12 July 2011
I bought a dog today. A puppy to be exact. It's a dachshund. He's awfully cute. But he...that's the thing...he doesn't have a name yet. I pick him up on Monday after a final weekend of debauchery in State College (the freshmen haven't moved in yet! I'm still a student!), so there's still time to find him the proper name.
But it isn't an easy task. Had I bought a dog ten years ago he would have been named "Messier." End of conversation. But now, in 2011, 17 years separated from the warm spring night of 6/14/94, "Messier" is outdated. And with the Mets toiling in mediocrity (at best), the Rangers building a new core, and Luka Modric and Gareth Bale likely exiting White Hart Lane in the coming weeks/days/minutes (although "Huddlestone" would be a killer name...pronounced Huddle-stin), the Jets are the front-runner to be represented atop Dog's doghouse.
Naturally---just how thousands of other pointless things do---that got me thinking: Who would be the best player/coach in Jets history to name a dog after?
After a thorough examination of a Jets player and coach index (yes, I'm still unemployed), here's what I came up with.
(It's about the Jets and dogs, and it's in list form! What's not to love? We're in a f***ing lockout here! Give me a break!)
Named after former Jets wide receiver Al Toon ('85-'92). The three-time Pro Bowler and 1986 all-pro had excellent run with the Jets, but had to retire at the age of 29 after suffering a staggering nine DIAGNOSED concussions in his eight-year career. The Jets took him six picks BEFORE Jerry Rice in the 1985 NFL Draft. But hey, that's not his fault.
Fun Fact: 26 catches, 330 yards, 2 TDs in four career playoff games. Impressive.
Dog Breed: American Foxhound---tall and lanky (6-4, 205 pounds Toon was), probably wouldn't fare well going across the middle.
Named after former Jets offensive tackle Jumbo Elliot ('96-'00, '02). Jumbo is best remembered for his game-tying touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of "The Monday Night Miracle" versus Miami in 2000.
Fun Fact: "In 2000, Elliott was fined $250 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service by a Nassau County judge for instigating a summer bar brawl that injured several patrons and three police officers."
Dog Breed: American Mastiff---a big brute with surprisingly clutch paws.
Named after the universally acknowledged worst head coach in Jets history ('95 and '96). Kotite compiled a 4-28 record in his two seasons with the Jets, plunging the franchise into uncharted depths of football hell. But thanks to Kotite's ineptitude, owner Leon Hess was finally guilted/embarrassed into bringing in Bill Parcells to be the head coach and general manager of the team in 1997. The Jets have had only three losing seasons in the 14 years since.
Fun Fact: "In his post-coaching career, Kotite has been seen in a promotional commercial for USA Network's coverage of the US Open Tennis championships, and in an AmeriTrade commercial that aired during the Super Bowl XXXIV pre-game show. The latter advertisement casts him a father of a son who surprises his dad by saying that he wants to be a Broadway dancer."
(Note: That fun fact is from Wikipedia. It's probably false, but for our comedic purposes, it's true.)
Dog Breed: Komondor (google it)---big, dumb, hairy and probably inept.
Named after former Jets tight end Jerome Barkum ('72-'83). Barkum donned the Jets helmet in the franchise's darkest days: the mid-to-late 1970's (20-50 record from '72 to '77). Barkum earned his lone Pro Bowl section in 1973 when he led the team in receiving with 810 yards. He's only on this list because he has "bark" in his last name, in case you didn't realize.
Fun Fact: Who the f*** knows?
Dog Breed: Pharaoh Hound (from Malta)---obscure but you would probably "appreciate him if you saw him play every day."
Named after current Jets guard Matt Slauson ('09-present). Slauson rose to fame last summer when he almost got quarterback Mark Sanchez killed in a pair of preseason games. He did develop nicely during the 2010 season, however, starting all 19 games at left guard. Still, he's one play away from letting the Sanchise have both his knees exploded. If you can deal with that risk, it's a pretty sweet name.
