A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 13, 2013
Pet Cat (underrated football player)

NFL football coach Bill Parcells was fond of cats. Parcells would pick out an under-appreciated football player and call him his “pet cat.” Parcells was coach of the Dallas Cowboys from 2003 to 2006, and “pet cat” is most frequently used on the Dallas Cowboys blog Blogging the Boys.

“‘Pet cats’ is a Parcellsism; they were the prospects whom a coach or scout adored” was cited in print in March 2007. A “pet cat” could be any player, but is usually a little-known player—either a low draft choice or an undrafted free agent.


Wikipedia: Bill Parcells
Duane Charles “Bill” Parcells (born August 22, 1941) is a former American football head coach, most recently with the Dallas Cowboys from 2003 to 2006. He is known as “The Big Tuna”, a nickname about the shape of his physique derived from a team joke during his tenure as linebackers coach of the New England Patriots.

Parcells won two Super Bowl rings with the New York Giants, defeating the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI and the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV. He led the New England Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI, but lost to the Green Bay Packers 35-21. He also led the New York Jets to the 1998 AFC Championship Game.

14 January 2007, Macon (GA) Telegraph, Michael A. Lough column:
“I knew it was a bad sign when Bill Parcells talked about how ‘very, very athletic’ his pet cat, Cody, was earlier in the week. Men should never publicly acknowledge owning a cat.”

30 March 2007, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “Trying to eliminate ‘cat’ calls,” pg. D6:
IRVING — Bill Parcells was a cat guy. He had a big, fat pet cat at his house. And he had his pet cats at Valley Ranch, too. Especially in April. “Pet cats” is a Parcellsism; they were the prospects whom a coach or scout adored. They are often so fond of such prospects they try to make sure their “pet cat” is drafted, regardless what the scouting consensus is. And every coach, general manager or scout has a pet cat; 2004 second-round flop Jacob Rogers was a Parcells’ pet cat.

Blogging the Boys (Dallas Cowboys)
Random thoughts on the draft
By Dave Halprin  @BloggingTheBoys on Apr 30 2007, 9:25p
I’ve decided to adopt Isaiah Stanback as my new “pet cat” for training camp. Last year, it was NT Sammy Taulealea, but I knew he didn’t stand a chance. Sammy T. was a pet cat headed for the animal shelter. Hopefully, Stanback will fare much better if his foot heals in time.

Blogging the Boys (Dallas Cowboys)
Dallas Cowboys 2012 Roster: We Want Your Pet Cats!
By One.Cool.Customer  @OCC44 on May 1 2012, 8:03a
With this post, there are now exactly 100 front-page stories in the SBNation NFL archives for all 32 teams featuring the term “Pet Cat”. Do you want to take a guess at how many of those 100 stories were posted right here on Blogging The Boys? The answer is fairly simple: all of them. But why is that?

“Pet Cat” is a Parcells-ism, a term Bill Parcells popularized in Cowboys Nation during his tenure as head coach in Dallas. The term initially referred to a prospect whom a coach, scout or owner had taken a particular liking to, often based on little more than a whim, and whom they would then try to draft, regardless of what the scouting consensus was.

Among Cowboys fans, pet cat has come to refer to a player who is a bubble player (even making the practice squad is often considered pet cat success) and is commonly selected from the very bottom of the roster where you’ll find late-round draft picks, undrafted free agents or even street free agents. Parcells once said that “you can have too many pet cats”. As the meaning or the phrase has evolved over time, we know today that what Parcells said is not true, in fact, the opposite is true: you can never have enough pet cats.

Blogging the Boys (Dallas Cowboys)
Dallas Cowboys 2013 Roster: We Want Your Pet Cats!
By One.Cool.Customer  @OCC44 on May 3 2013, 2:30p
Which obscure, down-roster player is your pet cat to make the roster this year?
Did you know that if you mention the term “Pet Cat” to fans of other teams you’ll probably draw nothing more than a blank stare? Yet among Cowboys fans, almost everybody knows what a pet cat is. In fact, if you search for the term “Pet Cat” across all 32 SB Nation NFL blogs, you’ll find 1,837 comments with “Pet Cat” in them. All but 37 of those comments are on Blogging The Boys. Why is that?

“Pet Cat” is a Parcells-ism, a term Bill Parcells popularized among Cowboys fans during his tenure as head coach in Dallas. The term initially referred to a prospect whom a coach, scout or owner had taken a particular liking to, often based on little more than a whim, and whom they would then try to draft, regardless of what the scouting consensus was.

Among Cowboys fans, pet cat has since come to refer to a player who is a bubble player (even making the practice squad is often considered pet cat success) and is commonly selected from the very bottom of the roster where you’ll find late-round draft picks, undrafted free agents or even street free agents. The pet cat is often - and preferably - chosen without the slightest factual or quantifiable basis. In fact, some would argue that you do not choose your pet cat, your pet cat chooses you.

DallasCowboys.com
Scout’s Big Prediction: Hanna Contributes More Than Escobar
Posted Jul 5, 2013
Bryan Broaddus Football Analyst/Scout
When I last worked for Bill Parcells in 2005, he would always use a line in the personnel meetings that I thought was outstanding. When a scout would go on and on about a player, Parcells would say “Well, your pet cat….” which always put a smile on my face because everyone in the room knew he was right. If I was still scouting for this team, James Hanna would be my pet cat.

Blogging the Boys (Dallas Cowboys)
Pet Cat Watch: FWAA Announces Outland, Nagurski Watch Lists For 2013
By KD Drummond  @KDP10for10 on Jul 12 2013, 11:30a
The NFL isn’t the only professional league getting ready to open it’s doors to 2013… The NCAA is almost back, too!
What do you mean it’s not professional football?

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Saturday, July 13, 2013 • Permalink