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:



Loading

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

View on Instagram


Loading

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

View on Instagram


Loading

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

View on Instagram


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.

See Slideshow >>

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 CBSSports.com writer Matt Moore created this graphic depicting the change in Bryant's form:


The most noteworthy block from Saturday's Texas A&M-SMU game may have come on the sidelines.

As SMU wide receiver De’rikk Thompson came barreling toward Reveille VIII, the A&M mascot and unofficial "Queen of Aggie Land," sophomore cadet Ryan Kreider jumped to the 8-year-old collie's defense and shielded her from danger. Here's a video of Kreider's heroics:


The Aggies went on to win 58-6, so Kreider's block provided a memorable moment from an otherwise forgettable game. Shortly after saving Reveille VIII, Kreider was interviewed on the sidelines:

On Monday the man in charge of all of Texas A&M's cadets, Brig. Gen. Joe E. Ramirez Jr., announced that he would be paying for Kreider's senior boots, which cadets don for the first time at the Final Review at the end of their junior year. The boots cost around $1,600.


Reveille VIII, who will be retiring at the end of the spring semester, is a campus celebrity. Krieder has said students often stop him on campus to meet and take pictures with Reveille, making Kreider's walk to class sometimes as long as 45 minutes.

Manziel, Wiggins, LeBron ... Swagger.

There's a new Fantastic Four in Cleveland.

Cleveland Browns VP of Marketing Kevin Griffin informed Chris Fillar of WKRK-FM, 92.3 The Fan Cleveland, the franchise will have a new mascot: A bullmastiff named "Swagger" will lead the Browns into FirstEnergy Stadium eight Sundays in the fall (unless new head coach Mike Pettine is thinking postseason).

Bullmastiffs are known for their stout appearance and short muzzle. Perhaps the most popular is "Butkus," Rocky Balboa's dog. Swagger's role may be to display brute prowess, similar to the job of such collegiate mascots as Georgia's Uga and Auburn's War Eagle.



The dog is an extension of the Dawg Pound, the east end zone bleacher section at FirstEnergy Stadium. It will be intriguing to see how the mascot connects with the rowdy fans.

Swagger will not be the first Browns' mascot. Although not an in-person presence, the old Browns (now the Baltimore Ravens) and the current Browns dabbled with "Brownie the Elf," a human logo. More recently, the Browns have used "Chomps," a traditional plushy dog mascot. According to the Browns' website, Chomps' home is the Cleveland Browns Dog Pound. His favorite foods are roasted raven and baked Bengal tiger (where are the Steelers references?). There is no sign of Swagger kicking Chomps out of Cleveland.

This may be a sign of Brian Hoyer losing his job as the Browns' starting quarterback, but that is another story. Welcome to the Johnny Football/Swagger Era (that fits) in Cleveland.

Note: Fillar tweeted out an Instagram and a tweet sent by the NFL about "Swagger," but both have since been deleted by the NFL accounts.



NFL.com did have this confirmation.

Full Story >>

An American Legion baseball game in Alaska had an unusually large spectator Sunday. A black bear walked along the far side of the outfield fence, causing a delay in play. The bear was one of approximately 200,000 that live in Alaska, but we're not sure how many actually like to catch the occasional baseball game.

The bear peacefully retreated back into the woods without any further disruption to the game in Juneau. Although possibly the largest, the bear is not the first animal to interrupt a baseball game with its presence.

In the 2007 ALDS between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians, gnats swarmed pitcher Joba Chamberlain, causing him to pause multiple times for a bug spray break. In 2001, Randy Johnson famously hit a bird with a fastball during a spring training game.

Full Story >>

During the 2010 World Cup, fans should have paid more attention to predictions from an octopus rather than human analysts. Paul The Octopus gained stardom when he correctly picked the final between Spain and the Netherlands as well as going 11 for 13 with his forecasts of Germany's results during Euro 2008 and the World Cup.

The media buzz for Paul overshadowed the success of Nelly The Elephant. Nelly went 30 for 33 in her picks of the 2006 Women's World Cup, 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, but the fame went to Paul.

Since Paul's passing in October 2010, Nelly has had a better chance to make a name for herself as the soccer animal psychic. The elephant kicks balls into one of two nets. Each net has a flag representing each nation in that specific game.

According to a report on NDTV, Nelly predicts that Germany will advance from its group by tying Portugal and beating the United States and Ghana.

The video, though, is confusing. It shows Nelly kicking the ball in the Americans' net, which would seem to indicate her selection. Perhaps something was lost in translation.

Using elephants can be risky when predicting games. In 2012 an Indian elephant named Citta was asked to predict all the games of the European Championship. Citta lived at the Krakow Zoo in Poland, and her popularity plummeted after picking Poland’s first two games incorrectly.

The recent phenomenon of psychic animals is reaching fever pitch levels. China has invited a panda cub to choose the World Cup winners. The panda cub would be another in a long list of animals to try and achieve glory through World Cup prophecy. The fame that Paul The Octopus achieved also brought an increase in visitors to his home at the Oberhausen Sea Life Center in Germany.

Full Story >>

It's not uncommon for a soccer fan to have a strong reaction when he or she hears the name "Lionel Messi."

The 26-year-old Argentine is, after all, one of the best players in the world and a four-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Apparently, it's not just humans that are turned on by Messi.

In a new viral video, a dog gets worked up just at the sound of Messi's name. The pooch has no reaction to hearing the words "Cristiano Ronaldo," Messi's Real Madrid rival. But upon hearing the name of Messi, the dog snarls and shows its teeth.

The dog has a similar reaction when it hears the name "Sergio Busquets," another of Barcelona's star. So it appears that this dog is squarely in the Real Madrid camp.

Perhaps it is sarcasm or a matter of interpretation, but the YouTube title is "Dog Loves Lionel Messi!" In either case, there is no question that the dog responds in emphatic fashion.

The video has 100,000 views in less than a week.

This isn't the first time we've seen an intense rivalry extend to dogs. In Nov. 2012 a dog named Dexter became a viral sensation after he refused to eat a piece of jerky is associated with the Cowboys.

Full Story >>

Syndicate content