Fun Fact: Slauson sacrifices a live animal before every game in the hopes it will protect Sanchez's blind side after he is run over by a defensive tackle after "hike!"
(I made that up.)
Dog Breed: Bulldog---slow and pudgy and protrudes a tough-guy personality with its scary face but is really a softy at heart.
5. Rex Ryan.
Named after current Jets head coach Rex Ryan ('09-present). It's a shame "Rex" is such a cliche'd dog name. That's why if you name your dog after the Jets HC, you have to call him "Rex Ryan." Not just "Rex." "Come get your bone Rex Ryan!" "You're a good boy Rex Ryan aren't you?!" "Stop licking my feet, Rex Ryan!" See, like that.
Fun Fact: Rex is overweight.
Dog Breed: Newfoundland---big, cuddly, and gentle...would love to receive a piggy-back ride from him.
Named after former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington ('00-'07). Pennington was a fan favorite during his eight seasons with the Jets, leading New York to three postseason berths while battling a myriad of injuries, primarily with his shoulder. Pennington is the NFL's all-time leader in career completion percentage (66.0%) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 pass attempts.
Fun Fact: An erudite, articulate man, Pennington earned the prestigious distinction of a Rhodes Scholar at Marshall University where he majored in...JOURNALISM! SUCK ON THAT, HATERS!
Dog Breed: German Shepherd---intelligent, loyal and strong-willed, but a bit fragile if you put them to the test.
Named after current Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes ('10-present). I'd only name my dog this so I could yell, "It's 'Tone Time!!" every time he pooped on someone's lawn and we ran away together---a pure, unadulterated adrenaline rush.
Fun Fact: 'Tone's best friend on the Jets is Nick Folk.
(Again, I made that up, but how great would that be if it was true?)
Dog Breed: Shiba Inu---always looks and sounds stoned but never fails to amaze you with its athleticism and sense of the moment.
Named after former Jets quarterback Joe Namath ('65-'76). I bet you were expecting to see "Sanchez" here. Well, for as much as I love our clutch little girl of a quarterback, until he wins a Super Bowl he's not cracking this list. He's being held to a higher standard than players 3 through 10. As for Namath, you know, he's the fella who led the Jets to their only Super Bowl victory, a.k.a, the Greatest Upset in the History of American Professional Sports.
Fun Fact: Joe Namath has a Twitter.
Dog breed: Tanuki, or the "Japanese Raccoon Dog"---according to Wikipedia it is a good luck dog for these eight reasons: It has "a hat to be ready to protect against trouble or bad weather; big eyes to perceive the environment and help make good decisions; a sake bottle that represents virtue; a big tail that provides steadiness and strength until success is achieved; over-sized testicles that symbolize financial luck; a promissory note that represents trust or confidence; a big belly that symbolizes bold and calm decisiveness; and a friendly smile."
Or in other words: "a helmet to protect against oncoming defenders, big eyes to pick apart defenses, a flask to get drunk and hit on Suzy Kolber with, a big ass that protects him in the pocket, huge balls that lead him to clutch moments, a check to fund his bar that the league made him sell after he "retired" following the '68 season, a huge beer belly that makes him calm because he's too lazy to get up, and a friendly smile." That dog IS Joe Namath!
Named after former Dillon Panther running back Tim Riggins ('05-'08), err, former Jets running back John Riggins ('71-'75). Despite having a Pro Bowl season with the Jets in 1975, the team refused to give the free agent Riggins a raise from his paltry $75,000 salary. The Hall of Fame running back instead chose to sign a four-year, $1.5 million deal with the Washington Redskins, leading the Skins to a Super Bowl XXVII victory in which he earned MVP honors.
Fun Fact: Riggins appeared in an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent in 2005.
Dog breed: Golden Retriever---strong, masculine, long flowing locks of hair, battering ram of a running back and fullback, Texas high school football champion 2006, Texas Furrrever!, chiseled abs, defined chin, brother named Billy, protege named Becky, slept with Lyla Garrity...oh, crap. That's still Tim, not John.
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