Every now and then, while watching a game, we see a jersey flash past and it catches our eye. We’re programmed to link certain words with certain mental images, and most of the time the links are pretty mundane. Cadillac Williams just makes us think of the car while anyone called slaughter makes us wish we had that surname ourselves. Occasionally, however, we see a name that tickles us. Here are a few favorites.
Let’s kick this list off with, possibly the most ironically named player, Richie Incognito. A lot of fans may have heard of this player, due to his interesting name, but when it comes to other players, there are few who don’t know who he is. This guy was once voted in the top ten of the league’s dirtiest players, and it was his peers that voted him in. Richie is far from Incognito. In 2012 he won another award, the Good Guy Award, but don’t be fooled by the name. The Good Guy Award is for media relations, not on field relations. Despite the reputation, Incognito is a solid starting lineman who made it to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and one who would start on many teams in the NFL.
When you hear Guy Whimper’s name, you might be excused for thinking that he’d be the type of guy to hide away in the corner sobbing when the going gets tough, but the 6’5” 315lb Tackle has shown that he is a tough versatile player in the NFL. In 2012 he caught a pass for a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers. It was a nice grab too. He turned around, and located the ball as it fell near his knees, before scooping it up for the score. The Jaguars lost the game 24 to 15, and the Whimper catch was the only TD that they scored. Not the best day for the Jags, but a nice highlight reel moment for Blaine Gabbert and Guy Whimper. It isn’t the first time that he has played at being receiver either, earlier in his career he made a nice catch and run for 17 yards. Far from playing with a whimper, Guy Whimper plays with a swagger.
Who’s in charge here, Captain Munnerlyn or Major Wright? These two guys have military ranks as their first names, and if they were normal every day guys, you might think that their names were ill suited. Being in a job that requires strong leadership and something similar to military style self discipline, however, makes it seem like their names were pre-destined. Thankfully, neither of these two guys joined the army. Captain Captain Munnerlyn or Private Major Wright would confuse the heck out of everyone.
Could there be a player out there that outranks even the Captain and the Major? Sure there is. King Dunlap is a king. Okay, perhaps he isn’t a king in the regal sense, but his heritage is certainly noteworthy. He comes from a long line of sporting family members. His dad played in the NFL for Tennessee and Baltimore, and his mother was a track star at Tennessee Sate. His sister also plays basketball at a high level. If those credentials weren’t enough, King’s full name is King Dunlap V, and he has a son called King Dunlap VI. Vive le Roi! As a side note, Prince Amukamara could have made this list, but he’s only a prince.
From professional military and regal names, we now travel right to the other end of the scale, and delve down into the gutter. Although most people in the media pronounce this next guy’s name like an aftershave synonym, Willie Colon’s name is spelled like something a lot less sweet smelling. It is fun to sit in your arm chair and make butt jokes every time a commentator mentions his name, but unless you’re a bigger guy than this 6’3 315lb Guard from the Bronx, you’d never make those jokes in his presence. Wikipedia mentions another Willie with a similar name, but he gets off the hook with a tiny little mark that appears over the ‘o’. Willie Colón really can pronounce his name like cologne, but our NFL bruiser will have to live with the butt jokes.