Photograph courtesy of Zoo Atlanta
Quirky Super Bowl bets are a time-honored tradition, and as the Atlanta Falcons headed off to Houston on February 5, there were no shortage of deals being made between our fair city and New England. But when the Falcons lost, we all had to pay up. SweetWater lost its bet to Boston brewer Samuel Adams and had to temporarily change the name of its 420 ale to Patriots Extra Pale Ale. Even we at Atlanta magazine lost our friendly bet with fellow city-regional magazine Rhode Island Monthly and now owe them some SweetWater and Coca-Colas.
Just before the Super Bowl, Zoo Atlanta, in between posting adorable Falcons-themed panda cub videos, made a bet with Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island. If the Falcons took home the Lombardi trophy, Roger Williams Park Zoo would have name a baby animal after Matt Ryan and post a video about it (a nice video, mind you—no name-calling). If the Patriots won, Zoo Atlanta would name a baby animal after Tom Brady, and of course, post a dignified video. Obviously, the Falcons lost, so which of Zoo Atlanta’s precious babies is now stuck with the New England quarterback’s name? Surely not the new baby gorilla, or god-forbid one of the pandas.
Nope—it’s a baby Madagascar hissing cockroach.
Well … the New England Patriots won #SuperBowlLI, so that means we lost our bet with Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village. Before the game, our two zoos decided the losing side would name one of their baby animals after the winning team’s star quarterback, and figuring the losing side would be pretty bitter about it, we came to the agreement that baby animal … would be a Madagascar hissing cockroach. So without further ado – Meet our newly-named Program Animal family!
According to Rachel Davis, the zoo’s director of communications, both zoos actually agreed beforehand that the Madagascar hissing cockroach would be the baby animal named, as both zoos just happened to have tiny baby roaches on hand. And while Zoo Atlanta’s announcement video—where Tom Brady is introduced alongside fellow cockroaches named after The Brady Bunch—is respectful to the Patriots and Roger Williams Park Zoo, we can’t help but notice that baby Tom Brady is pretty dang puny. He’s really tiny. You could easily squish him underfoot. (Not that we condone the crushing of zoo animals at all—even ones with ugly names.)
We’re sure Falcons fans wouldn’t have it any other way.