Here on Chargers.com, we tend to talk about football.
But today? We're gonna talk about the Super Bowl for dogs, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
That's because Chargers defensive lineman Morgan Fox's French bulldog, Winston, took home Reserve Best in Show honors at the 146th WKC event.
Winston's road to Westminster was akin to that of a football player embarking on their journey in hopes of making it to the biggest game of the year.
So let's rewind to the beginning as Fox's grandmother, Sandy, has bred French bulldogs for "as long as [he] can remember."
"A couple years ago, she had a litter and asked me if I'd be interested in keeping one of the puppies," Fox said. "I told her of course! It all worked out because Kay [Fox's fiancé] had wanted a Frenchie. So we got to go down there and she gave us Winston and said when he grows up, she'd like to show him. It was kind of like, we don't really know where it's gonna go, but it was a passion and labor of love for my grandma."
Sandy then assembled a team, including handler Perry Payson and Alexandra Vorbeck, as Winston started his show career.
"They started showing him from a young age, like within the first year or year-and-a-half, and all of a sudden, he was a winning machine!" Fox reflected. "He kept winning and kept winning and about a year-and-a-half ago, they felt he really had a shot at being one of the best if not the best dog in the country."
So what was it about Winston that gave those who know the business best that feeling?
"At first it was his demeanor," he said. "He never had an issue with anything that he was going to have to do for shows. He naturally stood in that squared-off posture he's supposed to stand in. From the jump, he was a natural. When he started getting older, you could look at how his body was developing like the wings on his back and the patterns; just how full he was developing and filling out. We started realizing, he's just a good-looking Frenchie! We were pumped."
This week, that shot at being the best came to fruition as going into this WKC show, Winston was the No. 1 ranked dog in the country.
After taking top honors, beating 321 other non-sporting group dogs, Winston was invited to compete in Best in Show where he took home Reserve honors Wednesday night.
It's an honor that thrilled Fox for his dog, but also, for his family.
"To even get to Westminster was a huge honor, but to win breed, win group, and get into Best in Show was awesome. [My grandma] was thrilled. I'm pumped for Winston, but I'm really pumped for her. Seeing all this come true for her and seeing her be so excited to get into Best in Show and walk away with Reserve was awesome."
As for what's next, Winston will remain a "busy man" with a few more shows penciled in for the rest of the year. But reaching the pinnacle event of Fox and Winston's respective sports is something that will bond the pair and their family forever.
"That's what my grandma texted me this morning. Now she knows how I felt when I went to a Super Bowl!"
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