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This Week in Freudenfreude: Los Angeles Super Chargers

We freely admit that the political connection here is a little tenuous. Although we could certainly point out that fat-cat sports owners often manipulate (or try to manipulate) politicians into handing out vast amounts of corporate welfare. Yesterday, for example, the politicians in upstate New York made it official that they're going to give the Buffalo Bills $850 million to cover the majority of costs for a new stadium. They are doing this just 'cause; the Bills have not been a candidate to move to some other city, and Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula are worth $7 billion and could certainly afford to build a stadium without being handed a bushel of taxpayer money.

Not all shakedowns are successful, of course. The Spanos brothers, who own the Los Angeles Chargers, tried for many years to get the city of San Diego to pony up for a new stadium. That never happened, which is why the one-time San Diego Super Chargers decamped for environs to the north and became the L.A. Chargers. They now play at shiny new SoFi Stadium, which the Spanoses did not have to pay for, although they also don't own it (it belongs to the L.A. Rams).

Thanks to this maneuvering, and numerous other incidents over the years, the Spanoses have a reputation for being jerks. It's a justified reputation, and (Z) knows people who can personally attest to jerky incidents.

That said, a football club is made up of many hundreds of people, and those others often do good and great things, even if the head of the fish is a bit rotten. And this brings us to the central point of this particular item. (Z)'s parents had to put down their elderly dog a few months ago, and on Monday of last week, they said the time had come for a new pup, and asked (Z) to find an appropriate one. Meanwhile, Thursday of last week was the first day of the NFL draft, when teams select new players from the college ranks.

One would not expect these two things (the dog and the draft) to have any connection with each other. However, the new dog had to fit a rather narrow profile (small, quiet, very calm, housebroken) and most dogs available at the shelters are pit bulls or pit bull mixes. Those can be excellent dogs, but small and quiet they are not. As chance would have it, however, in conjunction with an event for Chargers fans who gathered to watch the draft, the team also held something they called "Draft a Doggy." And, through a somewhat complicated series of events, (Z) became aware that one of the dogs available to be "drafted" was a perfect fit for what was needed, a 9-pound Chihuahua mix named Olivia.

And so it was that a Packers fan found himself surrounded by people in Chargers gear on draft day, at a local outdoor shopping mall. The dogs were supposed to arrive at 3:00 p.m., but did not actually arrive until closer to 5:00, leaving (Z) with an awful lot of time to kill. This particular mall specializes primarily in women's designer clothes and jewelry, which are not exactly (Z)'s bag. That meant multiple trips to the Apple Store, the Container Store, the Italian market, and the other 3-4 stores that are even remotely of interest.

We would not be writing this if things did not work out, and of course they did. Olivia finally arrived on the scene around 4:45, and the adoption was completed a little after 5:00. The Chargers staffers working the event were absolutely terrific, and (Z) left the event not only with dog in hand, but laden with a large quantity of dog toys and clothes and such adorned with the Chargers logo.

Olivia met, and made friends with, the staff dachshunds shortly thereafter, though she was pretty tired after a big day:

Olivia sleeping

After getting caught up on her beauty sleep, she was ready and raring to go for a trip to Petco the next day:

Olivia in a grocery cart

And although "very calm" is not a descriptor that is often applied to Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes, the vet said that Olivia is the most laid-back Chihuahua she's ever seen. And indeed, (Z) is still not certain that Olivia actually barks. She certainly didn't while she was with the dachshunds, despite their... encouragement. She has now settled into her forever home with (Z)'s parents.

So, a tip of the hat (or the helmet) to the Chargers. Perhaps there is a useful lesson in this item. And if not, well, at least you got some good dog pictures. Have a good weekend, all. (Z)

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