Jim Gorant, a sports writer with no particular passion for dogs, must have had a similar conversion experience.
The world of sports is having something of an existential crisis, or at least it should be.
And for that, Jimmy Connors was the ultimate insider, playing the game of sports entertainment as well as anyone ever did.
atheltic games and contests, by 1660s, from sport (n.). Meaning "sports section of a newspaper" is 1913. Sports fan attested from 1921. Sportswear is from 1912. Sports car attested by 1914; so called for its speed and power:
I have just returned from the south of France, passing through Lyons, where I visited the [Berliet] works with my car, and was shown the new model 25 h.p. "sports" car, and was so impressed with this that I immediately ordered one on my return to London. [letter in "The Autocar," Jan. 7, 1914]
c.1400, "to take pleasure, to amuse oneself," from Anglo-French disport, Old French desport "pastime, recreation, pleasure," from desporter "to divert, amuse, please, play" (see disport). Sense of "to amuse oneself by active exercise in open air or taking part in some game" is from late 15c. Meaning "to wear" is from 1778. Related: Sported; sporting.
mid-15c., "pleasant pastime," from sport (v.). Meaning "game involving physical exercise" first recorded 1520s. Original sense preserved in phrases such as in sport "in jest" (mid-15c.). Sense of "stylish man" is from 1861, American English, probably because they lived by gambling and betting on races. Meaning "good fellow" is attested from 1881 (e.g. be a sport, 1913). Sport as a familiar form of address to a man is from 1935, Australian English. The sport of kings was originally (1660s) war-making.
Amorous; romantic: I guess we got kind of spoony (1836+)
A foolish or silly person: I don't believe a cock-and-bull story like that. Quiz was no spoony (1795+)