Since the Covid-19 pandemic has meant one-third of the world is isolating at home, people have been looking for new ways to pass the time that doesn't involve staring nervously at the news and worrying about the spread.
It's been difficult for sports fans, who have had their favorite game of hitting a ball (foot, basket, or base, whatever it may be) around canceled. It's also left a fair few sports commentators out there with nothing to commentate on. Enter: dogs and penguins, doing what dogs and penguins do.
A sports commentator in the UK has been passing his time in lockdown commentating on the behavior of animals as if they were taking part in a competitive sport, to his surprise becoming a worldwide Internet sensation and entertaining millions. He started with his own two dogs, Olive and Mabel, skillfully narrating their actions as if reporting on an incredibly tense and tactical sports match to keep possession of a chew toy.
"So into the final minute and Olive in possession, but this is where Mabel is strong, chasing the game, using that intensity... we saw it in the semi-final. Perhaps a few signs of over-confidence from her rival; a bit of showboating. Needs to be careful," the BBC's Andrew Cotter begins in the video (in case you're one of those maniacs that click on a video without turning the sound on).
People loved it, probably for lines like: "Olive [is] closing in on victory in that coveted prize of being told she is a very good dog." He followed up with a second video of them in competition, this time for who could behave the worst on a walk.
Finding his distinct commentator style much in demand, Cotter has turned his attention to the tiny fairy penguins of Phillip Island, Australia, narrating a particularly tense marathon, or "The Great Little Penguin Race".
“And away they go," he begins in the video, published below by Phillip Island Nature Parks. "There’s the defending champion wearing his familiar navy blue and white... great waddling style."
The footage shows a nightly walk by the penguins, named little penguins but known as fairy penguins in Australia due to their diminutive size, on Victoria's Phillip Island. The video was put together by Visit Victoria and Phillip Island Nature Parks to share the penguins with the world as the parks remain closed during the lockdown.
"The penguins are quite comfortable in front of an audience as they are used to doing their nightly waddle in front of visitors at the Penguin Parade, but this kind of global recognition goes above and beyond. The penguins never fail to entertain with their antics, and Andrew’s wonderful wit has captured this beautifully,” said Phillip Island Nature Parks' Chief Executive Catherine Basterfield in a statement.
“I knew all about the penguins of Phillip Island before this and have visited Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road or Mornington Peninsula every year for the past 15 years," Cotter added. "I love it all down there so this was a natural fit.”
If you're thinking "that's great, but needs more dog," don't worry, Andrew's got you covered. Admittedly, his dogs are not particularly athletic, so he's had to get creative, as you can see below. Tag yourself in the comments.
[H/T: The Guardian]