Why does Kirk Herbstreit travel with his dog? Exploring the bond between Ben and the ESPN analyst

ESPN commentator and GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit and his dog Ben
ESPN commentator and GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit and his dog Ben

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit will be calling the Michigan versus Washington College Football Playoff championship game. Over the years, Herbstreit has built a reputation as part of the ESPN "College GameDay" crew. As fans wait for his analysis of the national championship game, his furry four-legged friend has been stealing attention.

Herbstreit has made it a habit to travel with his dog wherever he goes and whichever game he calls. What is the reason behind him bringing his travel companion everywhere?

Why does Kirk Herbstreit travel with his dog?

Kirk has four dogs, but Ben, a golden retriever, has been his best buddy on the road to every NFL and CFB game he's been to. The cute four-legged friend made his first appearance on TV in 2021 during a "GameDay" preview of the contest between the Cincinnati Bearcats and Tulsa Golden Hurricane. But in 2023, Ben became a regular travel companion for Herbstreit.

He started making regular media appearances along with his owner after Herbstreit's son, Zak Herbstreit, was hospitalized for a heart condition. Zak plays as a tight end for Ohio State and is under treatment and not taking part in practices. So, Ben became Kirk's emotional support dog and thus has been traveling with him everywhere he goes.

And the ESPN analyst does not look like he minds sharing the limelight with his furry friend. Since Kirk is also a member of "Thursday Night Football," Ben recently also received pats from Aaron Rodgers during the Week 17 Jets-Browns game. He stayed in the booth with his owner while the analyst carried on his duties.

Also Read: "Our cameras will be on that matchup": Kirk Herbstreit reveals make or break factor for Michigan in CFP national championship clash

Kirk Herbstreit shares an adorable snap of Ben all groomed for the CFP Championship

Herbstreit recently shared a cute snap of his travel companion all freshly groomed for the Michigan-Washington showdown. In a recent tweet, Ben is smiling while facing the camera as he looks all set to accompany Herbstreit for the championship game.

"Freshly groomed and ready for the National Championship," Herbstreit wrote.

After arriving in Houston, Texas, the good boy received a lot of pats and love from the fans as well as the players. Expect to see more of Ben in the coming season as well.

Read More: Kirk Herbstreit feels 'special' from 'College GameDay' that fills him with pride

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