The University of Texas has made a lot of money by betting that love for the Longhorns knows no bounds. That's why the school has the Longhorn Network -- a 24-hour cable channel devoted to Texas athletics.

On Christmas Day, that Longhorn love will be exemplified in the most literal form you could imagine: the Longhorn Network will air a five-hour, commercial-free special that features mascot Bevo the Longhorn grazing in a field.

The move is ostensibly an improvisation on the yule log/faux fire tradition that features TV stations devoting air time to broadcasting video of a warm fire flickering and crackling to the background of Christmas music.

In that context, Bevo figures to be as entertaining as its predecessors.

Amazingly, Bevo will be up against a competing SEC Network broadcast of the real deal: a fireplace.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.

A dog born with deformities in his front legs has been given second life thanks to the kindness and ingenuity of his new owner.

Born in August 2013, Derby's former owners considered sending him to a shelter to be euthanized. Instead they left him at Peace and Paws Dog Rescue, a rescue home in New Hampshire.

When Tara Anderson, a director at a 3D printing company, first adopted Derby he had a set of wheels to help him get around. But Anderson wanted to give Derby even more freedom, so she and her company, 3D Systems, created a pair of prosthetic legs for the pup.

Derby's legs were scanned and modeled and a ProJet 550X 3D Printer was used to make the new legs. According to BuzzFeed, the actual printing of the prosthetics only took a matter of hours.

Now, Derby routinely runs two or three miles a day.

Here's Derby's inspiring story:

Someone taught the dog a new trick.

Jack the Bulldog is Georgetown's official mascot, and the sweater-wearing pup doesn't need much help in the adorable department. But someone upped the stakes for mascots everywhere by teaching the dog how to ride a skateboard:

Jack mounted his skateboard and cruised the hardwood just before Georgetown took on Kansas on Wednesday night. For a program looking to re-establish its presence among college basketball's powerhouse programs, Jack's skateboarding skills might not mean much in the long run.

But on the other hand, it's a reason to tune in. And that's worth something.

This Finnish golden retriever clearly has its priorities in order.

During an episode of the competition "Koira Mestari," the dogs are supposed to run straight through a tantalizing track of toys and food. One clever canine wasn't buying it.

Instead, this retriever stopped at all the food bowls and had a snack. Even some prodding from the dog's owner couldn't get it to the finish line. This strong-willed pooch made a pit stop at every last food bowl on the track.

The retriever in question starts at about the :51 mark of the video below (you'll know it's the right one when you hear the "Benny Hill" theme song in the background):

The trend of photobombing might not have jumped the shark yet, but in Australia, there was just a case of a jumping shark doing a photobomb at a surfing competition.

This, according to the AP, happened in the New South Wales state town of Coffs Harbour, and an amateur photographer Steph Bellamy captured the moment on her smartphone. But initially Bellamy didn't even realize what was happening. After taking a closer look at her photo, she realized it was a shark.

"He jumped twice, he photobombed big time, then he went on his way," Bellamy told the AP.

The surfers got out of the water, but returned about 15 minutes after the shark left the area.

LSU's live tiger, Mike, lives a privileged life. He relaxes in a 15,000 square foot habitat outfitted with waterfalls and his own pool. Veterinarians check up on him on a daily basis.

And when he doesn't want to go to work, Mike doesn't have to -- he can stay home and luxuriate.

To the surprise of many, though, he's made that decision for all seven of LSU's home football games this season.

Mike is traditionally loaded up into a trailer and transported across the street into the stadium, where he is displayed on the field inside his trailer. Fans admire the giant feline as cheerleaders perform stunts off of the trailer's roof.

But Mike isn't forced into the trailer -- his handlers say there's no way to do it, and even if there was, they wouldn't subject him to that involuntary treatment. When enticements don't work, Mike simply gets to stay home.

Even so, Mike's absence is reportedly stirring up conversation on LSU's campus. According to a report in The New York Times, fans are starting to wonder why such an extended absence is taking place.

The official reason is simple: Mike doesn't want to get into his trailer. Whether the tiger is actively avoiding his display at a football game is another matter.

Even if he were, Mike's handlers wouldn't change their treatment of the tiger. At LSU, Tigers do what they want.

Fans just have to deal.

Everyone in Washington, it seems, is scoring these days.

