The athletic fields at Albion College have been empty since the NCAA’s cancellation of all winter and spring NCAA championships and all related events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without Albion College spring sport tournaments, games and meets, Barstool Brits, a Twitter account not affiliated with Albion or Barstool Sports and run by an anonymous source, cannot report highlights, scores or other athletic marks for the spring sports season. Since two-legged athletes could not be celebrated, Barstool Brits turned to our four-legged friends: Dogs.
At first, Barstool began a thread of dogs called “Good Boy Friday.” This soon culminated in the first annual Barstool Doggo Tournament, which aims to keep its users entertained in years to come, but especially right now while in quarantine.
“I try to keep the barstool account fresh with content,” said Barstool, via Twitter direct message. “I needed content to keep everyone engaged.”
The seeded tournament was arranged according to the order of submissions. With 30 dogs seeded, a cat seeded 15th and wide receiver coach Tino Smith seeded second, the Doggo Tournament was set to start on March 24.
“Triston Ellis [owner of Cinnamon] was the first one to submit his dog,” said Barstool. “He has a pretty good following, so I thought for sure he’d roll through, but obviously puppies always have the edge.”
With huge upsets in the tournament, Roxy, Maxwell, Emmet and Breslin remained in the Final Four. Emmet scored his way into the finals with 65.9% of the people’s vote. Breslin secured the last spot in the finals with 51.1% of the people’s vote.
On April 4, with only 263 votes, Emmet took the title as champion of the first annual Barstool Doggo Champion, winning by 17.8% of the votes.
Meet Breslin: The Runner-Up
Breslin, owned by assistant director of the Wilson Institute, Maggie Godfrey, is a two and a half year-old collie. According to her owner, Breslin is the life of the party and loves to hand out high fives.
“She is very sweet-natured and the type of dog that strives to make her people happy day in and day out, when she isn’t napping of course,” said Godfrey.
Swiftly moving through the brackets, Godfrey’s excitement brought her nostalgia of March Madness and began to take the tournament seriously.
“Would it be wrong to vote for Emmett instead of my own dog, Breslin?” said Godfrey. “I don’t know if we stand a chance against that adorable puppy. It was a lot of fun and a great idea by Barstool Brit.”
As the life of the party, it was no surprise that 14-seed Breslin moved toward the final two.
“Breslin was a 14 seed and battled back from every round,” said Barstool. “Making a deep run to the championship was probably my highlight.”
Meet Emmet: The first annual Barstool Doggo Champion
Emmet is a 10-month old chocolate labrador retriever that was named the first annual Barstool Doggo champion with 58.9% of the people’s votes.
Being one of the few puppies in the tournament, Chris Wallace, owner of Emmet and senior from East Lansing, Mich., felt confident in Emmet’s proceeding in the bracket.
“I was very worried about the first round match up with coach Tino, because the man was a D1 receiver and current football coach, and we all know that Barstool Brits has a very strong following of football players and their families,” said Wallace. “After Emmet got the first round win over Tino, he stormed through the bracket, blowing out every opponent he came up against, even in the championship.”
As Wallace predicted, the freshman pup won the hearts of the people each round in a landslide, winning the championship.
At home, Emmet enjoys a good game of fetch and vacuums everything in his path, including tissues and headbands. Wallace’s favorite memory with the young chocolate lab is when his parents brought Emmet to his soccer games.
“Being at school, I wasn’t able to see him very often,” said Wallace. “So seeing him, even for a short time, made my weekends much better and always cheered me up after a tough loss or a long week of class.”