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Twitter: @bustedcoverage

Remember the time a rat was thrown onto the court at a Utah Jazz game? Or when fish used to be tossed onto the ice after Utah Grizzlies' goals? Or, much more recently, when a duck became the talk of the MLS at an RSL game?

We're used to animals as mascots in the sports world, but there are occasions when animals become part of the play — and it's often hilarious.

Such was the case Thursday in Cleveland when a furry friend was captured by a Browns fan during an NFL game.

It appears the Browns are no longer playing possum — aka playing like they're dead — after beginning this season with a tie — their first non-loss in two seasons — and an actual victory. New York Jets fans might call in sick for work Friday after their team's 21-17 defeat.

The possum incident brings back some other animals vs. sporting events memories.

Such as the time the Spurs' Manu Ginobili gave a bat a mid-air high five:

And the time a bird picked the wrong time to be in the wrong place while Randy Johnson was pitching:

Check out this collection of animal adventures during sporting events, which included a close call for one rodent and a seagull stealing a golf ball on the green. Fun stuff.

40TH SEASON

This year will be the 40th season in Utah for the Jazz, and the team reminded fans of that in spine-tingling fashion Thursday with this video narrated by Frank Layden.

FUN FLASHBACK

This somehow ended up on my Twitter feed, and it's a stat from the good old days that's definitely worth sharing.

WEEKEND PLANNER

Friday, Sept. 21

  • Men’s soccer: Westminster vs. Regis, 1:30 p.m.; Dixie State vs. Colorado-Colorado Springs, 7 p.m.
  • Women’s soccer: Westminster at Black Hills State, 4 p.m.; Dixie State at Regis, 4 p.m.; Utah State vs. UNLV, 4 p.m.; BYU vs. UVU, 7 p.m.; Weber State vs. SUU, 7:30 p.m.; Utah at Oregon, 8 p.m.
  • Volleyball: Westminster vs. Adams State, 6 p.m.; Dixie State vs. Fort Lewis, 6 p.m.; Utah vs. UCLA, 7 p.m.; SLCC at USU-Eastern, 7 p.m.
  • Cross country: Utah at Battle in Beantown, at Boston
  • Men’s golf: Dixie State at Saint Martin’s Invitational, at Lacey, Wash.
  • Men’s tennis: ITF Futures, at Fountain Valley, Calif.; BYU hosts BYU Invitational (vs. USU)
  • Women’s tennis: Utah State at Milwaukee Tennis Classic

Saturday, Sept. 22

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  • World Nitro Games, at UMC
  • MLS: RSL at Atlanta United, 5 p.m.
  • College football: BYU vs. McNeese State, 4 p.m.; SUU at NAU, 4 p.m.; Weber State vs. Northern Colorado, 6 p.m.; Dixie State vs. South Dakota Mines, 6 p.m.; Snow at Scottsdale; Utah State vs. Air Force, 8:15 p.m.
  • Men’s soccer: UVU at Houston Baptist, 6 p.m.
  • Volleyball: BYU vs. Saint Mary’s; Utah State vs. UNLV; UVU vs. UMKC; Weber State at NAU; SUU vs. Idaho State; Westminster vs. Fort Lewis; Dixie State vs. Adams State; SLCC at Colorado Northwestern; Snow vs. CSN; USU-Eastern vs. CSI
  • Cross country: UVU, Dixie State at UNLV Invitational; SUU at Idaho State Invitational
  • Men’s golf: Dixie State at Saint Martin’s Invitational, at Lacey, Wash.
  • Men’s tennis: ITF Futures, at Fountain Valley, Calif.; BYU hosts BYU Invitational (vs. USU)
  • Women’s tennis: Utah State at Milwaukee Tennis Classic

Sunday, Sept. 23

  • World Nitro Games, at UMC
  • Men’s soccer: Westminster vs. Colorado-Colorado Springs, 1 p.m.; Dixie State vs. Regis, 1 p.m.
  • Women’s soccer: Utah State vs. Nevada; Weber State vs. NAU; SUU at Idaho State, 1 p.m.; Westminster at Regis; Dixie State at Black Hills State
  • Men’s tennis: ITF Futures, at Fountain Valley, Calif.
  • Women’s tennis: Utah State at Milwaukee Tennis Classic