Not only do the Capitals boast one of the NHL's top attacks, their 3.4 goals-per-game average is the third best in the league, even the franchise's marketing department is coming up big.

For the second consecutive year, the Capitals have teamed up with the D.C-area nonprofit Homeward Trails Animal Rescue to create a dog calendar featuring players posing with adorable pooches.

Some images from the photo shoot have leaked, and they are super cute:


@backstrom19 gets some puppy kisses after his shoot. #capscaninecalendar

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#CapsCanineCalendar shoot with Braden Holtby and Hogan from Homeward Trails Animal Rescue

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Rufus celebrates his and Aaron's shoot with a high 5! #capscaninecalendar

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Not only did the players look good, they were advocating a worthy cause. Homeward Trails Animal Rescue provides adoption services in the Virginia, Maryland and DC area.

“Animals don’t have a voice,” defenseman Karl Alzner, whose three dogs joined him at the shoot, told For The Win. “A lot of times, animals get overlooked. They can’t say, ‘Oh, I need this, I need help.’ People seem to think that they can almost push them aside and not worry about them. “This just brings a little more awareness. There are so many dogs that need help.”

Here's a video from the photo shoot:

Washington is following a time-honored tradition of hockey players joining forces with dogs for a good cause. The Pittsburgh Penguins are also teaming with a charity for their 2015 Penguins and Paws calendar, while the Chicago Blackhawks did a shoot for 2014. In fact, if you just can't get enough of photos of hockey players with their pets, check out this blog devoted to that very subject.

The Capitals' 2015 calendar will be available in December.

Bode Miller isn't leaving the sporting world. He's just changing his scenery. The Olympic skier, whom many believe made his final Olympic appearance in 2014, has revealed plans to become a professional horse trainer.

Miller's decision is not an impulsive one. He has been a known fan of horse racing for years. Over that time, he's become close friends with Bob Baffert -- so close that Baffert named one of his children Bode.

Now, Baffert will also serve as Miller's mentor as he enters the world of full-time horsetraining. As he revealed to In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Miller is in the process of buying a horse training facility in Kentucky, where his training work will be based.

In the meantime, Miller isn't done skiing competitively. But he knows the end is near, and he doesn't expect to continue skiing all the way to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Check out a sneak peak of the interview:

It's a match made in Royals heaven: Katie Castan, the woman everyone knows as "the girl who won a puppy," finally has her dream dog.

Castan became Internet famous after TV cameras found her at the Oakland-Kansas City wild-card game. Castan was holding a sign that read, "If we win, he's buying me a puppy!" with an arrow pointing to her boyfriend. After the Royals won dramatically in extra innings, everyone wanted to know if Castan's boyfriend would, in fact, live up to his promise.

It turns out she's dating a good one -- or, at least, she's dating a guy who won't defy a nation that wants to see a puppy in his girlfriend's arms. Castan had previously said they would likely adopt a dog from KC Pet Project, and that they would wait until after the season to get their dog.

But Castan was then approached by a family looking for a new home for their 4-year-old Corgi, and they called Castan to see if she was interested.

This is the end result:

"Since a corgi is the dog of my dreams, we went to meet her and I immediately fell in love," Castan told The Kansas City Star, which first reported the story.

And they lived happily ever after.

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Kobe Bryant will do almost anything to gain a competitive advantage, and the super-motivated Los Angeles Lakers star recently revealed that this drive includes looking to the animal kingdom for help with his jump shot.

In an interview with the New York Times, in which Bryant and Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington sat down with reporter Philip Galanes, Bryant said he was looking for ways to improve his balance after struggling with his shot early in his career. Flipping through channels one day he settled on the Discovery Channel, where he watched a cheetah in the hunt:

"When you watch me shoot my fadeaway jumper, you'll notice my leg is always extended. I had problems making that shot in the past. It’s tough. So one day I’m watching the Discovery Channel and see a cheetah hunting. When the cheetah runs, its tail always gives it balance, even if it’s cutting a sharp angle. And that’s when I was like: My leg could be the tail, right?"

The stories of Bryant's work ethic are copious, but this may be the most unique. It's one thing to put in hours upon hours in the gym, it's another to study animals.

The NBA community has had some fun with Bryant's reveal, and writer Matt Moore created this graphic depicting the change in Bryant's form:

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