4th Time’s the Charm: Funniest Names in the 2016 NFL Draft

“If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead”–Erma Bombeck”

“Rats, suspended again,” said Tom, deflated.**

**If you’re too young to remember Tom Swifties, check out the history here.

It’s that magical time of the year, the flowers are blooming, the weather is warming, and we at BoFN are guffawing at the this year’s crop of outrageous monikers in the annual NFL draft.  So move over, deflategate, there is far more important news on the NFL front.  It’s time for our 4th annual poll of the funniest names in the NFL draft.  The big event starts tomorrow evening, so there’s no time to lose.

Let’s start with a bit of nostalgia as we review the past winners.

2013–Barkevious Mingo–An outside linebacker out of LSU,  Mingo was  a runaway winner of our first poll, and a first round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns.  So far his NFL performance has been less than stellar, but hey, it’s Cleveland.  We at BoFN names just wish his brother Hughtevious would also get drafted.



2014–Ha’Sean “HaHa” Clinton-Dix–Another first round choice–I just love how thebest names go near the top of the draft.  Do you think the NFL scouts read this blog?  Clinton-Dix has had a solid, if not spectacular first two years at safety with the Green Bay Packers.  He won a close battle for funniest names with Jadaveon Clowney.  When you have a clown and a haha in the same year, you know you have a bumper crop.

2015–Jaquiski Tartt–Tartt came out of nowhere–in more ways than one–to win last year’s vote.  He was the highest player ever drafted out of Samford (you mean there were others?) and won the poll on a write-in vote.  That second t in his name really put an exclamation point on it.  By the way, this safety got his first ever NFL interception in week 14 last year off of Johnny Manziel.  I hope he kept the ball, as Manziel is not likely to be throwing any more.

OK, enough of the red carpet preliminaries.  Let’s get down to brass tacks.  Here are this year’s nominees, including, as always, my take on what their names sound like if they weren’t football players.

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss–Offensive line is a boring position, at least in the eyes of the casual fan.  But this year’s funny names are just teaming with these behemoths.  Tunsil is one of the early favorites in the poll, and also a likely top 10 first round pick. What I think his name sounds like: The sheriff of Tucson, Arizona c. 1879.

Eli Apple,CB, Ohio State–Formerly known as Eli Woodard, and we just had to have a “formerly known as” in honor of the late musician formerly known as “the artist formerly known as Prince.”  Apple made some less than happy news when he complained to the NFL back in March that an Atlanta assistant coach asked him if he was gay.  Maybe it was that “formerly known as” that threw the guy off?   What I think his name sounds like: Prince’s former road manager.

Halapoutavaati Vitai–Wow.  I mean, wow.  Say this name five times fast and you might hyperventilate and pass out.  That’s even if you can say it right once.  For the record, it’s pronounced hal-lah-poo-li-VAH-tee  VIE-tie.  It’s no surprise he is used to hearing it wrong: “It happens every day,” says offensive tackle from the TCU Horned Frogs, “even I mess up my name.”  You read that right, a guy who can’t even pronounce his own name who played for the college with the funniest team nickname in the entire NCAA.  This guy is a force to be reckoned with.   His parents have funny names, too. Takilivi and Shirley.  (Shirley! Really!?)  What I think his name sounds like: um…er…any suggestions? I can hardly hear it, let alone pronounce it.

Leonte Caroo–WR, Rutgers.  We had to get a player in there from the offense side of the ball.  But a player from New Jersey?  I’m not so sure.  Seeing as it’s the state that gave us both Bruce Springsteen and Chris Christie, this guy could go either way. What I think his name sounds like: An animal character in The Jungle Book.

Cody Whitehair–OG Kansas State.  Another offensive lineman, and at 6’4″, 310lbs, he won’t need his white hair to ward off opposing defensive ends. What I think his name sounds like: chief of the Iroquois nation.

Briean Boddy-Calhoun–a running back who played for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, he comes from only the second funniest college team name, but he definitely has the best hyphenated name in the draft since Blidi Wreh-Wilson in 2013. What I think his name sounds like: a Victoria’s Secret model.

As usual there are plenty of write-in candidates, including, but not limited to, Charone Peake, Germain Ifidi, Bronson Kafusi, Pharoh Cooper, Fhan Cooper, Rees Odhiambo and Romeo Okwara.  The rules are simple. The voting starts now.  Vote as often as you like, and though the draft ends Saturday, we’ll keep this open through noon Monday.  Look for results in the next Funny Names in the News, which might even be next Friday.

