As pledged, Mangini gives son middle name Brett in QB's honor

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- There's a new Brett in Eric Mangini's life.

Zack Brett Mangini was born early Friday -- also Brett Favre's 39th birthday -- and the New York Jets coach and his wife, Julie, gave their third son a middle name fit for an iconic, gunslinging quarterback.

"I think he thinks it's pretty cool," Mangini said of Favre. "I think the more interesting, ironic, I don't know what word you'd use, is the fact he was born on Brett's birthday."

The newest member of the Mangini family was born at 7:43 a.m., weighing in at 7 pounds and 13 ounces and was 20 inches long with "very, very healthy lungs." A beaming Mangini, wearing a hospital bracelet around his left wrist, said the baby and his wife were "happy, healthy, so we're all excited."

Mangini committed to using the middle name, Brett, when he and the Jets were trying to get Favre to come to New York in the summer.

"The odds of the child being born on the same day as my birthday, I don't know what the odds are," Favre said. "He told me that today was the day and I asked, 'Well, is he still going to be Brett?' He said, 'Yeah, Zack Brett.' ... The odds, in some respects, are a lot like me. What were the odds of me ever coming to the Jets?

"It is a pretty cool thing."

Special middle names are nothing new for the Mangini family. Their first son, Jake Harrison, who's 4½, is named after New England safety Rodney Harrison. Their 2½-year-old son, Luke William, is named in honor of Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

"Well, the history behind that," Mangini explained, "is all my kids have middle names that are related to people that have been important to me in my football career."

Mangini has also enjoyed professional success after each of his first two sons were born, both coincidentally on Feb. 26. Following Jake's birth in 2004, the Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl -- with Harrison intercepting two passes in the victory over Philadelphia. After Luke's birth two years later, Mangini led the Jets to the playoffs in his first season as coach.

So, when the Jets were recruiting the NFL's career leader in touchdown throws, Mangini made the middle name a negotiating chip.

"I explained that history and explained that we were pregnant with our third child," Mangini said. "I really believed that he could be an instrumental part in another good year and an important part of my football life and I would commit to Zack Brett Mangini at that point. That was part of our terms, and we stuck with it."

Mangini said the baby's middle name was going to be Brett even if the two didn't share the same birthday.

"That was locked and loaded in the negotiations," Mangini said with a smile, "but we couldn't have planned that if we wanted to. Pretty exciting."

Despite the middle name, Mangini isn't too optimistic that his youngest son will become an NFL quarterback.

"I don't like my odds there," Mangini said with a grin. "Just judging by how I throw, every male in our respective families throw, we tend to breed linemen on both sides. Maybe he'll change the equation."