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