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Ask Wessel: How do you come up with a good dog name?

Spot or Rover are pretty played out. GoMN ???? BringMeTheNews
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Every Friday on Dana Wessel answers your questions. Music, sports, pop culture, whatever you want. Have a question? You can tweet them to @DanaWessel or email him at

Q: The Super Bowl sucked, with sucky commercials and a sucky outcome. The only good part was Lady Gaga. - Clarence

You are dead right about Lady Gaga. She is amazing. I am so glad she has bounced back after that awful Artpop album, or, as I called it when my wife had me listen to it, FARTpop! Ha, classic joke. Feel free to use that one.

I know people have Patriots and Brady fatigue but that ending was pretty damn sweet. The Patriots are like that final boss that you can never beat in a video game. You are getting closer to the boss, feeling confident, have plenty of health and momentum, then all of a sudden you are in the fetal position with pee running down your legs. Teams just fall apart against them. I still can’t believe that happened.

But even if you hate the Patriots and want to see Bill Belichick get hit in the face with a dirty diaper, I think everyone agrees that Rob Gronkowski is exactly what the country needs right now. This country needs a hero we can count on. A hero we can believe in. A hero we can laugh at "69" jokes with. Rob Gronkowski is that hero. I like seeing our hero happy.

Q: Why are some words just names and some words just words? Wouldn't it be cool if someone was named Magnesium? - Perk

Oh, yes. I am all for rad names like that. I think the best example is former Twins first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz. He has a son. What did he name him? STEELE. Steele Mientkiewicz. How badass is that? You don’t mess with someone named Steele. A guy named Steele doesn’t have a hard time finding a date to the dance. Everyone remembers a dude named Steele. I am so jealous of that teenager.

I have always tried to convince my wife to name any potential future son Clutch. Clutch Wessel would have the same leg up in life that Steele Mientkiewicz has.

Q: One of my favorite things to do to break a weird silence is state a fact about a celebrity that is totally made up but sounds like it could be true. You are creative. Will you come up with some for me? - Becky

Ooh, I like this. Let me know if this is what you’re looking for.

  • Did you hear that Pauly Shore hasn’t worn socks since 1994?
  • Gronk said he would only be in that T-Mobile Super Bowl ad if he could have his cell number changed so it ends 6969.
  • Sylvester Stallone still wears the trunks he wore in the original Rocky to bed on occasion. The weirdest part is how he still has never washed them.
  • My buddy once sat next to Johnny Depp on a plane and said he smells like burnt shrimp.
  • Even though it’s been like 25 years since Ace Venture came out, Jim Carrey still insists on talking to his agent with his butt like in the movie.
  • Dr Phil pees sitting down.
  • Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman often call each other in the middle of the night “just to chat” after they’ve been drinking.
  • Macaulay Culkin has a screenplay written for a Home Alone sequel. Daniel Stern is onboard but the only holdup is convincing Joe Pesci to sign on.
  • Vanilla Ice wasn’t the killer, but he was driving the car that pulled up beside Tupac and shot him dead.
  • Drew Carey is extremely superstitious and likes to get to The Price is Right set early before tapings and give the Big Wheel practice spins until he lands it on a dollar.

Q: So what's appropriate policy on naming a dog? Are human names preferable? Or is it better to stick with the standards -- Fido, Spot, Daisy, etc? Are references to hobbies / sports / interests too cute, or OK? (I have a friend whose dogs are Lambeau and Wrigley, and another whose cat is Mauer.) Bottom line, shouldn't they all be called Clarence?

Second naming question of the week! That’s an Ask Wessel first. Remember this date. One of those “where were you when…?” kinda moments.

I don’t know why, but I have always found dogs with human names to be hilarious. I definitely prefer those to the old standbys of like Spot or Rover. Those are pretty played out.

I don’t have too much of a problem with the sports/interest names. It might end up being a compromise in our household. I have always wanted to name any potential daughter Chelsea, but my wife doesn’t think naming a daughter after my favorite football team would be appropriate. Could lead to some ugly situations.

Chelsea: “Mommy! Mommy! Why did daddy just say a naughty word, throw the remote against the wall and say he hates me?!”

Heather: “Oh, don’t worry dear, he isn’t mad at you. He is mad at a group of grown men younger than him all wearing matching costumes playing a sport designed for kids six time zones away.”

So I think Chelsea would be an excellent dog name for a girl dog. It covers my sports team AND is a human name. Perfect. If we end up getting a male dog I am thinking something a little more subtle like Bruce Landon Donovan Donkey Kong Springsteen.

Q: Who had more text messages after they were done on Sunday? Tom Brady or Lady Gaga? - Megan

Gaga for sure. Brady seems like the kind of guy who changes his number every few weeks and has his assistant manage his phone. Gaga is famous as all hell but she seems like the person that stays in touch with her friends and is ultra loyal to people she has known her whole life. Brady is a weirdo who probably sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber and hasn’t had a carb since 2006. It is clear that guy is so out of touch with reality that there is no way he keeps in touch with old friends. Plus, the dumbass can’t even keep track of his jersey after a game.

