The sooner the NFL season gets, the further away it feels.
Every day feels like a week. Every hot take feels like an open invitation to rumble. Every piece of content needs consumption because refreshing Twitter is the only way to dull the pain and fill the void.
I tried to relax a little bit by looking at some cute dogs, but my sports-fried brain just can’t seem to shut itself off.
So I power-ranked the 49ers’ players' dogs. I developed an intricate and sophisticated analytics model for this endeavour, called V.I.B.E.S. It takes into account that every dog is a good dog. Even the lowest-ranked dog is simply remarkable, and I would be lucky even to smell their dog breath.
If you get mad, just please take a second, breathe, and think of the dogs. These dogs have no idea what a “power ranking” is. They can’t read. Save your emotions for an entity that’s actually aware of your existence.
- Kobi Bean Warner, the Goldendoodle (@kobi_doodle on Instagram)
The best linebacker in the league has the same routine: wake up, crack skulls, cause turnovers, and then go home to the cutest dog on the entire team, possibly division. Kobi Bean projects to have all-pro cuddle-age abilities, which is necessary for the modern National Floofer League.
I’m a sucker for a Goldendoodle, and the Warners must have known that randos on the internet would one day pit their pups against their own teammates’…. well played, Fred and Sydney. Zeus Willis would be proud.
Photo courtesy of Thebark.com.
2. Mozzarella Juczyzck, the Vanderbilt Samoyed (@its_me_mozzarella on Instagram)
You don’t get the juice without the squeeze. It was a tough call between Mozzarella and Kobi, but when I thought of Mozzarella jumping on my black couch, I had to go with the doodle.
Shedding aside, she’s a worthy challenger for #1. Her name is top-tier — nothing beats getting named after food that you vaguely resemble. Mozzy is white, fluffy, and decadent, looking like a dog worthy of its own Instagram. The most impressive part of it all is that she went to Harvard. Did you know that?
3. Javon Kinlaw’s American Bully That He Got From Trent Williams (@sbg-bullies on Instagram)
Bully breeds intrigue me. They’re absolute units. It blows my mind that the canine equivalent of an NFL defensive linemen is the same animal as a Bichon or a Beagle. Football players seem to gravitate to Bullies (or Cane Corsos or Mastiffs), which is probably why Trent Williams had the business sense to start his own breeding service.
For me, this dog is top 3 because he’s a dual-threat: he looks like he can sit in your lap like a total sweetheart one minute and then go out and knock down a horse in the next. Throw in the narrative — just visualize Trent Williams and his brothers in their element, raising their puppies and making their teammates happy — and much like Javon and Trent, the V.I.B.E.S. are just too strong.
4. Deenie Kittle, the Bernedoodle
On any other team, Deenie would be gunning for the top spot. The Niners roster is loaded and in a field full of stand-outs… she’s adorable and amazing but just too generic.
I’ll see this dog at my friends’ place when I visit their families. I’ll see it at the doggy play date at the local park. I’ll see it on the hiking trail every Saturday morning. Such a relatable, dog-next-door fits the Kittles to a T because George seems like a guy you can have a beer or three with. In a different universe, you’d probably find him sitting at a bar or brewery (depending on the state of his man bun), shooting the Shih Tzu, with this exact dog patiently and politely sitting cross-legged underneath his stool.
That’s not a bad thing. I would 100% hope to give Deenie a head scratch if I saw her in real life. I would also hope that George doesn’t read Niners Nation.
5. Zoe and Rookie, the 49ers Frenchies (@the49ersfrenchies on Instagram)
They’re obviously very cute, but they’re the 49ers' official team dogs. Niners Nation prides itself on objectivity*. This ain’t ESPN. If the team can afford to buy EPL teams and real estate, they can afford to throw your boy a bone.
*I’ll bump her up to the top 3 if I can get a playdate with my dog.
These rankings are fluid. I likely missed several dogs, as I was just poring through social media, so please comment or tweet them, and we’ll see if these rankings need adjusting.