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Peyton Manning

Via rantsports.com

After Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shouted “Omaha!” at the line of scrimmage nearly 100 times during his team’s last two playoff games against the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots, the zoo in Omaha, Neb., returned the opportunity for a touchdown.

The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in Omaha capitalized on the Broncos’ audible signal to take advantage of the “news of the day” in a very positive way... naming a penguin after the football star.

I doubt this is the first time this has happened, but it’s the first time I’ve heard of anything like it.

The Phoenix Zoo, which opened in 1962 and is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the United States, had gorillas named Hazel and Baltimore Jack.  When I was growing up, we used to spend a lot of time there watching their antics.  But neither was named after a famous quarterback!

About as close as the Phoenix Zoo gets is to let its tiger, Hadiah, pick the winners of big football bowl games played locally.   She gets offered two boxes filled with meat and marked with the teams' names. Whichever box she eats from first is her pick.

Peter Faur, chair of the Phoenix Zoo board of directors, said Hadiah was perfect this season, picking Kansas State over Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and selecting 17-point underdog University of Central Florida over Baylor in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Those games involved Wildcats, Wolverines and Bears – but no animals with football player names.

I’ve got a dog named Lambeau (Curly) and had a childhood friend who had a dog named Csonka (Larry).

Are there any other pet or zoo animal names out there derived from NFL stars?  There must be.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

1 Comment

  1. Peter Faur says:

    Hi, Scott. If Russell Wilson starts using “Phoenix” as an audible, maybe we’ll have an animal named Russell someday. On second thought, chances of any Phoenix Zoo animal being named after a Seahawk are slim to none! We’re glad the Cardinals found a way to beat the 12th man this year.

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