A Secret Weapon in the 2021 Brackets?

An empty NCAA bracket form

Is your dog into sports?

One lucky dog owner had help — or a secret weapon? — when completing their NCAA basketball brackets this year: The family dog.

Apparently, with a lot of time on their paws, Satchel, the dog, took to chasing basketball statistics. And came up with a winning bracket. Satchel’s owner filled out the bracket (following careful instructions, no doubt) to prioritize teams with canine mascots (Go Huskies!). Those with non-canine non-human animal mascots came next.

As a person who rarely (OK, never) watches TV sports, if I were to fill out a bracket, I would have done exactly what Satchel did. I mean really, how else would you choose?

Besides, Satchel is hardly the first non-human to excel at sports betting. Remember Paul, the octopus who correctly predicted the outcome in a majority of Euro 2008 and all World Cup 2010 football (soccer to Americans) matches? Paul is probably the only octopus with a biography on Wikipedia, too …).

Satchel and Paul are joined in sports betting prowess by Cruz, a parrot who correctly bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win this year’s Super Bowl. (Cruz was alone in the Washington Post roundup of animal predictions; the unnamed tortoise, dolphin, sand cat, and panda all chose Kansas City.) Jane the river otter, a Tampa resident, and fellow local Buffett (a manatee) also loyally — and accurately — picked the Bucs. Their friend Nick, a dolphin, unfortunately chose the Chiefs, ending his yearlong winning streak.

So, next time you need some assistance with your sports predictions, just check with your dog. Whatever you do, don’t ask the dolphin.

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