointed they can’t attend basketball games to delight in seeing themselves on TV anyway.
However, many of those fans happen to be canines. In fact, 32 dogs (and one goat!) appeared in the crowd at a Spurs/Jazz game this month.
To put it as the game announcer did:
“We have seen some unbelievable things in basketball, but never seen it quite like this.”
Michelob Ultra hosts a running sweepstakes where fans (and their adorable dogs) can attempt to win a virtual place in the stadium. Every Tuesday, they offer a new opportunity to become a virtual fan. Replying to their tweet and retweeting it using the hashtags #ULTRACourtside and #Sweepstakes earns you an entry. No purchase necessary!
“Finding dogs to sit in our section wasn’t hard… getting them to sit and stay was.” – @MichelobULTRA/Twitter
It doesn’t surprise me that dog people would prefer to have their pooch on TV over themselves. Plus, it makes for a whole new layer of enjoyable viewing, especially for those reluctantly watching alongside the sports fans they love.
Occasionally, certain sports stadiums will host events that encourage dog attendance. But never have they sat this still and quietly before. In fact, none of these virtual doggies can even stray from their seats at all. They just wobble in and out of their tiny frames a bit.
Obviously, everyone loves these shots of happy dogs interspersed between game footage. Many fans continue to enter the contest, submitting all sorts of animals from sheep to cats to poodles.
Unfortunately, there are no plans to allow any non-family members or essential personnel into the NBA bubble any time soon. But seeing so many dogs on TV makes for a pretty nice silver lining. Enter the contest today and who knows, it may just be your dog’s gorgeous mug they cut to before commercial!
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Featured Image: @NBA/Twitter
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