6 Animals Who Tried to Pull An Air Bud With Varying Degrees of Success

Nothing in the rule book that says a kangaroo can’t fight a full grown man
6 Animals Who Tried to Pull An Air Bud With Varying Degrees of Success

Who among us could ever forget maybe the most iconic movie athlete of the 1990s: Buddy “Air Bud” Framm. You could try to argue that he has a rival in Michael Jordan and Space Jam. Sure, Jordan might have the real-life rings. If we’re judging by the effect that each had on intrusive thoughts for the rest of my life, though, Air Bud comes out on top. Ignore, too, its 45 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as all that indicates is that 55 percent of movie critics are incorrigible misers

Either way, watching Buddy’s prowess on the basketball court, it makes you wonder: Could it ever happen in real life? No. Absolutely not. What are you, stupid or a child or both?

Here, though, are six animals that are probably the closest we’ll ever get…

Oregon Zoo’s Basketball Otters

Otters are adorable. They hold hands when they sleep so they don’t drift apart, as the least emotionally stable person you know is regularly brought to tears by. If you’re at the Oregon Zoo, you’ll quickly learn that they’re also capable of playing basketball — sort of. Obviously, it’s not a real court or real competition, something that’s not recommended unless you want to see Draymond Green whip one out of bounds like a wet rag.

They do, however, understand the basics of taking a ball and delivering it through the hoop, by way of repeated, wet slam dunks. They’re all about the dunks, and who could blame them? Get them on Inside the NBA to talk about how Steph Curry and the emphasis on the three-pointer have ruined the game. Absolute paint beasts, these little fellas. They even throw in the occasional spin move, making them more agile than Shaq, with probably a better free-throw percentage.

Indy the Goalie Cat

When you think about it, a cat is uniquely suited to be trained as a soccer goalie. After all, it combines two of their absolute favorite things to do: batting things away, and ruining someone’s hard work. If you got points for throwing up on a bed, they’d be absolutely unstoppable. It’s not surprising then, that with some actual, intentional training, a cat named Indy quickly became an absolute wall.

We’re not talking about happenstance and luck here, where a ball that’s rolling toward a goal at the speed of slime is coincidentally knocked away. The scale may be smaller, but these are full-speed attempts at a tiny goal, and Indy is defending with Cirque du Soleil-ready body contortions. Again, this is all fun, but we know if he was ever put on a real pitch, a solid shot would have him flying into a net and coming out as cubes on the other side, Looney Tunes style.

Otto the Skateboarding Dog

A bulldog and a skateboard, on the other hand, are pretty definitively not designed for each other. Outside of a bulldog’s general displeasure with heavy exertion, due to their smashed face and breathing canals that look like that one old windows pipe screensaver, there’s not an immediate reason for them to pick up the hobby. Nevertheless, natural curiosity (hopefully, and not a draconian training process) led a bulldog named Otto to become at least more comfortable on a skateboard than most first-timers.

He’s even the proud owner of a world record, albeit one that was basically designed for him. He holds the record of the longest human tunnel (made of consecutive spread legs) skateboarded through by a dog. At the very least, it does prove that he has some ability and intention to steer, and these people aren’t just sticking a dog on a skateboard and shoving it down a hill for content. Sure, he can’t kickflip, but neither can you, you fucking poser.

Unnamed NFL Cat


Also probably the only cat video that the NFL blocks from off-site viewing on YouTube.

In 2019, during an NFL game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, play was stopped due to there being too many men on the field — again, sorta. In addition to the 22 players lined up on offense and defense, there was one additional interloper: a single stray cat who strode unbothered straight onto the 50-yard line. Thankfully, it was in between plays, saving us from perhaps the hardest to watch on-field injury clip in a game full of them.

It was when attempts were made to remove the cat that its phenomenal athleticism became clear. Tuck a tiny football in a cat backpack, and this cat would have been putting on an absolute clinic in on-field agility — speed and change of direction that would have Barry Sanders bowing down. Can you imagine the kind of three-cone time a cat could bank? The commentators, god bless them, excitedly called the entire non-play that ended with the cat in the end zone.

Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel

It’s not hard to see the relationship between the growth of YouTube and the wealth of animals aping human athletic feats. Teach your ferret how to push a croquet ball, and you’re well on your way to plenty of views and possible monetization. Which means we have to honor, all the more, the old-school animals who were doing human sports simply for the love of the game. Real lunch-pail, possibly literal gym rats.

That leads us to a rodent who is an absolute OG in the world of animal athletics: Twiggy the waterskiing squirrel. Look, I’m not saying that other animals on this list aren’t impressive, but most of them benefit from something that, on some level, they can understand. Wheels and balls aren’t new in the animal toy world. For a squirrel to wrap its little nut around the idea of flotation and speed, and to do it all on top of water, a substance they generally don’t seem to love being immersed in? I would argue that this squirrel is the GOAT.

Gorilla in UFC


I didnt hear, or understand the meaning of, no bell.

Okay, so this one isn’t real, but I sure would like to see it. Let’s see how you like the “Gorilla Mindset” when its focus is eliminating you as a threat. Go ahead, try to get in full guard against a 440-pound silverback. He might not know the difference between striking and grappling, but dollars to donuts, he’s wearing the belt when the bell rings.

Eli Yudin is a stand-up comedian in Brooklyn. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @eliyudin and listen to his podcast, What A Time to Be Alive, about the five weirdest news stories of the week, on Apple PodcastsSpotify or wherever else you get your podcasts.

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