On many college campuses across the country, the mascot isn't a student dressed in a furry, overstuffed costume. It is the real deal from the animal kingdom. Boston College introduced a live bald eagle this year after a 47-year absence, a development that didn't thrill animal rights activists. LSU has a tiger. So does Memphis. HBO's "Real Sports" takes a closer look at this practice in an episode that premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT Tuesday. Here's a preview:

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It's hard to blame the Knicks if things have gotten a little stressful for Mike Woodson's club recently.

New York is attempting to keep pace in the brutal Eastern Conference without All-Star big man Tyson Chandler, who recently broke a bone in his leg, and so far the Knicks have stumbled out to a 3-4 start.

But not to worry, the Knicks have a traveling stress reliever. Knicks fans may have noticed a French Bulldog sitting behind the bench for certain games, and as it turns out the pooch may actually serve an important purpose.

Via Tina Cervasio, an MSG Network reporter:

Here's Polo at Wednesday's Knicks-Hawks game in Atlanta (via @cjzero):

Polo's exact duties are unclear, but it appears as though he may have some connection to the team. After all, dogs are not normally allowed in NBA arenas.

It's often thought that dogs can help relieve stress, so maybe Polo hangs around to help players take their minds off the game.

As it turns out, Polo has his own Facebook and Instagram page, where he chronicles his travels. Here are some of Polo's recent photos:

(H/T to Larry Brown Sports)

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This feline fan isn't content to just watch the action between the Lions and Cowboys on TV. It makes a determined attempt to intercept the pass thrown by Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford.

So how long did it take for the "but if it had been Tony Romo throwing it ... " thought to pop into your head?

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Cat, Football

Anyone who has followed Jay Cutler's career knows the grouchy Chicago Bears quarterback will never be described as "chatty."

So when Cutler recently told a lengthy story about a dog psychic, it's a cue that he was at least pleasantly surprised.

During his weekly appearance on Chicago's ESPN 1000, Cutler told hosts Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman about a fascinating experience his dogs had with someone claiming to read their minds. His wife, former reality show star Kristin Cavallari, took their two pooches to see a dog psychic, and while Cutler had his doubts about the merits of the woman, he came away stunned.

Via For The Win, here's the transcript of Cutler's tale:

"We have two dogs, a Yorkie and a — what’s the other one — a Malti-Poo. [...] Kristin, being from L.A., she’s sometimes into this psychic stuff. Her mom was talking about this dog psychic. [Laughs] You email pictures of your dogs to this lady. There was like a two-month wait, mind you, this wasn’t something you could just click on the Internet. Two-month wait. So we send off pictures of both dogs, through the email, and [the psychic] is like at so-and-so time — this was last week — I’m going to call. She wants the dogs in the room with one person. So I wasn’t in the room. Kristin was. [Laughs] So she calls up and they’re all in the room and she’s like, “I’m going to get the dog’s spirits to come forth and I’m going to talk to them.” So, we’ve been talking about moving and finding a different house in Chicago and Bardot, the Yorkie, asked the lady to ask Kristin, “I’ve been hearing about you guys whether you’re going to move houses and I really want to know what you guys are going do.” I’m serious, then she said, “tell Kristin that I worry about them driving because they both drive really fast,” which is true. I’m just saying."

But that's not all. The psychic also gleaned this piece of information. Again, via For The Win:

"We started cutting their food down the last couple weeks because the Yorkie, Kristin thinks she’s getting fat and stuff. So we started it cutting it down. Both dogs said, “we need more food, they’ve been cutting out food down and we need a little bit extra food.”

Cutler admitted the psychic had some "valid points," which is his way of saying he was impressed.

For reference, this is Bardot. Good luck reading her mind:

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Jeff Horton escaped from a bloodthirsty shark the only way he knew how -- by fighting back.

Horton, a former boxer, was sitting on his surfboard off Kauai's north shore when he noticed a 12-foot-long tiger shark swimming towards his board.

"I had my feet dangling, hanging below my surfboard, and I saw this thing coming up," Horton said. "And my instinct was 'whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,' and the thing comes right up. And I yanked my foot out right where it took the bite. Bit my board and missed my foot. And it flipped me and I rolled on top of it."

Horton says he started punching the shark and even threw a haymaker in its eye. After about eight punches, Horton says, the shark spit out his board and tossed him off its back. Horton quickly hopped on the board and caught the next wave back to shore.

"Somebody's watching over me," Horton said.

The next day Horton went surfing at another local beach.

(H/T to Deadspin)

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Anyone who's lived with a roommate knows you need to make concessions when welcoming someone into your home.

Sometimes that means not playing music loudly late at night. Or remembering to put the toilet seat down. Or getting rid of your 5-year-old, 6-foot-long alligator.

