By HUGO HENTOFF Sep. 7, 2017
At Bowdoin, we’re supposed to be “at home in all lands,” but recently I’ve noticed that my peers have been reducing me to just a single part of my identity. Yes, I am on the basketball team, but that’s not all there is too me. I’m so much more than just a good-looking jock who drops mad buckets; I’m also a golden retriever whose unlikely friendship with a fatherless 12-year-old boy let America feel again. Also I’m a psych major.
When people look at me, it’s like all they see is my jersey. When a professor asks the class, “Who’s a good boy?” no one expects the big, dumb jock to know the answer. If they ever bothered to just look past my gorgeous blond hair and record-breaking vertical leap, they’d know that it’s me. I’m the good boy.
Athletics are a big part of my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for that technicality in the official basketball rulebook whereby it never explicitly prohibits dogs from playing the sport. And if it weren’t for the rush I get from stepping onto the court each game, I’d probably be dead right now, like almost every other dog born in the mid-1990’s. Basketball is part of me. I’m not trying to deny that. But it’s not all of me.