Scott Wolf is used to hearing people say they named something Bailey after a character of his.
But an NFL quarterback? That’s a new one.
Wolf was one of the actors in the 90s drama series “Party of Five,” playing Bailey Salinger, one of five siblings the show follows after they lose their parents in a car accident. His character was a prominent one, which led to plenty of people naming something – be it a child or a pet – Bailey.
Among those included someone who eventually would become quarterback of the New England Patriots, Bailey Zappe.
The 23-year-old quarterback, who has led the Patriots to a 2-0 record as a starter with Mac Jones injured, was born in 1999 during the penultimate season of “Party of Five,” and was named after Wolf’s character.
When that was mentioned on Sunday's broadcast, Wolf’s phone started blowing up with texts.
"I got a zillion texts from friends of mine. I was born in Boston, so I’ve got a bunch of family who are Pats fans and they reached out first," Wolf told WEEI's Rob Bradford. "… It was pretty funny, it was pretty great. Throughout my life I hear ‘Hey, I named my son after you, I named my daughter after you or I named my dog after you’ I get a lot, a lot of dogs named Bailey. So to have an NFL quarterback named Bailey, that was the coolest one I’ve ever heard."
Children who were named Bailey while the show was running are now in their 20s, so Wolf is starting to run into more people who effectively are named after him.
"There’s like an incubation period, right, where you don’t run into a lot of people named Bailey that were influenced by the show for a while because, you know, at first they're babies," Wolf said. "But over time, yeah, I began to, knowing that it was a unique name, every time I meet someone named Bailey or I hear the name Bailey, it always just flashes through my head like oh, I wonder if, you know. ... This is definitely the first time it hasn’t been my kid or my dog, it’s my starting quarterback."
Wolf himself is actually a Giants fan, so, like many, the name Bailey Zappe hadn’t come across his radar prior to Zappe taking over behind center for the Patriots.
Now, Wolf has far more incentive to keep an eye on New England.
"I’ve been working a ton right now on this other show, I have been following football, I’m a Giants fan so I follow their season pretty closely, but I hadn’t really clocked Bailey Zappe until I got inundated by these texts. But I got a kick out of it, like I said, it becomes – when someone says I named my dog Bailey, it’s a certain kind of feeling.
"But when you hear a starting quarterback in the NFL is named after your character, it’s much more flattering somehow."
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