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Penguins and 6 other animals we'd like to see storm an NFL field

The only way to boost the NFL’s sagging ratings is to release more wild animals in stadiums throughout America.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In Week 9, the Packers’ most effective runner wasn’t Ty Montgomery or Don Jackson. It was a local Green Bay squirrel that found its way into Lambeau Field and scampered through the end zone and down the home sideline throughout the second half.

The rodent was such a hit it even got its own slo-mo replay on CBS:

Naturally, this led to a burning question. Which animal would be the best animal to interrupt an NFL game by running across the field?

This isn’t a mascot situation. We’ve seen everything from eagles to bulldogs stretch across the turf enough times to make a barely contained, 1,100-pound animal dragging its handlers past the sidelines seem commonplace. Instead, we’re looking for the proper balance of chaos and cuteness to make a delay in the middle of a four-hour football game a worthwhile endeavor.

The logistics of the gridiron eliminated some animals from the running with haste. Fish, for example, were pretty much gone the second the question was posed. A squirrel seemed to be the smallest an animal could be while remaining interesting, so that wiped mice, baby snakes, and tardigrades off the map as well. Despite Ice-T’s claims that humans are the most dangerous game, they also seemed like a cop-out since unwanted people on the field are more annoying than adorable.

Still, we found ways to work around these limitations. Here are the best possible animals to interrupt an NFL game by running through the field.

A penguin, preferably while Morgan Freeman replaces Joe Buck on commentary

Pros:

Baby Penguins Reared With Personal Touch At London Zoo Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images

Cons:

  • Penguins are pretty slow on land, and thus could be wrangled much more easily than a squirrel, vole, or marmot.
  • Introducing multiple penguins to the field would also create the possibility of penguin cuckolding, which is sad nature.
  • Penguins operate best in water, but the only stadium in the league with a pool is in Jacksonville, an otherwise penguin-unfriendly habitat.

All in all, it’s probably a wash. I don’t care. I still want to see a penguin wander into the end zone, then get exploded once Richard Sherman sees it and realizes there’s no entry in the NFL rule book about seabird murder. - Christian D’Andrea

Warthog

Pros:

If we’re being honest, there really are not a lot of pros here outside of the warthog looking like Pumbaa from The Lion King. That would be pretty awesome, until it starts going after players.

Some warthogs can run up to 30 miles per hour. A lot of the fastest NFL players get anywhere between 25 and 28 miles per hour, so to see a warthog going after somebody like Antonio Brown or DeSean Jackson would be fun to watch, as long as they don’t get hurt.

An African Safari Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Cons:

Warthogs have four sharp tusks, and if they were to feel threatened or get angered, that might not end so well.

They also eat grasses and plants, and are known to dig into the ground for roots. So for the handful of NFL stadiums that are still played on grass, the playing field might greatly suffer from the presence of the warthog, who would also likely outrun any stadium security trying to catch it. - Harry Lyles Jr.

Capybara

Pros:

Capybaras are adorable and everybody loves them.

Capybaras are extremely outgoing and every other animal loves them. Honestly, we could probably double up with any of the other animals on this list and have them join the capybara on the field and everybody would have a great time.

They’re very friendly, and though they have teeth that could do some damage if they did bite someone, it very rarely happens.

Capybaras are native to Brazil and they were all over the golf course at the Rio Olympics, so they obviously like sports and would enjoy NFL games.

Cons:

Absolutely none. I repeat: Capybaras are adorable and everybody loves them. - Jeanna Thomas

Chicken

Pros:

Chickens eat bugs, which would mean less bug bites for both players and fans.

Chickens are fearless. In my parents’ town, there are chickens that sometimes escape from their enclosures, and they will just walk right alongside the road, sometimes into it, and stare oncoming cars in the face. That’s where the game “playing chicken” comes from. Who will move first? I’ll tell you what, it’s always the car.

Chickens are resourceful. One of the escapee chickens found its way to a local 7-11 and somehow persuaded the employees to feed it scraps of day-old hot dog buns. It lived there happily for some time, until someone took it home for dinner. Luckily, that probably wouldn’t happen on an NFL field.

Cons:

Chickens poop. A lot.

Chickens also lay eggs. Eggs on the field could be disastrous. Picture the slipping and sliding and injuries.

If the chicken could be corralled before either of these functions happened, the game could go on unimpeded. - Molly Podlesny

A bear at a Bears game

Pros:

Besides how much fun “bear at a Bears game” is to say, can’t you just picture an actual bear wandering around Soldier Field, but in a silly way not a menacing one. Our bear friend is simply on the prowl for a discarded, half-eaten hot dog or the rest of those nachos you weren’t going to finish anyway. This bear would probably even eat some peanut shells and random pieces of popcorn that are scattered all over the ground and get stuck in the crevices of the soles of your shoes.

See, this bear is just here to help.

Maybe we could even get Pedals the Bear to make an appearance. Who doesn’t love that guy? Two maimed paws or not, I’d take him over Jay Cutler at quarterback:

Cons:

WAIT A MINUTE, SOMEONE KILLED PEDALS?

I am done with you, 2016. I AM F*@&ing DONE WITH YOU. - Sarah Hardy

A monkey riding a dog

Pros:

Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to be at a game where the halftime show was a bunch of little monkeys riding dogs with cowboy hats or tiny jerseys or whatever. I have not been so lucky, but it’s a dream of mine because it’s LITTLE MONKEYS RIDING DOGS.

They could cancel the second half of a football game and just have monkeys ride dogs for a couple hours and I’d be just as happy with the ticket I purchased.

I mean ... look at this!

That is as good as halftime shows get and if some rogue monkey decided to ride his noble dog steed into battle during a game, my brain might just shut down from the entertainment levels.

Cons:

Cons? It’s a monkey riding a damn dog. There couldn’t possibly be a con here. - Adam Stites