6th Annual Poll: Funniest Names In The 2018 NFL Draft

Note, this post occurs concurrently on The Millennium Conjectures.   I also blog and podcast on futurist topics at Seeking Delphi.

“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.

Vita Vea–Best name? Maybe. Best hair–definitely!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Funny Jazz Bass Names from M to S: Fording the Fjord

Norway

It even looks like a bass.

We learn a lot of things at this joint. Things like, whoa, Norway totally dominates funny jazz bass names.

At least for the first half of the alphabet. Now we’re here to see if it’s true for M-S.

Place your bets, folks!

In the “M” quadrant, immortal titans Cecil McBee and Charles Mingus square off against Norsemen Jo Berger Myhre and Guro Skumsnes Moe. Jazz and blues bassist Clarence Horatius “Big” Miller enters the fray, tipping this round to the U.S., with results complicated by the appearance of Jesús Alfredo Merchán aka Chucho Merchán , Colombian. Overall, a strong 4-2 start for the Americas. Cecil McBee emerges with the highest net funny name value, because it was adopted as the name of a fashion brand in Japan without the bassist’s consent. (McBee unsuccessfully sued the company to stop.)


(Cecil McBee with Chico Freeman, “Wise One”)

But Norway comes back at us strong on “N” with bassist Magnus Skavhaug Nergaard, involved in such interestingly named bands as Monkey Plot and Ich Bin N!ntendo.

“O” is a tight squeeze between the Nordic Eivind Opsvik, Poland’s Darek Oleszkiewicz, and Nigeria’s Ugonna Okegwo, based in NYC. We don’t know what yr gonna think but we’re gonna give it to Ugonna.

“P” is an embarrassment of riches, musically and name-wise. We are tempted to drop the rivalrous banter and contemplate our bassists in reverent awe. There is legendary Jaco Pastorius, the Jimi Hendrix of electric bass. There are bass masters Gary Peacock and John Patitucci. There is the great Norseman Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen who produced arguably the warmest, most resonant double bass tones ever. Lesser known to me are Truck Parham, Robert Popwell and Giuseppe Prestipino Giarritta aka Pino Presti. But let’s give this one to Alcide Louis “Slow Drag” Pavageau taking us back to New Orleans and the roots of jazz itself.

Pluckings are slim (See what I did there?) in the “Q” category so we have to take liberties. We go with the multi-genre bassist called “Q” though his real name is Quentin Berry. That’s all we got.

“R” is a bland letter, not for music, but for names. Norseman Steinar Raknes comes out on top. Golf clap.

“S” is more interesting. Honorable mention of course to Avery Sharpe because he reminds us of Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. Otherwise, we got Len Skeat, Todd Sickafoose, Putter Smith, Leroy Eliot “Slam” Stewart, Victor Sproles, Ben Street, Ike Sturm, the great Steve Swallow, and the multi-talented Esperanza Spalding going up against Norsemen Jon Rune Strøm, Øyvind Storesund, Baard Slagsvold and Audun Skorgen.


(Steve Swallow with John Scofield and Bill Stewart)

We have to stop here, because we’re approaching the official BoFN word limit. So, we’ve had a respectable showing by our Nordic friends, but we’ve got them outnumbered. For now.

And speaking of numbers, Dave needs a higher number of dollars to fight cancer, so please visit the link below.

 

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Chief Slugamus Koquilton

Chief Sugamus Koquilton could have said, “I went to this party once and had a very good time.” But he didn’t.

Glinda, the Good Witch, told Dorothy to tap her heels together three time and say, “There’s no place like home”. Glinda was right.

One of my history buff friends suggested our next guest, Chief Slugamus Koquilton, formerly of Muckleshoot, Washington, USA. It is this blogger’s humble opinion that Chief Slugamus epitomizes the Funny Names Theory: the Outerbridge Horsey Certainty Principle, where we celebrate great people with greater names.

Chief Slugamus holds an unusual distinction in U.S. history. He was the last living person to have seen the Charles Wilkes US EX EX (Exploration Expedition) at the first ever 4th of July celebration held west of the Mississippi in 1841, in the Oregon Territory north of the Columbia River. Try saying that three times fast.

The Wilkes expeditions for those of you not in the know, was the largest scientific undertaking of its time sponsored by the United States. Wilkes reported directly to Congress. Congress only printed 100 copies of his completed findings at the time and kept the knowledge (including extensive maps of the west coast) to themselves. Commodore Wilkes brought back so many specimens from around the world, they created the Smithsonian Institute to house it all. He even weathered a storm in the harbor of my home town during a survey expedition, giving it it’s name, and putting it on the map, literally.

Sixty-five years later in 1906, when the celebration was planned, Chief Slugamus took the party planners to the original site where they erected a monument marking the location near Sequalitchew Lake. (Thank you copy and paste.)

At the celebration, Chief Slugamus was an honored guest and presenter. He described the Wilkes celebration, “They fired the big guns many times . . . . The soldiers marched all step as one man . . . . They carried flags, and had music with fifes and drums and horns . . . . They roast ox . . . . Big dinner . . . . Race horses . . . . A great many Indians from country all about . . . .”

It must have been a sight to see.

Chief Slugamus’s even made it into the “The Fourth of July Encyclopedia”.  How many of us can say that?

Imagine becoming famous because you crashed a party at the right time, and lived long enough to tell about it. And all this before social media.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

Sources: Washington, West of the Cascades, 1917, authors Hunt, Herbert, Floyd C. Taylor; includes photo credit.
The Conquerors, 1907, author Atwood, A.

