Did you know there have been five Air Bud movies? Five. Two theatrical releases and three more direct-to-video sequels, with each film featuring Buddy playing a different sport (basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and volleyball, respectively). And that’s not even including the Air Buddies spinoffs, which feature Air Bud’s puppies doing things like celebrating various holidays and going to space, and are not about sports at all even though they could put all the puppies in little ice skates and make one called Air Buddies: Paw-er Play TOMORROW. Oh, also, the puppies can talk even though Air Bud couldn’t because whatever screw you you’re watching the ninth Air Bud movie so why don’t you settle down, Scorsese. It’s called artistic license. Geez.
It appears I have gotten off topic. Here’s what I’m getting at: How good would a dog actually be at the sports depicted in the five original movies? And can I formulate hard opinions on this even though I have only seen 20 minutes of the first one? Short answers: Not very, and of course. So please, join me below as I rank the Air Bud films from least to most plausible.
This is the stupidest thing I have ever done.
Title: Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
Relevant excerpt from Wikipedia: “Andrea, attempting to fit in with her Jr. High classmates, decides to join the baseball team and along the way discovers that Buddy also has the uncanny ability to play baseball.”
Analysis: Let’s be honest here: Dogs can’t play baseball. I mean, how would they even hold the bat? Terribly, that’s how. And they can’t throw, either. What position is a dog supposed to play if it can’t even throw a baseball? First base? Sure, that seems like a neat idea, until some kid lays down a drag bunt and the third baseman comes up firing and ends up bashing all of the dog’s teeth out because it tried to catch a fastball with its mouth because OH YEAH DOGS ALSO DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE BASEBALL GLOVES. Now you’ve got a toothless dog bleeding all over the infield and your pitcher is crying. Great job, coach.
The only possible use a baseball team could get out of a dog player is as a pinch runner. Dogs are pretty fast, and maybe you could train one to steal bases. But even then I bet he’d get picked off a lot and kill a bunch of rallies with his reckless baserunning shenanigans. Not worth it, I say.
Title: Air Bud: World Pup
Relevant excerpt from Wikipedia: “Next, it is discovered that Buddy also has the uncanny ability to play soccer.”
Analysis: Nope. Outside of possibly being able to redirect an occasional cross toward the goal with its nose, a dog would be useless on a soccer field. Have you ever seen a dog play with a soccer ball? It just runs around trying to bite it for a while then goes back to sleep. Not a very helpful skillset.
Also, there is the issue of whether a dog’s front paws are feet or hands in the eyes of the soccer rulebook. It’s not like they’d be super useful either way, but if they’re hands and your team loses possession every time the dog excitedly runs up to the ball and tries to mount it, you’ll lose every game by 20 goals.