(UPDATES WITH STATEMENT FROM PANTHER, VIDEO FROM 2010 RACE)
Football players aren't the only ones training for Saturday's game between Perkins and St. Mary CC.
Mascots for both schools will race against Dollar Dog (a mascot for Vacationland FCU) for a second straight year. While the pirate and panther have the liberty of turning to trainers and coaches at their schools, the dog is a mascot for a bank. There was a YouTube video of his training regimen a year ago, but I'm told he wouldn't go on film this year during workouts.
I hope to speak with SMCC track coach Chad Kresser on Thursday to chat about how he's training the panther for the race, and to post a video of the 2010 race.
So I get an e-mail from Kresser that includes a statement from the panther's agent, Mick Rosenmouse (the irony that a mouse would represent a cat). It reads:
"The Panther has been extremely busy preparing for his upcoming reality tv show which will be featured on YouTube and Facebook in the coming months so his training has been a little sporadic right now. He really wants to make up for the embarassing defeat he suffered in last year's race at Perkins and thinks that with the full force of the SMCC Navy Night crowd behind him he will be able to make the run to victory. The Panther is hoping that this will remain an annual race between the 3 mascots but notes that Dollar Dog has been a bit of a disappointment in the past. Also, he is willing to make a friendly wager with the Pirate over the outcome of the race. The Panther will put up a 3 week all expense paid stay in his family's home in the jungle if the Pirate is willing to offer a Carribean Cruise."
And here's a video from YouTube of the race. I've never seen a dog trip. Ever. As a runner, I might suggest wearing running shorts instead of really baggy basketball shorts.