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Funny Jazz Bass Names from A-L: A Norwegian Invegian

Somebody had to do this. Well, actually, no, nobody had to do this at all, but let’s get started anyway! This will only get us halfway there, I’m afraid.

We start with “A,” a tough call for jazz bassists, but we give it to Ahmed Abdul-Malik (1927 – 1993), who, interestingly, self-invented the name and a Sudanese heritage, though he was in fact born of Caribbean immigrant parents who gave him the name Jonathan Tim Jr.. That counts for a lot around here. We like multiple first names, and even have a postulate to prove it (see “Arthur Lee Samuel Consequence”).

“B” is for Svein Olav Blindheim (born 1954), a Norwegian bassist whose brother Oddbjørn Blindheim plays jazz piano.

With “C” ruled by giants like Ron Carter, Stanley Clarke, and Paul Chambers, we shift focus here to Curtis Counce (1926 – 1963). Though lesser known, he played with many of the greatest.

“D” is a dead heat between Brandi Disterheft (born 1980) of Vancouver and Mbizo Johnny Dyani (1945–1986) of South Africa. Your call.

“E” is for Mats Eilertsen (born 1975), another Norwegian bassist. My Spidey senses are tingling. Norway seems to have a strong jazz scene, and it’s starting to dominate here name-wise.

Spidey sense is corroborated with our “F” pick, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (born 1971). By the way, that doesn’t mean he plays out of tune. Maybe he just likes flat keys. To be punnish (yes, pun intended there, too), to like B flat is not the same as to be flat.

For “G” we have to pass over one of my favorites, Eddie Gómez, and give it to Ole Amund Gjersvik (born 1963). Norwegian! This is looking like a Viking raid. And our regional specialist Arto isn’t around to negotiate peace.


(Eddie Gomez with Bill Evans.)

With “H” we got titans of the bass like Charlie Haden, Percy Heath, and Dave Holland, but we got to give this one to . . . Stig Hvalryg (born 1960). I’ll let you figure out the nationality (if you’re struggling, you’re trying too hard).

For “I” Charles H. “Chuck” Israels (born 1936) merits mention for his outstanding work with Bill Evans, but our pick is David Izenzon (1932 – 1979) of Pittsburg. Take that, Norway.

“J” includes great masters of jazz funk like Paul Jackson (born 1947) and Alphonso Johnson (born 1951). But we have to give this one to Greig Stewart “Chubby” Jackson (1918 – 2003), who has the great virtue of not being Norwegian.


(Paul Jackson lays down the bass with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters.)

The Norwegians come back at us with “K,” where we got Olaf Kamfjord (born 1962) in a dead heat with Bjørn Kjellemyr (born 1950).

With honorable mention for the groundbreaking Scott LaFaro (1936–1961) who died tragically young, our pick for “L” is Abraham Laboriel Sr. (born 1947) father of Abe Laboriel Jr., a drummer, and brother of Johnny Laboriel, a singer.

So, Norwegians routed us but didn’t get the last word. We’ll see how it goes with the other half of the alphabet.

In the meantime, learn about our man Dave at the link below:

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The Handsome Family Sparks Up TV

I am laughably behind on TV but I’ve done some catching up recently. I watched seasons and seasons of truly outstanding programs, unlike anything I’ve seen on the medium, or even beyond. There was Breaking Bad. Then there was Better Call Saul.

And most recently, the best TV series I’ve ever seen: True Detective, Season One, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

TD.S1.Marty.Rust

“I can smell the psychosphere.”

As the older Marty might put it under debriefing,

You know, sometimes you can set the bar too high in life. And when you shoot that high, and actually hit it, well, it may feel good at the time. But after that, everything is . . . just, lower. And then you realize, it’s never going to be that high again.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s certainly how I feel as I look at my viewing options these days. Everything is suddenly unwatchable. It’s odd that the greatest TV show ever made may actually cure me of TV.

Anyway, as Rust might say, “I drift.”

Inextricably linked with Season One is the opening theme song, “Far from Any Road.” This dark, moody, soulful ballad has a way of getting into your head and not finding its way back out again.


From the album Singing Bones (2003).

At first I thought the singer was Johnny Cash, but it is actually Brett Sparks, and the female vocalist that comes in later is his wife, Rennie Sparks. Together they form the core of their band The Handsome Family.

Rennie writes the lyrics, Brett writes the music, and they both sing and play, and record, and tour. In addition to The Handsome Family’s astounding musical gifts, Rennie writes and paints. They’ve got a great website here.

According to Wikipedia, Brett accounts for the band name thusly:

“It’s just kind of a stupid name. We used to have this really obnoxious drummer, and he used to call me ‘Handsome’, that was his nickname for me, I think for sarcastic reasons… And he wanted to call it the Handsome Family… and we thought it was funny, too. We thought it was a good name.”

Now, ordinarily, the Name Funniness Index (NFI) might put Brett and Rennie out of the running for funny name status. Brett is about as ordinary as a name could be. Rennie is marginally better. “Sparks” obviously helps, and brings them close to the brink, but it’s the band name that seals the deal. That and Matthew McConaughey. And the fact that Dave and Arto are not watching the shop. And Fannie’s not very strict. Heck, she lets me get away with just about anything, these days.

I drift.

OK, how about this? The music director of True Detective, who chose the theme song, is Joseph Henry “T Bone” Burnett III, himself a major presence in the music world.

All that being said, I do hope you click on the link below and spark up Dave’s life in his time of need.

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