It’s a good thing ESPN didn’t set up shop in Old Lyme.
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin disclosed this week that she named her daughter Bristol at least in part after the hometown of sports giant ESPN.
Palin told Esquire magazine there were three meanings behind her eldest daughter’s name.
The Alaskan governor said she once worked at a place called the Bristol Inn while her husband grew up in Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska, a big salmon fishing spot.
But, she said, she also had in mind the Bristol, Connecticut headquarters of the worldwide leader in sports.
“When I was in high school, my desire was to be a sportscaster,” Palin told the magazine. “ESPN was just kicking off, just getting off the ground, and I thought that’s what I was going to do in life, is be one of the first woman sportscasters.”
“Until I learned that you’d have to move to Bristol, Connecticut. It was far away. So instead, I had a daughter and named her Bristol,” Palin said.
Mayor Art Ward said that it probably worked out for the best.
“You can’t see Russia from here,” the mayor said.
Mike Soltys, an ESPN vice president, said he’s heard of a number of children named ESPN but the governor’s daughter is the first Bristol he knows about.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if there are others,” Soltys said.
Soltys said that after Palin’s selection as John McCain’s running mate last summer, there was speculation that the governor might have named her daughter for the company’s hometown.
But the campaign itself said that the name came from Bristol Bay in Alaska, cutting off the talk, he said.
Soltys said that people have tried to find out if Palin, a former television sportscaster in Anchorage, ever applied for a job at ESPN. But nothing’s ever turned up to indicate that Palin ever tried to snag a job with the company.
“We don’t know if she ever sent a tape in,” Soltys said, because that type of thing isn’t generally saved.
Soltys said he figures that Palin paid Bristol the city “the ultimate compliment” by naming her daughter after it.
Bristol Palin, 18, had a baby in December. She and the baby’s father, a classmate in Alaska, are not married. Her mother has told reporters that Bristol is currently balancing school and raising the child.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org