“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.