Need to name your dog? Just pick your favorite Seahawks player
I’ve named all three of my golden retrievers after some of my favorite athletes. Murphy was for Dale Murphy, a star outfielder for the Atlanta Braves in the 1980s. Willie was for Willie Mays, the Hall of Fame center fielder from the San Francisco Giants who I loved growing up, and Willie Bloomquist, the Port Orchard native who carved out a nice little major-league career, including a stop with the Mariners.
Now I have 10-month-old River, and my kids helped me with this one. They loved River Cracraft, a Washington State receiver who is now trying to make it in the NFL.
I bring this up because I wondered if Seahawks fans, with the rise in popularity of their team since Pete Carroll arrived eight years ago, had named their dogs after some of the players. So I threw the question out on Facebook and Twitter and heard that, yes they have.
I’m going to talk to a few of them this week on an episode of “Bark,” a podcast about dogs that I’d like to say is taking the country by storm and has won all sorts of awards, but it hasn’t even been launched yet. It’s my boss, Dave Pridemore’s idea, and I figured what the heck, I’ll give it a go. It’s a win-win either way. If “Bark” takes off – he came up with the name by the way – we’ll toast the success with beers at a local bar. If “Bark” fails miserably, we’ll still have those beers at a local bar and laugh at ourselves for thinking it would work.
If you want, you can call this shameless self-promotion and bust my chops for doing it, and in the meantime, I’m going to have fun with it and see what happens. Believe it or not, I’ve done this before. In 2004 while working for the dearly departed Seattle Post-Intelligencer, I had a contest for readers who named their dogs Edgar for Edgar Martinez. The winner got to meet the man himself at home plate before a game at Safeco Field.
Edgar the Bernese Mountain Dog was the winner because his owner, Susi Wight, was the director of Project Hope, designed for students who have trouble fitting in at the Northshore School District’s high schools. Edgar was Project Hope’s mascot, and I’ll be honest, even though I’ve always had goldens I have always wanted one of those mountain dogs too.
Edgar the baseball player and future Hall of Famer was very gracious, and Wight was so impressed she called him “really cute and quite sexy.” I asked Edgar the Mariner if this moment was a defining moment in his career, right up there with the double in ’95, and he said: “It’s close.”
Not sure about you, but I’d think it was cool if someone named his dog after me. Just to know there was someone else somewhere yelling “Jim!” followed by a request to do something – that lucky dog would get an idea of what it’s like to be married to my wife.
I wanted to hold another contest and have the winner meet the Seahawks quarterback with their dog Russell or Wilson, but I didn’t think I could pull that off so I didn’t ask. Wilson is too busy this offseason being traded from the Rangers to the Yankees, and then I saw him taking an Instagram video of Ciara shopping at some boutique while Russell says: “Fellas, I’m in trouble.”
The average guy would relate to his wife spending too much money on clothes, but since Wilson makes $20 million a year, I wanted to write back “You’re in trouble?!?!? Gimme a break. You could buy the whole darn store!”
I heard from one owner who has a boxer-beagle mix named Wilson and another, Ashley Polley, who has a lab-mix Wilson that gets extra points from me for being a diehard Coug fan too. If you’re in the Newcastle area of Bellevue, you might see Wilson, an 8-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog-poodle mix that already weighs 80 pounds and is owned by Brett Smith. Adam Gustafson named his dog Russell and tweeted a photo of him in a Marcus Trufant jersey.
There’s also a rescue dog named Russell in North Carolina, and how about this? On your next visit to New York City, there’s a chance you’ll see dogs that were named after two members of the Legion of Boom.
Like his namesake, rescue dog Sherman is athletic, tall, smart and loud, according to his owner Cody Kunning. The other New Yorker is a rescue dog too. His owner, Kyle Nelson, says Earl covers the deep third of the field like no other. Earl was found on the side of a road in Alabama, believed to have been thrown from a truck. He had a broken hip and was extremely malnourished. Now he’s bouncing around as a gentle and playful member of the Nelson family.
Kaity Johnson named her mini-Australian Shepherd Bam Bam, the nickname of her favorite player, Kam Chancellor, founder of the Legion of Boom. Bam Bam hangs out with Doug, a Chihuahua-Shih Tzu mix that was named after Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin.
Rescue dog Chance, found wandering on the streets of Spokane four years ago, was also named after Chancellor by his owner, Lori Hammond, who shares the same April 3 birthday with the Seahawks strong safety. Chance is somewhere between 8 to 11 years old. He is graying under his chin, moving slower than he used to and has a stiff back end but the similarities end there – Chance does not have $12 million still guaranteed in his contract.
I also heard from Emily Kuiper, who named her dog B Wags after linebacker Bobby Wagner, and even though David Benson named his new dog after a Los Angeles Rams receiver, I liked the creativity shown with Cooper Pupp. His namesake is Cooper Kupp, who grew up in Yakima and played at Eastern Washington.
Former players were also mentioned such as Shawnee, a rescue named for Marshawn Lynch and owned by Bonnie Bryan Fletcher in Kirkland; and Tez, a rescue from Yakima who is owned by Linnea Tate Rodriguez. Many years ago Rodriguez met Seahawks Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy and fell in love with him.
“Ever since, I knew I would (someday) have a pet that would be awesome enough to bear his name,” she said.
Rodriguez got Tez from a shelter in Yakima and “as soon as I laid eyes on him, I knew he had a heart of gold, just like Cortez.”
Occasionally, just like buying jerseys, naming your dog after your favorite player can be tricky. A player can be traded, but you’re still stuck with his jersey. And in the case of Mike Cashman’s son’s dog, Curry, he’s changed the reason for the name.
Curry was originally named after Aaron Curry, the Seahawks’ No. 4 overall draft choice in 2009. But after the linebacker became one of the biggest busts in franchise history, Cashman said his son now says he named his dog after Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors star.