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Santa Maria Sun / Sports Lead

The following article was posted on November 29th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 38 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 38

The Benchwarmer, Vol. I

Some people shouldn't play the Name Game

BY KRISTINA SEWELL

Names. They’re what define us and help us to create our own sense of identity. These days, names come in all sorts of shapes and sizes—impossibly long, dangerously short, with vowels or no vowels; there’s no telling what someone will come up with next. It appears as though the world has entered into a dangerous game of “who can come up with the most outrageous names.” In fact, I’m surprised they haven’t made a reality show about it yet.

In sports, names carry a certain cache, familiar to millions of sports fanatics around the globe. I can’t speak for all sports fans, but it seems there’s no greater stage for ridiculous names than the varied world of professional sports.

From baseball to hockey, from ludicrous nicknames that stuck to bizarre names that leave us rolling with laughter, sports has provided audiences around the world with the most hilarious names ever.

So in honor of these gifted athletes who have been cursed with most unfortunate names, I have created a list of 15 more memorable and nonsensical names in athletics.

Here they are, in no particular order.

Chad Ochocinco

Drafted by the Bengals in 2001, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson has been busy creating a name for himself, but not with football. Unlike a majority of the other people on this list, Chad was dumb enough to pick this name on his own. In a pitiful attempt to honor Hispanic Heritage Month, Johnson announced he would rather be called “Ochocinco.” In 2008, thanks to some judge somewhere, Chad was actually allowed to legally change his name to Chad Ochocinco.

I wonder if anyone has bothered to let him know that “85” in Spanish is actually ochenta y cinco. Smooth move, Chad.

Coco Crisp

Where do I begin with this one? Apparently the Oakland A’s player bears a striking resemblance to a character on a Coco Crispies cereal box. Crisp’s sister gave him the name “Coco Crisp,” and it obviously stuck.

While this may have been a cute name during childhood, it was a nickname and not for professional use. Although his name opens the door to numerous cereal endorsements, Coco Crisp should start using his real name (Covelli Loyce) if he ever wants to be taken seriously as a baseball player.

Boof Bonser

“Boof!” And he’s gone! The name for this minor league San Francisco Giants pitcher sounds more like the catchphrase for a magician. Perhaps Bonser continues to bounce around teams because fans in their right minds can’t imagine themselves chanting “Boof” over and over.

Rusty Kuntz

He was a designated hitter for the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins from 1979 to 1985, and the places I could go with this name aren’t appropriate for print. I can imagine the teasing this guy faced as a kid; his name makes me pity him. Then again, it really makes me laugh—hey, we can’t all be mature.

To his mom and dad: It’s not a good name when it brings frighteningly grotesque images to your brain.

Drew Naylor/Doug Fister

Naylor, an unemployed Australian baseball player and Fister, a major league pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, have names saddled with an endless amount of joke possibilities.

If there was a category for “gross sexual innuendo” names, these two would be right up there with Rusty.

To future parents of America: The porn name generator app on your iPhone is not a good way to pick a name for your child. Eeesh. Of course, I guess you’re stuck with your last name—unless, you know, you change it to something innocuous.

Milton Bradley

Though he’s a baseball player for the Seattle Mariners known for his obnoxious game antics, Milton Bradley (the board game company) could make a killing by creating a new game inspired by this player.

It could be called Anger Management or Temper Tantrums. All you would need is a bat, a helmet, and a tendency to get out of control.

Bradley, throwing tantrums will not change the fact that you have a career .271 batting average.

Dean Windass

Wait, wait. I can’t stop laughing. This retired English soccer player was bestowed with a name that implies forceful flatulence. I can hear his teammates now: “Don’t stand too close behind that bloke Dean Windass—it could be dangerous!

Lucious Pusey

For a good laugh, say this name out loud with a French accent. You just tried it, and now you’re laughing.

Here’s one more for the “innuendo” names category, though it’s a bit more obvious. This Eastern Illinois linebacker’s name just proves that parents should really think about what they name their children. No joke, I read somewhere that he changed his name to Seymour—his last name, that is.

Chief Kickingstallionisms

This Alabama State Center has a kick ass name—his parents struck gold with this one. Despite the fact that this name sounds like it belongs in an Old Western film, it’s pretty awesome.

Honestly, who is going to mess with a guy named Chief Kickingstallionisms?

DeMarcus Faggins

All I can say is that sometimes, life can be really cruel; the case is no less true for this Omaha Nighthawks cornerback. I’m beginning to think there is a reason DeMarcus has yet to make it to the NFL.

Can you imagine 30,000 people chanting “Faggins?” Not with a straight face you can’t.

Johnny ‘Ugly’ Dickshot

I’m pulling this one out of the vault. Johnny was an MLB player from 1936 to 1945. While I have yet to decide how “ugly” fits into it, this name blows my mind.

There is no way that I could make this up. Not even if I tried.

Pete LaCock

A former firstbaseman/outfielder from the 1980s, Pete likely learned quickly that having “La” in front of the last name doesn’t make it fancy and certainly doesn’t make it any less humorous.

Judging by a dismal .257 career batting average, it looks like Pete sucked at hitting.

Craphonso Thorpe

A wide receiver for the NFL, Thorpe insists that his name is pronounced differently than how it appears. Get real, dude. We all know the truth, and unfortunately for you, your name will always be funny simply because it has the word “crap” in it. There is no way to pronounce this name differently and make it sound good.

Misty Hyman

The first woman on the list!

A 2000 Olympian in the 200 meter butterfly, Misty’s name is a perfect example of why that whole rule of “taking the man’s last name at marriage” thing should really be reconsidered at times.

Either Misty’s parents have a sick sense of humor or they are really behind on female anatomy.

Clay Matthews

The explosive Green Bay linebacker was blessed with a good strong name, among other things. So why is this name on the list?

Because I like to say it; it makes me feel happy inside. But that’s another column for another day.

Honorable Mentions

• Guy Whimper (Jaguars, outside tackle)

• Richie Incognito (Dolphins, guard)

• Charlie Furbush (Mariners, pitcher)

• Prince Fielder (Giants, shortstop)

So there you have it, sports fans—the most ridiculous and nearly unbelievable names in professional sports. Some valuable lessons to take away from today’s list: The porn name generator app should not be a trusted source for ideas, parents should really think long and hard about what they name their child (hint: say the name out loud, if you laugh or grimace, you probably shouldn’t stick your kid with that), and lastly, people should not be ashamed to change their name in more extreme cases so they can avoid endless ridicule and journalists making fun of them in a column. But what do I know? I’m just a Benchwarmer.

The Benchwarmer is thinking of naming her first child Skywalker Baggins. Contact the Benchwarmer at ksewell@santamariasun.com.