Former Virginia basketball coach Terry Holland used to crow about naming his dog Dean, after Tarheels coach Dean Smith, because, Holland said, "it whines so much." In honor of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which was held this week, we look at other dogs belonging to sports figures and what their owners say about them.
Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking: Neapolitan mastiff, Butkus, named for his football idol. "He's as big as Dick Butkus, and he hasn't even filled out yet."
Arizona pitcher Curt Schilling: Rottweiler, Slider (left, with Slugger and Rodney). "I can't throw one, so I bought one."
Bulls forward Ron Mercer: Rottweilers, Kato and Gotti. "After Kato Kaelin and John Gotti."
Jonathan Bender, Pacers forward: Presa Canario, Liberty. "She's like the statue. She rules and has a big presence."
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski: Labrador retrievers, Cameron (after Cameron Indoor Stadium) and Defense. "I love my dogs. If someone said [my players] were in the doghouse, it's the house of love, not of hate."
Coyotes defenseman Teppo Numminen: Bichon frise, Elmo. "I know all about Elmo on Sesame Street [Numminen has a toddler], but the dog's not named after him. Elmo is just a popular name in Finland."
Oakland University softball coach Steve Ogg: German shorthaired pointer, Sammy Sosa. "Her name was just Sammy until one day when we were watching television and we yelled out that Saaammy Sooo-sa had just hit a home run. The dog came running into the room, so we changed her name."