Last Friday, basketball Hall of Famer and former LSU star Shaquille O’Neal made a bet with NBA on TNT co-host Ernie Johnson (a Georgia Bulldog fan) while discussing Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship. As Johnson was predicting a 45–17 win for the Dawgs, Shaq chimed in: “If Georgia beats TCU…I’ll eat a horned frog.” Then they shook on it.
Well, Johnson wasn’t far off—the final score was 65-7—and Shaq, who was probably imagining frog legs (he later specified he wanted it cooked), is in a bit of a tight spot. As it happens, horned frogs aren’t actually frogs, or even amphibians. They’re reptiles, so think scales and crunch instead of a soft it-tastes-like-chicken texture. The “horned” part of the name, is, however, dead on: The lizards have intimidating spikes behind their heads made of bone that would lodge nicely in the throat—if the eater got past the puncture wounds the mouth would no doubt incur.
And all of this skates by the little creature’s most unique defense mechanism. They shoot blood out of their eyes when threatened, which is enough to curb anyone’s appetite. And did we mention they are a threatened species? It’s illegal to catch them, keep them, sell them, trade them, or breed them without a permit in Texas; lawmakers didn’t come right out and say you can’t eat them, but we can safely assume.
The best Shaq can hope for is that Ernie lets him sub an actual frog.