For Detroit Lions safety Louis Delmas, the latter was the case when new teammate and old friend Kevin Ogletree recently moved in. The two have known each other since 2006, when they faced off in college -- Delmas at Western Michigan and Ogletree at Virginia. So it was natural for Ogletree, who recently signed with the Lions, to move in with Delmas upon arriving in Detroit.

But before shacking up with Delmas, Ogletree had one request -- lose the gator.

Five years ago Delmas was given an alligator egg from former Detroit Lions linebacker Ernie Sims. Delmas, who grew up in South Florida, has always had an affinity for gators. He housed his new pet, named Mojo, in a 36-foot tank in his basement and would feed it two giant rats every day. It's unclear whether Delmas gave his extra rats to teammate DeAndre Levy.

Amazingly, Delmas says he felt completely comfortable with an enormous gator living in his house.

“Mine wasn’t that aggressive with me, I guess from it knowing my scent," he told the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun. "It never attacked me at all I mean, of course it would snap, but it never tried to attack me. Now everybody else couldn’t come close to the tank. The minute somebody else came downstairs he’d be buzzing at the tank.’’

Here's a photo of Delmas and Mojo:

And here's another image of the big guy:

Eventually, Mojo grew to 6 feet and became too big for Delmas' basement. So when Ogletree, who grew up in New York City and was not as comfortable around wildlife as Delmas, moved in, Delmas was already thinking about options for Mojo.

It's a shame, because the idea of two NFL players living together with a alligator in their basement sounds like a good idea for a sitcom.

"I wish he would have come down there and put his hand in there," Delmas said. "He'll be all right. He's Ogletree. He'll catch with one hand."

Reluctantly, Delmas gave Mojo to the Allen Park Critter Shop and is reportedly thinking about donating it to the Detroit Zoo.

Special Patriots Fan: Gripping Film On Teen With Rare Disease Inspires Robert Kraft's Huge Donation

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For most people, riding a scooter 100 feet is a feat so easy that it could be accomplished with their eyes closed.

But Norman, a new Guinness World Record holder, isn't most people.

For one thing, Norman is 4 years old. He's also a dog.

The French sheepdog, who has appeared on the "Late Show With David Letterman," the "Today" show and even on this website, rode a scooter, unassisted, 98.2 feet at a charity event this summer. A few days ago the ride was honored with the Guinness World Record for "fastest 30 meters on a scooter by a dog."

While we're not sure how much competition there was for that mark, it's still pretty impressive.

Norman uses his front two paws to balance himself on the scooter and uses his hind paws to push. Here's how he does it:

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All the participants who completed the Evansville Half Marathon in Indiana over the weekend got a medal, whether they registered for the race or not.

The final medal was awarded a few days late because, well, this was not your average participant.

Boogie, an 8-year-old chocolate labrador, escaped from his owner, Evansville resident Jerry Butts, on Friday night and wound up at an Evansville gas station the next morning. Coincidentally, that was where the Half Marathon was kicking off. Once Boogie saw all the participants kicking off the run, he instinctively followed. And he didn't stop running until he crossed the finish line.

While Boogie didn't follow the course perfectly, he did end up running most of the 13.1 miles in a stellar time of 2 hours, 15 minutes. That was better than about half of the race's human participants.

A medal wasn't the only "reward" Boogie received for completing the marathon. He also had a microchip implanted in his body and will be getting neutered.

"He’s going to lose part of his manhood here," Jerry Butts said. "That was part of the deal."

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One thing Tony La Russa has more of than World Series rings is cats.

The 68-year-old La Russa, won who World Series titles as manager of the Oakland A's (1989) and the St. Louis Cardinals (2006, 2011), told Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal that there are currently 17 felines at his home in the Bay Area.

The future Hall of Famer is a noted animal rights enthusiast, and he started an organization (Tony La Russa's Animal Rights Foundation) dedicated to saving and sheltering animals. Most of the cats at La Russa's home are foster cats who are looking for new homes, but nevertheless La Russa reeled off all their names for Gay:

"Skye, Pearl, Slash—named after a rock 'n' roll guitarist—Sophia, Maggie, Jack—my daughter found him in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box—Stella, Sierra, Kachina, Lakota, Fergus, Dexter—he's very precocious—Misha, Cammie, Eddie, Patchy, Pawnee."

La Russa, who is third all time with 2,728 victories as a manager, says cats have become an Internet phenomenon because of their unusual relationship with humans.

"I think it's because they are so unique in the way they show affection, and because you have to work for it," he told Gay. "Once you get it, man, they just curl up with you. But they retain their independence."

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A group of pooches mastered the waters of Southern California recently, shredding the waves and surfing their way to doggie dominance.

At the fifth annual Surf City Surf Dog in Huntington Beach, Calif., these dogs showed that surfing isn't just for humans. The dogs were divided into classes based on their weight and then judged by factors like how long they stayed on the board and whether they pulled off any tricks.

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According to the organization's website, every dog who entered the contest earned a PAWticipation Medallion. How cute.

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Dogs, Surfing
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