Something about pets and sports make for a match made in heaven. Who among us doesn't have a friend or loved one (or ourselves) with a puppy named Brady, a cat named Beckham or a turtle named Gretzky?
This list, which includes all 50 states and Canada, is not a de facto ranking of the best athlete from each state, but of the best name for a pet based on a fan-favorite athlete from that state.
Without further ado:
Alabama — Barkley
Named for Charles Barkley, an Alabama native and Auburn alum, this one is a no-brainer.
Alaska — Chalmers
There's a surprisingly long list of pro basketball players who were born in Alaska. We like Chalmers as a name for a puppy.
Arizona — Mickelson
One of the best golfers in the world for over a decade, Phil Mickelson attended Arizona State and is a mulitime winner of the Pheonix Open.
Arkansas — Scottie (or Pippen)
Scottie Pippen is an NBA Hall of Famer who is from Arkansas and attended the University of Central Arkansas.
California — Kobe
If he's a great athlete and his name ends in an "ee" sound, it's a no-brainer.
Canada — Gretzky
We know Canada is a big place, but we also know the entire country has dogs named after Wayne Gretzky.
Colorado — Elway
John Elway is a legend in the Denver area, winning two Super Bowls for the Broncos and winning a third as GM.
Connecticut — Kemba
Kemba Walker, now starring in the NBA with the Hornets, won an NCAA with UConn and has always been a fan favorite in the Nutmeg State.
Delaware — Della Donne
Elena Delle Donne is the WNBA's reigning MVP, hails proudly from Delaware and is an Olympic champion.
Florida — Tebow
He won two national titles with the Gators and continues to be beloved in the Sunshine State.
Georgia — Chipper
Chipper Jones is arguably one of the best third basemen of all time, a future Hall of Famer and a favorite all across the South for his achievements with the Braves.
Hawaii — Wie
Michelle Wie is one of the best female golfers in the world and burst onto the scene as a teenager.
Idaho — Picabo
This is an abstract one but hear us out. Picabo Street is from the Potato State and won two Olympic skiing medals. And it's an awesome name.
Illinois — Ditka
Have there been better Chicago sports figures like Michael Jordan? Probably. But he led the Bears to their only Super Bowl and has a fun name to say.
Indiana — Reggie
Reggie Miller is the best player in Pacers history. And his name ends in an "ee" sound.
Iowa — Warner
Kurt Warner was born in Iowa and is a Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Kansas — Manning
Not Eli or Peyton, but Danny. He led the Jayhawks to the 1986 Final Four and a 1988 NCAA title.
Kentucky — Ali
Muhammad Ali famously hails from Louisville and is one of the best boxers ever to lace up.
Louisiana — Shaq
He went to LSU and his name is short and sweet. Perfect for a canine.
Maine — Brady
We are making a blanket statement for New England states, Tom Brady rules.
Maryland — Flacco
Joe Flacco is the QB for the Ravens and has a cool name for a dog.
Massachusetts — Brady
See Maine. Brady rules New England.
Michigan — Magic
We went Kobe for California, so we'll honor Magic Johnson for his time at Michigan State.
Minnesota — Mauer
His prime is behind him, but Joe Mauer was is and was an all-time great for the Twins.
Mississippi — Peyton
Walter Peyton is from Mississippi, and his last name works. Good enough.
Missouri — Musial
An old school throwback to Cardinals great Stan Musial.
Montana — Brock
Brock Osweiler, Houston's starting quarterback, is from Montana. So is Ryan Leaf.
Nebraska — Osborne
One of the best coaches of all time, Tom Osborne pretty much invented Nebraska football.
Nevada — Kaepernick
Controversial 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick hails from Nevada and he's got a canine-sounding name.
New Hampshire — Brady
Another New England state. See above.
New Jersey — Marty
Martin Broduer — one of the best goalies of all time — was a staple for the Devils for nearly two decades.
New Mexico — Holly
Holly Holm, UFC knockout queen is a New Mexican.
New York — Beckham
Right now, dogs are being named after Odell Beckham Jr. A few years ago it was Cruz. A few years before that it was Eli. It's a Giants thing.
North Carolina — Jordan
Michael Jordan is a proud North Carolinian.
North Dakota — Wentz
Carson Wentz is already the most famous athlete ever from his state.
Ohio — Bron Bron
LeBron doesn't quite work as a dog name, so we altered it a tad.
Oklahoma — Bradford
Somehow we doubt too many dogs have been named after Oklahoma (and current Vikings) quarterback Sam Bradford.
Oregon — Chip
It's not quite Chipper, the name we chose for Georgia. It's a play off of the Ducks' best coach of all time, Chip Kelly.
Pennsylvania — Utley
He's a Dodger now but 12-year-old labs across the Keystone State are named Utley, after Chase Utley and his late 2000s heroics in Phillies red.
Rhode Island — Brady
More Tom Brady love from New England.
South Carolina — Mookie
A stretch perhaps, but we are going by best name, not best athlete. And Mets' fan favorite Mookie Wilson is from South Carolina.
South Dakota — Vinateri
He's probably the best clutch placekicker and he's from South Dakota. Adam Vinateri FTW.
Tennessee — Summitt
We guarantee you there are dozens of dogs named after Tennessee's all-time great women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.
Texas — Aikman
We were thinking of going Romo here, but his days could be numbered. We'll go with the last Cowboys QB to win a Super Bowl, Troy Aikman.
Utah — Malone
Karl Malone led the Jazz to two NBA title appearances (both losses to Michael Jordan's Bulls).
Vermont — Brady
See Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine.
Virginia — Iverson
Allen Iverson is proudly from Hampton, Virginia, and his name lends itself to a lovable sidekick.
Washington — Russell
Russell Wilson delivered a Super Bowl to Seattle, and the state no doubt repaid him by naming their dogs after him.
West Virginia — Mayo
This is a stretch but there was slim pickins. Bucks guard O.J. Mayo is from West Virginia.
Wisconsin — Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers may be having a down season but he's a no-brainer here. He replaced Brett Favre as a top dog name in 2008.
Wyoming — Rulon
Rulon Gardner is the pride of Wyoming, having won a gold medal for Greco Roman wrestling in 2000.