Mandela affects

Ain’t no rule that says a dog can’t play basketball“, the famed line from the 1997 Disney movie ‘Air Bud’, is a copy and paste from the 1954 Warner Bros cartoon short “Gone Batty” and its line “There’s nothing in the rulebook that says an elephant can’t pitch.” Both remarks are made with the same opposing team making a ruckus to the officiated, who — either shown flipping through the rule book or holding it — makes this pronouncement.

The 1997 citation has a good deal of internet citation, moving to absurdities of loophole suggestions and stupid questions — is there anything that would disallow it? — and onto citations of rules that, yes, would disallow Air Bud. No one references the 1954 cartoon.

Beyond the obvious factor that a dog cannot play basketball, but maybe Air Bud exists in the same cinematic universe as Teen Wolf — a movie that always left me asking — is there anything intrinsic in the qualities of a wolf that would make one good at basketball?

At least a cat may theoretically make for a good pitch runner, though good luck in training it. We would probably need a very specific scenario in hitting the ball to make the gambit worthwhile and get the cat land on the bases at the right times.

The elephant in “Gone Batty” proceeds to violate rules aplenty of the game of baseball, beginning with having an accompanying player on the pitching mound with him. But this may be part of the immoral universe of the short — turnabout is fair play after the opposing team spent eight innings cheating and cheating in running up their preposterous comical score. I do not know if Air Bud violates the rules of basketball, though it is noteworthy that he is wearing sneakers.

One big rule change in comparing the two is shown with the English used — the umpire in 1954 not moving to that colloquial “ain’t”, the best to affirm his authority.

But we always have problems in setting up the boundary lines of these remakes.

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