10 of the greatest names in sports

Categories: Sports
Lecavalier.jpg
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Vincent Lecavalier just sounds too classy to be missing teeth.
"The name of a man is a blow from which he never recovers."
                    --Marshall McLuhan

Contrary to the mantra of legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, today we take a look at the names on the back of the jersey, instead of the front.

And with the threat of lockouts in both the NFL and NBA looming, I'd argue it's the names of the players we'll miss, not the actual players in the suits.

As in no other profession, names in sport create an identifiable image of not just the individual athlete; they have the power to mirror the complexion of an entire city as well. Names can paint a jock in any form of character, and it's interesting how often a moniker will directly correlate to the athlete's persona. 

Sometimes it's a rare preponderance of consonants (Kent Hrbek) that echoes the goofy or unusual and endears us toward a player; conversely, an excess of vowels (Michael Olowokandi) can make an athlete seem strange or unusual. In other instances, the moniker seemingly extends beyond the uniform and evokes tenets of the publicly loveable (Kirby Puckett), or the seemingly evil (Miroslav Satan), or the notably obtuse (John Rocker).

On occasion, a name change (World B. Free) offers a sense of a jock's vanity or vision, or perhaps a direct knowledge of one's religious beliefs (Chris Jackson =  Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf). Perhaps the length of a name (Jarrod Saltalamacchia) gives us pause or stunts our interest in a guy; maybe some dudes awaken our appetite (Mark Hamburger); sometimes, a

Mendenhall.jpg
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name just looks like it was made for a specific color, on a specific jersey, and for a specific town (Pittsburgh Steeler Rashard Mendenhall comes to mind); and, really, there are those that just plain sound cool (Elijah Dukes).

Whatever your reason for enjoying or abhorring a name (and perhaps the owner of said moniker), here's a list of some of my favorites, taking only from the big four sports. Personally, I'm a big fan of alliteration. As always, I'd be most interested in reading your own favorites herein, consisting of names both past and present.

10 of Judd's Favorite Names in Sports

Lastings Milledge (Outfielder, Chicago White Sox)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Running Back, New England Patriots)

Brian Urlacher (Linebacker, Chicago Bears)

Grant Balfour (Relief Pitcher, Oakland Athletics)

Channing Crowder (Linebacker, Miami Dolphins)

Cal Clutterbuck (Right Wing, Minnesota Wild)

Vincent Lecavalier (Center, Tampa Bay Lightning)

Guillaume Latendresse (Left Wing, Minnesota Wild)

Rajon Rondo (Guard, Boston Celtics)

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Forward, Milwaukee Bucks)

 



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16 comments
dzs
dzs

Hey, what about "Duke Spicer"?

twcxxi
twcxxi

Pierre Garcon is a glaring omission.

I can almost hear him talking in the huddle..."Hu hu hu huuu...Pe-ton, ze pass was good but ze catch was even bet-ta. Viva la revolucion and ze double coverage of Re-gie."

Carl G
Carl G

I always liked Frank Pietrangelo.

Declan
Declan

Former NHL goaltender (and Eriq La Salle lookalike) Pokey Reddick was always a personal favorite.

Malone
Malone

The Brazilian baller for the Nuggets, Nene (whom I share a birthday with - Sep. 13).

Hank5
Hank5

B-Celtics' "Von Wafer"

Test
Test

Howard Johnson

Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris

Coco Crisp doesn't make this list? Are you kidding?

Rebelrider33
Rebelrider33

Two that come to mind for me are:Turdell Middleton, running back for the GB Packers (what were they thinking), and of course Dick Trickle, Nascar.

twcxxi
twcxxi

Former NHL goalies could be a category all on its own. Anyone hungry for a Kari Takko?

Judd
Judd

Which decade of La Salle? "Coming to America" or "ER"? Either way, great name.

Judd
Judd

If you can find the character on your keboard that aptly spells his name, please share.

Judd
Judd

Two rings (despite nary a Series hit) make the name all the better, although dude just parted ways with the Mets after being replaced as hitting coach.

Judd
Judd

He was passed over due to a mannerism in his batting stance (neck cinch) that just drives me crazy.

Judd
Judd

Remember when "SportsCenter" would always announce Trickle's finishing position. I think the program had a better sense-of-humor in those pre-Disney days . ..

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