Daryl Johnston knows a lot about making big plays in the Super Bowl.
Wednesday, it was his dog Gunner, a 3-year-old yellow Labrador, and some of Gunner’s canine teammates who showed their athletic skills in New Orleans. The pups participated in a "Canine Combine" sponsored by Purina Pro Plan and the P5 training app.
"Pound-per-pound, these are some of most explosive athletes in town right now," said Johnston, a former fullback who won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys. Gunner and several other dogs ran through an obstacle course and showed their “mouth-eye” coordination in catching flying discs. The P5 app allows dog owners to set, track and share fitness goals for their dogs based on breed, weight and body condition. Johnston and Gunner teamed up in this promotional video, and he began training his dog to snag passes using the app just a few weeks ago.
As far as the competition between the human athletes on the field Sunday, Johnston likens this Super Bowl to a "throwback, old-school" type of game.
"There isn't a Brady, Brees, Manning or Rodgers in this game," Johnston said. "It's going to come down to blocking and tackling. I feel that San Francisco has the edge in both of those categories."
• Matt Robins has become a songbird of sorts for the Baltimore Ravens.
Robins, of Salisbury, Md., produced two parody songs earlier in the playoffs with his wife, Sarah, and father, Stan. "Bring On Brady" and "Tonight - A Ravens Battle Song" have more than 400,000 views on YouTube combined, with the majority coming from the "Call Me Maybe"-based Brady spoof.
Sarah, who sings lead in each video, came up with the idea for this latest parody, "Wannabeat," which is based on the Spice Girls 1996 hit "Wannabe."
Among the lyrics:
All the boys in Vegas keep gettin' it wrong
But the Ravens play better when they're underdogs
So keep on hating, we're doin' fine
We'll make you believers when it's trophy time
The video was posted on YouTube Wednesday.
"Sarah had the good point that a lot of female fans don't know too many of the players' names," Matt Robins told Playbook. "It took some convincing to cover this particular song on my part, but once I understood her vision of making it a pumped-up pep rally song, I got on board."