“My weird name has haunted me all my life.”–Peaches Geldof
Sadly, Peaches didn’t live long enough to be haunted all that long. The only thing that will haunt the names we honor herein, though, is how to spend the bonus checks they get when they sign NFL contracts.
So here we go–the sixth annual Funniest Names in the NFL Draft Poll. Wow. Sixth? Already? If time flies when you are having fun, it flies even faster when you are making fun…of funny names.
Let’s kick it off with a review of the five previous winners and how their fortunes have fared since being drafted.
Poll #1, 2013–Barkevious Mingo. Outside Linebacker, LSU. Mingo was the number six overall pick in the draft that year, but has never lived up to the hype of a first rounder. If that fate wasn’t obvious when he was picked by Cleveleand, you haven’t been following the NFL lately.
Poll #2 2014–Ha-Sean Treshon “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix, Free Safety, Alabama. Picked 21st overall in that year’s first round by the Green Bay Packers, he’s had a solid if unspectacular pro career to date. He does have the distinction of beating out the best ever also-ran in this poll–Jadaveon Clowney. Clowney was the number one overall pick by Houston that year. With a Ha-Ha and a Clown, 2014 was the deepest draft in funny name annals. However, Ha-Ha’s biggest claim to funny name fame is his cameo appearance in Key and Peele’s East-West Bowl, Pro Edition.
Poll #3–2015–Jaquiski Tartt, Safety, Samford. Tartt was the first, and so far, only player to win this poll on a write-in. He was also the highest drafted player ever to go to Samford, going to San Francisco in the second round. I think that final “tt” is what clinched it for him.
Poll #4-2106–Halapoulivaati Vaiti, Offensive Tackle, TCU. Can’t say much, my computer is out of letters. At least fourteen fans were hospitalized and treated for tongue cramp when they attempted to pronounce his name after his fifth round drafting by Philadelphia.
Poll #5–2017–Jake Butt, Tight End, Michigan. Wow, a tight end named Butt. He was headed towards possible first round selection until he tore his ACL in the 2016 Orange Bowl. He fell to the fifth round–selected by Denver–but sat out the entire 2017 season with the injury. At least his butt is still in tact.
With that, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to start our engines and get to the 2018 nominees. As usual, I’ll regale you with my warped opinions on what the names sound like they might be, if they weren’t football players.
Tevita “Vita” Tuliakiono Tuipuloto Mosese Va’hae Faletau Vea, Defensive Tackle, Washington. A big name for a big (346 pound) man. Do not attempt to pronounce this entire name unless in the presence of an external oxygen supply and paramedics. The question is not whether this is the longest name in NFL history, but the longest in world hostory. What I think his name sounds like: The entire Hawaiian language dictionary.
Equanimeous St. Brown, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame. I’d say you can’t make this stuff up, but obviously, his parents did. What I think his name sounds like: the 14th editor of the Oxford Unabridged English Dictionary.
Josey Jewel, Linebacker Iowa. Unfortunately, there are no really good double-barrelled names in this year’s draft, but there are three great candidates for best alliterative name. Jewel is one of them. What I think his name sounds like: A Vegas pole dancer.
Folorunso Fatukasi, Defensive Tackle, UCONN. UConn, of course, is much better known for basketball–especially women’s–than football. And hey, my wife and daughter are both alums. This guy throws his hat in the ring for the best alliterative name. What I think his name sounds like: the governor of Okinawa.
Key’vantanie “Keke” Coutee, Wide Receiver, Texas Tech. Sorry Josey and Foloro…Flor… oh, whatever your name is–Keke is my personal pick for best alliterative name in this year’s pack. What I think his name sounds like: see Josey Jewell.
There are plenty of honorable mentions, all eligible to be written in. But hey, you can write in your kid if he plays Pop Warner, or even your mother-in-law, if her blitz flattens you. So don’t forget to consider Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Breeland Speaks, Hercules Mata’afa, Dane Cruishank, Chuckwuma Okorafor or just about anybody whose name tickles your funny bone.
Vote early and vote often. The draft kicks off this Thursday evening, April 26. Voting ends noon, EDT, Monday April 29.