“If I could remember the names of all these particles, I’d be a botanist.”–Enrico Fermi
Ah, spring has sprung. Flowers are blooming. The world is reborn (just ask Tiger Woods if you don’t believe that one). And that means one special thing: it’s time for the 7th annual funniest names in the NFL draft poll. As sure as the spring pollens emerge, so do the weird and wonderful names that populate the NFL. And as for that identity crisis, unless they are paranoid about their strange monikers, none of the nominees have to worry about it. They are all well-known–most of them–already.
So what will it be this year? We’ve had short names (Jake Butt), long names (Halapoulivaati Vaitai), double-barrelled names (Ha-ha Clinton-Dix), write-in names (Jaquiski Tartt), aristocratic sounding names (Equanimeous St. Brown) and even a name that sounds like a Dothroki warrior (Barkevious Mingo), win the previous six iterations.
Without further ado, let’s skip to the chase. Here are this year’s nominees. As usual, I’ll say what I think the name sounds like it’s owner should be, if not a football player.
Lil’ Jordan Humphrey–WR, University of Texas. How’s this for a start. We’ve had many a double-barrelled names among the ranks of contestants. Even a double-double-barrelled winner in Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. But we’ve never had an apostraphe-d name seriously compete. OK, I just made up the word “apostrophe-d,” but give me a break. We need some way to describe it. And I threw in a hyphen just for added confusion. What I think his name sounds like: the bass singer from Little Anthony and the Imperials.
Rock Ya-Sin–CB, Temple. I just love how this name flows off the tongue. There always has to be a nickname or two in the list (again, we recall “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix), and this year we have a couple of them. His given name is actually Abdurrahaman. What I think his name sounds like: a rap artist from Taiwan.
Ceejhay French-Love, TE, Arizona State. Nicknames and alliterative names always play well in this poll. But for my money, I love a great double-barreled name, and you literally have to love this one. So much so, in fact, that I parted with convention and picked somebody who is more likely to wind up being an undrafted free agent; this one is too good to leave out. What I think his name sounds like: Sorry–not touching this one with a ten foot tongue.
Oshane Ximenes–LB, Old Dominion I’m curious to know exactly what ethnicity or nationality this name hails from. How often do you see a last name starting with X? What I think his name sounds like: The Greek pronunciation of Jose Jimenez.
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU–OK, his given name is Andraez, and while Williams is a rather pedestrian surname, I just love the nickname. And while it seems a rather appropriate sobriquet for a cornerback intent on swiping the ball from opposing receivers, that’s not how he got it. His aunt called him “Greedy-Deedee” after babysitting him in his infancy. He’s also likely to be a first round pick. What I think his name sounds like: a bag man for the mob.
Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU–Here’s a name that’s not quite like anything we’ve ever showcased in this feature. Like French-Love, he’s more likely to wind up playing in Canada–or the arena league, but this was another one too good to omit. What I think his name sounds like: the designer of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.
You can vote as often as you like (“Vote early and vote often.”–Al Capone). And write-ins are allowed and encouraged. You can even write in the name of the next politician you’d like to see flattened with a corner blitz, but be sure to consider these honorable mentions: Kingsley Keke, Jachai Polite, Devine Ozigba, Freedom Akinmladun, Yodney Cajuste, D’Cota Dixon, Deebo Samuel and just about any other combination you can find the next time you spill a bowl of alphabet soup. Happy voting–and here’s hoping your team drafts the funniest name.
Voting closes at noon, EDT, Monday April 29.