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mesaSteeler
01-30-2009, 06:55 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers crush Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII pet name showdown
http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2009/01/30/2009-01-30_pittsburgh_steelers_crush_arizona_cardin.html

BY LAUREN JOHNSTON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, January 30th 2009, 5:39 PM
Johnston for News

Roethlisberger, Ward, Polamalu. What do they have in common? They're all dogs.

The opening kick-off is days off, but the Pittsburgh Steelers have already beaten the Arizona Cardinals for one Super Bowl title: the best four-legged fans.

A survey of pet names from 2008 pet insurance records in the home areas of both teams found more than twice as many animals were named after Steelers players.

The VPI Pet insurance group - one of the nation's largest pet insurance providers - analyzed a database of more than 467,000 insured pets to come up with the results.

Pittsburgh Steelers fans are not surprised.

"People in this town are crazy about sports," said Bob Grandizio, 35, a youth football coach and teacher in the Steel City.

Grandizio named his dog after a Steelers great from the teams Super Bowl heyday and a hero from his childhood: linebacker Jack Lambert.

"He was rough, he had a lot of teeth missing. He played football the way people in Pittsburgh think football should be played. I always said dogs should be named after NFL linebackers," Grandizio said.

His inspiration? The Rocky Balboa character's dog named for Dick Butkus, star linebacker for the Chicago Bears from 1965 to 1973.

Grandizio's Lambert is a 25-pound Boston Terrier a breed known for their fierce hearts, if not their hulking stature.

"He thinks of himself as a 125-pound Bull Mastiff, so he's got the spirit of Jack Lambert," he said.

The VPI survey examined seven categories of football-related names: pets named for the team itself, quarterback, receiver, current stars, former stars, mascot or nickname and intangibles.

"We noticed that many of our policy holders seemed to be naming their pets after very popular sports stars," particularly NBA players and Lakers star Kobe Bryant, said Brian Iannessa, a spokesman for the California-based company.

"With the Super Bowl coming we thought there must be pet owners who are also die-hard football fans, but to be honest, even we were surprised at the [high] numbers we found," he said

Pittsburgh scored 159 pets with Terrible Towel-waving names, while Arizona had 76 pets with Big Red-related names.

"Former stars" was one of the highest-scoring categories in both regions with pets registered under names like Bettis, Bradshaw and Tillman.

Pittsburgh also scored high in the "intangibles" category with 76 pets named for Steelers owners the Rooney family and the famed Pittsburgh sportscaster Myron Cope, who died last year.

So Lambert will have plenty of fellow four-legged fans come Super Bowl Sunday but he'll show his black-and-gold pride just like the human fans.

"He has a Steelers suit," Grandizio said.

SteelCityKing
01-30-2009, 06:58 PM
my next dog will be named Rooney. =)

stillers4me
01-30-2009, 06:59 PM
One of my Steelers friend's dog here in Cinci is named Bettis.

SteelCityKing
01-30-2009, 07:02 PM
my old neighbors Pitbull was a female named Hines. haha!

4xSBChamps
01-30-2009, 07:02 PM
my brother wanted to name our English Bulldog 'Csonka', and all of our parents' bulldogs wore Stiller jereseys on Super Bowl game-days during the '70s