Q: Should Randy Moss be a first-ballot hall of famer? - Jake

Of course. But he probably won’t be. A lot of the sportswriters who vote on these sorts of things in sports are pretty big dinks and don’t take too kindly to athletes who didn’t kiss their ass and laugh at their awful jokes. I think he will eventually get in, but it won’t be his first time on the ballot.

I have stopped caring about halls of fame in all sports. It is such an antiquated process and ultimately doesn’t matter much to me. A bunch of old dudes voting on whether Player X belongs in a museum with no set guidelines for admission doesn’t change anything that Player X accomplished. It also most certainly doesn’t change the memories I have as a kid of watching Player X throw his hand in the air while running a go route to the end zone and making an impossible catch.

Randy Moss is my favorite football player of all time and a decision made in some secret room of writers on whether or not he gets a bronze bust in some building in Ohio will never change that.

All that said, if he doesn’t get in I am going to rent a purple RV and storm Canton, Ohio and raise hell.

Q: Why the did they make us play the recorder in elementary school? How long do you think it would take you to remember how to play "Hot Cross Buns" if I handed you a recorder right now - Annie

They were so common because they were cheap and made of plastic. That’s my best guess. At least it was better than the damn triangle. That thing was worthless.

Whatever they are paying elementary school music teachers is not enough by the way. They deserve the salary of anesthesiologist for putting up with a class full of 30 sh*t-head kids like myself in third grade, just blowing into those things as hard and as obnoxiously as we could. I wouldn’t last two minutes in an elementary school music class before I was smashing recorders against the wall while all the kids looked on in horror.

Taking this a step further, why didn’t they let kids play cool instruments in school band? Do you know how much more excited to join the school band kids would be if they could rock out with a guitar or a full drum kit rather than a clarinet or a flute? Think of all the great rock music we missed out on because we forced some guitar prodigy to sit there and play a cello instead of a Fender Stratocaster?

As far as how long it would take me to remember how "Hot Cross Buns" goes? Well, Annie, I never forgot. You should come by The Dakota Jazz Club the fourth Tuesday of every month. I put on a three-hour ‘corder concert. I typically close my main set with "Hot Cross Buns" unless I can tell the crowd is getting antsy early in the show and I need to break out some big hits a little sooner than usual.

Q: I have to give my first-ever best man speech in a month. First speech I have given since high school and that is very much by design. What I am getting at is: how much booze before the speech is an acceptable amount? - Brent

Well, I guess the ideal answer is no booze at all. But I get it, let’s not fool ourselves. Sometimes it’s best to be a little loose and conversational, especially for a nervous speaker which it seems like you are.

I think best bet is just like a beer or two once you get to the reception max. Don’t go nuts. Definitely don’t start with a bloody mary at breakfast and let it ride all day. The key thing to remember is that the vast majority of speeches are forgotten by everyone beside the bride and groom the second they end. The speeches nobody EVER forgets are the ones where the groomsmen makes a drunken fool of himself with a rambling, inappropriate, incoherent speech with whiskey stains on his dress shirt.

So have a beer to calm the nerves and go give it hell. Maybe get a pep talk from the groom or other groomsmen before you go up there if that’s in the cards. Then just deliver a solid speech, give the bride and groom a hug, and go breathe a sigh of relief just before you rip a shot at the bar to congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Oh, yeah, I suppose this is also the portion of the answer where I should tell you I have never given a best man’s speech. Good luck!

Q: When do I start building hope for the #MNWild? Now? Game 7 of the cup final when they're up 5 goals with 0:02 left? In between? - Adam

Man, this is tough. I wish we weren’t such fatalists in this state when it comes to sports but can you really blame us? I have been kinda sitting on the edge of the dock getting my feet wet in the Wild water. Still not ready to dive in. We’ve been hurt too much in this state.

I think I am going to play it safe and wait until the playoffs to really get the wagon. Hell, maybe I’ll get crazy and even get a shir-sey of my favorite player… I am blanking on a player name. Who should be my favorite player? Parise? Is he still good? I see the Zucker guy’s name tossed around a lot on Twitter. Maybe him. The good news is there are still like 30 games left in the regular season for us to figure this all out.

I really do hope we win the ‘ship. This town could use a parade. Plus, we would then finally earn the nickname The State of Hockey.

Q: Expounded thoughts from both you and Heather on the Rumble? Prospects of watching more rasslin' in the future? - Jimmy

I am liking it! I am definitely going to at least stick through Wrestlemania. I wasn’t expecting to get as sucked in as I was to the Royal Rumble. They seem to have a nice mix right now of established (old) talent and young guys who can really put on a GD show. I am even planning on going to to Smackdown in St Paul at the end of the month. My wife always loves the Rumble. It is her favorite sporting event. She even wants to go back and watch the old ones on DVD now.

Q: Mrs. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus… she was on drugs, right? - Peter

Don’t ask questions you know the answer to, Peter. She was tripping balls every episode and we all know it.

Alright, that’ll do it for this week! Let’s all raise a tall glass of orange juice and toast to the weekend! Everybody do your part out there to keep the dream alive.

Keep your questions coming to @DanaWessel on Twitter, in the comments section below or email them to

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