Thursday, January 29, 2015

What Are the Greatest Names in the NFL?

After exploring baseball-inspired baby names for Nameberry in October, I took a look at NFL names in my latest post. There are nearly 1,700 active players in the league, so it took a while to comb through the data. But man, there are some truly amazing picks in there.


I've always thought there was a certain formula to a great NFL name, which I describe in the piece:
  • An unusual, multisyllabic first name 
  • A shorter surname that’s ideally a common name or word 
  • A mixture of panache and gravitas
Some of my all-time favorites that fit these guidelines: Orlando Pace, Cornelius Bennett and Plaxico Burress. (Plaxico, whose appellation means peaceful, might not have helped the name by shooting himself in the leg during a nightclub incident.). . .  
Among current players, the prime examples include Orlando Franklin, Marqueston “Quest” Huff, Solomon Patton and Charcandrick West.
Other standouts, which maybe don't quite fit my rules: Barkevious Mingo, D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

The column is called "The Super Bowl of Football Names," but I don't really declare a victor. One name that appears to be "losing," however, is Marshawn.

Despite the on-field heroics of Marshawn Lynch, fewer babies are being called Marshawn today than when he started his NFL career in 2007.


I also was surprised to discover how many players are named Larry:
There are seven Larrys, plus four Lawrences (who could become Larrys at any moment).
You can read the entire column here.

How useful is all this for soon-to-be parents trying to choose a name? Hard to say. But if I cause even one to consider "Butkus," I feel like I'll have made a difference.