About Mark Sackler

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."-Alan Kay; Let's invent a better future, together.
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27 Responses to 4th Time’s the Charm: Funniest Names in the 2016 NFL Draft

  1. Yay, funniest names in the NFL draft is back, she said draftily . . . can’t wait to see the results.

  2. Arto says:

    Wow Mark, it’s another bumper crop of great names. The future of the sport is bright indeed.

    I like Laremy Tunsil, personally. Something about the ring of it. Just a great name. Not ridiculous, not silly, just plain old great.

    The simplicity of Eli Apple is also very nice. Good stuff.

  3. kerbey says:

    I love how you added “what his name sounds like.” Brilliant! Barkevious Mingo sounds like a mischievous barking dingo. BTW, a few nights ago, we were flipping thru channels, and we stopped at “Celebrity Name Game” hosted by Craig Ferguson. On it, a celeb give hints to nobodies so they can guess the names of somebodies. One of the names was Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and instead of passing, she went into, “What sound you make when you’re laughing…the name of the president during the Monica scandal…too many penises” and of course the timer buzzed at time. Which all made me wonder, why on earth was he was named THAT, so I googled it: “See, my first name is pronounced ‘Ha-SEEN’ but some people said “Ha-SHAWN.” so some people got mixed up a lot and my grandmother gave me that name (Ha Ha) when I was about 3 or 4 years-old, and everyone’s been calling me that since then.” ‘Twere it not for this blog (and Jimmy Fallon mocking him), I myself would not know of Mr. Dix.

    Just this part alone has me reeling: VAH-tee VIE-ti. Now wonder he can’t say it. It’s like Dracula named him: “I vant you to go thru childhood vith a very difficult name!”

  4. wdydfae says:

    Masterful post! I also like that “What I think it sounds like” feature!

    Halapoutavaati (or is it Halapoulavaati? You’ve got some spelling discrepancies here) sounds like an Egyptian king, probably great grandfather of Tutankhamun.

    • Mark Sackler says:

      Hey, c’mon. If he can’t even pronounce his own name, how do you expect me to spell it. (the discrepancy has been fixed, though–so if it’s till wrong, at least it’s consistent!)

    • Mark Sackler says:

      It struck me this morning. The name sounds like a voodoo curse! (he was drafted by Philly in the fifth round, by the way)

      • wdydfae says:

        I’m not up on my foosball . . .

        Is being drafted by Philly in round five compatible with having a name like a voodoo curse?

        • Mark Sackler says:

          Playing for Philly is a voodoo curse!! 😛

        • Mark Sackler says:

          And by the way, the networks have all called the election for him, he’s polling over 50% in a 6-way race. Not even the Donald could do that.

          • wdydfae says:

            Though my understanding of football always decreases with every new piece of information I get about it, this particular datum is really pulling it down precipitously. I don’t even know what to ask to make sense of that one.

          • Mark Sackler says:

            I’m a New York fan all the way, therefore anything Philly or Boston (or especially Dallas if your a NY Giants fan ) is voodoo. Or rather, I perform voodoo on those teams.

  5. ksbeth says:

    miss chevious is his whimsical unmarried sister.

    • Dave says:

      With a name like that, she couldn’t stay unmarried for long. There are too many name-lovers to turn that one away!

      • wdydfae says:

        Psst . . . Dave How do we do photo captions now with the new blog remake? I could only do captions with the Bollywood post because it was made before the . . . ahem . . . the, er, Great Blog Reform of ’16.

        • Dave says:

          Hmm… good question! That was actually an Arto project. He may be the guy to ask!

        • Dave says:

          Hmm… and I just checked the “Add post” section on the dashboard and it looks pretty darn different. This is new to me too. Maybe WordPress changed some stuff. But Fannie seems to have figured it out!

  6. Dave says:

    I wholeheartedly agree about loving the “what I think his name sounds like” feature.

    I really think Leonte Caroo is the dark horse in this one. So fun to say!

    And my best suggestion for what Mr. Vitai’s name sounds like: a jazz or blues musician scatting back in the… 20’s or something?

    I’m sorry that my best suggestion is that his name sounds like a musician coming up with melodic syllables. But that’s honestly why the name is so great. So many syllables, all fitting together in a nice way.

  7. Mark Sackler says:

    By the way, in somewhat of a surprise, the first one of these guys to get picked in the draft’s first round last night, was Eli “the player formerly known as Eli Woodard” Apple and #10 by the NY Giants. Laremy Tunsil was second at #13 by Miami.

  8. Mark Sackler says:

    OK, people. Somebody wrote in Jaquiski Tart. He won last year–he’s not eligible this year. Only this year’s draft class counts.

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