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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



September 17, 2009 at 3:43 PM

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The etymology of Bootstrap Bill Herring

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Seahawks promote Will Herring to starting linebacker spot
By Percy Allen, The Seattle Times

Will Herring was a fifth-round pick in 2007 who developed from a special-teams contributor into a backup linebacker last season and now will start for the next five games at least with Leroy Hill out.

But in the Seahawks' locker room, the man is known as Bootstrap. So how did he get that handle? Well, it requires a little bit of patience.

Well, he started out as Bill, but that's just players fiddling around with the first name the same way that Leroy Hill gets called Elroy. Rearrange a letter or two, use a different variation of the first name so that's how Will became Bill Herring.

Now, is where it gets a little more interesting and it requires a little bit of history because when Herring was a rookie, former Seahawk Niko Koutouvides noticed someone in the bathroom with bare feet. That's a departure from the norm because shower shoes are pretty de riguer for players once they leave the carpeted confines of their clubhouse. Well, turns out those bare feet Koutouvides saw belong to Herring. So Bill Herring became Bootless Bill Herring, and from there it was only a small jump to "The Pirates of the Caribbean." So there you have it, Bootstrap Bill.

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