Before they take the field, most football players transform themselves from simple men into adrenaline-fueled rage machines. The game requires it. For some players that means getting a trainer to slap them in the face. For others, it means barking at a police dog.
That’s what Raiders linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong did on Sunday and it’s why he might be charged with a third degree felony. Yes, someone who taunts a police dog in Pennsylvania can catch the same charge as an arsonist.
Armstrong hasn’t been charged yet, though. Police are still investigating the incident, which took place in the bowels of Heinz Field before the Steelers and Raiders played on Sunday. According to the officer handling the dog, Armstrong was leaving the locker room with a group of players yelling "Hey dog. Hey dog."
"I could see him jumping around, screaming, barking...Several other players that were with him, they also started to bark, clap, make agitation noises towards my dog. And then they ran out onto the field," the officer told a local TV station. She added that she had to physically hold back Banditt, the four-year-old German Shepherd.
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio has already said he doesn’t expect this to be “much of an issue,” implying that Armstrong won’t be charged. “I’ve caught wind of this story,” he said on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “I’m going to put it in the ‘silly’ category.”
He's right. This is silly. At least until Armstrong, who may have done something dumb but certainly did nothing felonious, actually faces a charge. At that point it'll sail right past the "silly" and become complete "dog shit."
Photos by Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images