Let’s face it: When you see the words “National Football League” and “dogs” in the same sentence, the name that’s likely to come to mind is Michael Vick. And it’s not going to make you feel warm and fuzzy.
If you’re a football fan and an animal lover, here’s some good news: Together, we can change that association.
I got an email the other day from Becky Krueger, Director of Education & Public Relations for the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, who wanted to share a new pet adoption PSA called “Home Game” with me. It features St. Louis Rams star Rodger Saffold and an extremely cute dog named Popeye:
It was intended for my Pet Adoption Videos That Don’t Make Me To Kill Myself series, and you can certainly consider it part of that. But it also occurred to me that, since it highlights a member of a major sports franchise, we in the pet community have an opportunity to do more: Celebrate big tough NFL guys who are manly enough not to hurt dogs.
So although I have zero interest in football, I researched Rodger Saffold. According to Wikipedia:
Saffold was drafted by the Rams in the second round, 33rd overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. On July 28, 2010, he signed a 4 year contract worth $6.3 million, that includes $3.9 million guaranteed. Saffold earned the starting left tackle position for the Rams in his rookie season and started in every game that season for the Rams. Saffold garnered rave reviews for his play and was named to multiple All Rookie teams, including Pro Football Weekly and the Sporting News.
Except for the money and rave reviews part, this means next to nothing to me. But when I took my research to the Rams’ website, I found a terrific video on the creation of Rodger’s PSA called “That’s My Dog.” I can’t embed it, but I urge you to watch it. It’s clear that Rodger is a really nice guy and thus more deserving of all that money than most sports figures. And how cool is it that a major football team’s site features a video that promotes animal welfare?
I’m sorry to report that no one — except me, now! — has Liked, Tweeted, or +1’ed the video. Since sharing is caring, why don’t you start by doing that?
One more digression, because I cannot get enough of either Popeye or Rodger. Here’s a blooper video from the filming of “Home Game”:
It’s not all head rubs and bacon, though. On November 18, Rodger was placed on the injured reserve list because of a torn pectoral muscle incurred while he was lifting weights.
So here’s what I want you to do, in no particular order. Go over to the Rams’ Facebook page and Like it. Then post on their wall that you really like Rodger Saffold and tell them why. Send people to the video on the Rams’ site that I linked to, above. Tell Rodger you hope he feels better. And thank him for all he does for animals. Share this post, spread the word.
Go Rodger. Go Rams. Go pet community. Let’s make it okay for animal lovers to get excited about the NFL again, even if you couldn’t care less about football.