Monkey Business

A serious question concerning Dez Bryant and his “new best friend.”

In late October, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant revealed, via his Instagram account, that he had a “new best friend”—a baby capuchin monkey named Dallas Bryant. A brief controversy predictably ensued. PETA demanded that police in DeSoto (where Bryant lives) remove the monkey from his possession, because it is apparently illegal to own a wild animal in the city. “Monkeys belong in the wild—not in the hands of football players who acquire exotic animals to make a splash on Instagram,” PETA’s Brittany Peet said in a statement. But the police said that they had been assured that the monkey was not in DeSoto, and that was pretty much that. 

I had originally intended to write about the matter back then, but like most things related to the Cowboys around that time, it was quickly forgotten as—and I don’t want to sound too dramatic about the situation—the bloodthirsty maw of abject despair devoured the team. As it turns out, that actually ended up being a good thing. Now we all have the benefit of some distance from the situation. Tempers have calmed, so we can talk about this rationally.

There are a ton of interesting issues at play here—PETA’s self-appointed role as judge and jury and Bryant’s ongoing maturation process, to name two. Before I go on, though, we need to talk about something very serious.

What kind of name is Dallas Bryant?

That is only slightly better than naming him Monkey Bryant. I would expect one of the more electrifying athletes in the NFL to come up with a name for a pet—a pet baby capuchin monkey, to boot—with a little more pizazz. Dallas Bryant? That’s the name of a country singer who had one novelty hit and then quickly faded away. That’s the name of a mid-card WWE wrestler who keeps changing gimmicks. Dallas Bryant is the name of a guy with a struggling Kia dealership in Sherman, Texas. It’s a guy who claims to be the “Guy Fieri of the Panhandle.” Dallas Bryant might not be the last name I’d come up with for a pet capuchin monkey, but it would definitely be near the bottom of the list. If I had to name a pet capuchin monkey Dallas in order to keep it, I almost wouldn’t even do it. It’s just so average. You have a monkey, so, you know, have a monkey.

There are just so many other, better choices out there. For example—and these are all off the top of my head—how about Magnum, Chewbacca, Brutus, Cujo, Conan, Diesel, Genghis, Goliath, Snoop, Hercules, Hulk, King, Heisenberg, Jesse, Gustavo, Saul, Huell, Jax, Gizmo, Bandit, Smokey, Rusty, Marley, Jabba, Rocco, Simba, Ziggy, Boomer, Romeo, Apollo, or Benjamin Franklin Gates?

Why name a pet capuchin monkey Dallas Bryant when you could instead pick Balthazar, Speckles, Zoc, Joe Enders, Mookie, Coach Eric Taylor, Gaz, Axel, Flash, Baron, Cinnamon Roll, Benson, Wolverine, Professor X (throw up the X!), Dagger, Havoc, Deputy Dawg, Boo Berry, Sway, Big Baby Jesus, Jupiter, Bobo, Bodhi, Bunny, Slim Charles, Prop Joe, Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin, or Bruiser?

What about Zartan, Sir Lucious Left Foot, Daddy Fat Sax, Billy Ocean, Chico Dusty, Riggins, or Destro?

Anyway, if Tom Brady had posted a photo of himself to his Instagram account, cuddling an adorable baby capuchin monkey, and captioned it “Meet my new best friend, Boston Brady,” we all know that PETA wouldn’t have said a damn word, and they certainly wouldn’t have put out a statement that could be boiled down to “We’ve done zero investigation into this, but we don’t trust hip-hoppy black guys.” 

I mean, I know it’s obvious, but did he not even consider Dr. Zaius?

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