Move over Air Bud, there’s a new sweetheart of the sports world and his name is Ripken. The black Labrador retriever has gained popularity both locally and on social media as a bat dog and a tee retriever—and his newest viral TikTok has everyone hyped for football season. But you don’t have to be a football fan to love this good boy. Keep reading to get to know a bit about Ripken and watch some of his best plays.
Whether you’re a sports fan or a dog lover, you may already know this beloved TikTok pooch. Ripken (@RipkenTheBatDog) gained internet fame as the hardest-working pup in minor league baseball. He’s the Official Bat Dog for the Durham Bulls, where his job duties include fetching bats after hitters are done and generally being adorable. But now that baseball season is over, Ripken has turned his talents to another sport: college football.
Now that fall has arrived, fans can spot Ripken collecting tees at North Carolina State football games. The six-year-old black lab comes from a family of dog football stars; his father, Cowboy Kohl, was a tee retriever at Boise State University. This is Ripken’s second season with the Wolfpack, and he’s only gaining popularity as a crowd favorite and social media star.
While his whole TikTok page is full of gems, one of his most recent videos has gone majorly viral with over 4.9 million views. Using a GoPro camera strapped to the pup’s back, the POV video gives viewers a unique view of what it’s like to be a working dog. The clip shows Ripken sitting and waiting patiently on the sideline for his big moment. After a quick pep talk and head pat from the coach, the pup finally gets to show off his skills. Amidst the cheers of a packed stadium, Ripken triumphantly retrieves the tee!
After watching that video, it’s clear why everyone adores Ripken. “Every dog’s dream. Fetch and gets cheered on. Hope he gets all the treats in the world,” comments @littlechaos0627. “I love hearing the crowd get so loud for Ripken 🥰 he deserves it!” says @brittneygardiner5. The creator even responded to say that the cheers make Ripken run faster. Even the students love the sports dog. @josh.haughton wrote, “as an NC State student, we cheer louder for him than anything else in the game.” Who wouldn’t?
Are you ready for some dog football? Ripken sure is! From fetching tees to hanging out with the players, this adorable pup truly has the best job in sports. He’s captivated the hearts of everyone online and turned us all into football fans. We think we speak for everyone when we say: with Ripken on the field, we’ll be tuning in all season long. (Now if only all of our favorite sports teams could get themselves a team dog.)
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