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5th Annual Poll: Funniest Names in The 2017 NFL Draft

Note, this post occurs concurrently on The Blog of Funny Names.   I also blog and podcast on futurist topics at Seeking Delphi.

Voting is closed.  Jake Butt is the official winner of the 2017 Funniest Names In The NFL Draft Poll.

“They certainly give very strange names to diseases.”–Plato

These guys are all destined for something. Bacon, maybe?

Obviously, they didn’t have football in Plato’s day.  Maybe they had a funniest name in the ancient Olympics contest.  Of course, most of those names look funny to us today.

But why discuss the past when we have the funny names of the present?  It’s that time again–the time to honor (and ridicule) the funniest names in the 2017 NFL draft.  This year provides an interesting mix and a veritable embarrassment of riches–there are so many unusual and even bizarre first names, alone, we could almost conduct a separate poll for that.  Consider:  Praise, Amba, Salamo, Jehu, Cethan, JuJu, Budda, Takkarist, Taco, Cordrea, Tanoh, Phazan,  Amara, Fadol, Torrodney, Psalm, Pita and on and on and on.   Yes, there’s a Taco and a Pita.  I’m hungry already.

As for last names, there are several that can only be described as a threat to your oral health if you try to pronounce them.  To simplify things–if that is even possible–I’ve also gone for alliteration, mellifluousness or straight out style points in choosing the finalists.  But write in votes are allowed and encouranged.  Jaquiski Tartt won on a write-in two years ago.  It was that double “t” that did it.   As per tradition, I’ll also tell what I think the name sounds like, if it didn’t belong to a football player.

 

 

Jake Butt, TE, Michigan–Talk about nominative determinism: a tight end named Butt.  Maybe you can make this stuff up; I sure can’t.  He was headed towards a first round selection until he tore his ACL in the Orange Bowl.  That’s OK, his butt is still intact.  He’ll probably go in the third round or so.  What I think his name sounds like: a longshoreman.

Cordrea Tankersly, CB, Clemson–Tankersly certainly scores low on the nominative determinism scale.   With a name like that, he should have been an offensive tackle.  That’s OK, he makes up for it by having one of the more mellifluous names in this year’s draft.  It kind of rolls off the tongue.  Hopefully the wide receivers won’t roll off his coverage.  What I think his name sounds like: a hog farmer from Kansas.

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan–OK, so Taco is obviously a nickname.  His real name is Vidaunte, which is unusual but not nearly as poetic. Using a nickname certainly didn’t stop Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix from winning our 2014 poll.  So let’s go with Taco.  What I think his name sounds like: a cartoon spokesperson for the South of The Border restaurant chain.

Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova–You might have to visit your dentist if you try to pronounce this guy’s name.   As he is 6’7″ 290lbs., you’ll be lucky if you have any teeth left if you piss him off.  According to the NFL draft pronunciation guide it’s  taw-no  pass-N-yo. No nominative determinism here.  With that pronunciation, he should either be a quarterback or an Indy car driver.   What I think his name sounds like:  a character in a Voltaire play.

A non-football future for Cooper Kupp?

Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington–Proving that players from smaller schools can also hit the big time, in football and in funny names.  He also wins the nod for the best alliterative name this year.   What I think his name sounds like: a Texas ranger (the lawmen, not the baseball team).

Praise Martin-Oguike, LB, Temple–He’s a long shot to get picked in the draft; it’s  more likely he’ll be signed as an undrafted free agent.  But I always like to include at least one double-barreled surname each year, and his is the best of the current crop.  And as for Praise , it has to be the most narcissistic moniker for an athlete since minor league baseball player Wonderful Terrific Monds.  What I think his name sounds like: a Baptist minister.

Honorable mention goes to all of the following–and you can write in any of them:  Budda Baker, Channing Stribling, Tau Lotulelai (Star’s brother), Leo Koloamanangi, Phazahn Odom, Obi Melinfanwu, Amba Etta-Tawo,  JuJu Schuster-Smith, Takkarist McKinley, Pita Taumoepenu and just about anyone and anything else you can spell or attempt to pronounce.  Vote as often as you like.  The polls close at noon EDT, Monday, May 1.

UPDATE, 8:51 AM,EDT, Friday, April 28. 

Upon discovery that the O.J. in O.J. Howard (Alabama, TE) stands for O’Terrius Jabari, a late write-in campaign has been launched.  Just use OJ Howard in the write-in blank, lest your fingers cramp from typing the whole name.  What I think the name sounds like?  How about an Irish wookie in Star Wars XIV.

UPDATE 9:57 AM, EDT, Saturday, April 29.

O’Terrius Jabari Howard has been added as a voting option.

 

 

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4th annual poll: Funniest Names in the 2016 NFL Draft

This is the 2016 poll.  For the 2017 Funniest Names In The NFL Draft Poll, go HERE

 

“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.

HaHa

HaHa

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.

Halapoulivaati 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.

[Note: Be sure to check out my futurist blog and podcast at Seeking Delphi.]

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2nd Annual Poll: Funniest Names in the NFL Draft

“I call everyone ‘darling’ because I can’t remember their names.”–Zsa Zsa Gabor

(Note: this post also appears today on The Blog of Funny Names)

"Dahlink"

“Dahlink”

If you can’t remember the names of the following guys, you are ditzier than Zsa Zsa. Yes, it’s time once again for The Blog of Funny Names annual poll where you, the un-ditzy followers of this hallowed portal, choose the most outrageous and memorable of a bumper crop of  funny-named pro-bowlers-to-be.  The 2014 draft starts Thursday evening, so let’s get right to this year’s amazing nominees.

Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina–Right off the bat, we have our odds-on favorite.  How do you beat a guy with “clown” in his name who is likely to be the number one overall pick in this weekend’s draft? And his mother Josenna works in a Frito-Lay plant, to boot.  Josenna Clowney in a Frito-lay plant? Some people are just born to live on this blog!  Clowney is going to be tough to beat, but this next guy might just give him a run for the money.

Ha’Sean “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama–This is almost too good to be true, and it’s almost unfair.  Guys with “Clown” and “Ha-Ha” in their names have a major advantage over everyone else.  They have “funny” embedded in their names!  We ought to give a special award to both of them and let everyone else compete on a level playing field.   Can you imagine the jokes if this guy had been playing back in the mid 90’s?  ” Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix” sounds like something Monica Lewinsky would have said at a senate hearing.

 
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB Georgia Tech–Please cover your mouth and excuse yourself when you say this name.  Gezundheit!

Purifoy--It's no wonder the NFL has banned head-first tackles.

Purifoy–It’s no wonder the NFL has banned head-first tackles.

Louchiez Purifoy, CB, Florida–Nope, this guy is not a former partner of the 1970’s R&B duo, James and Bobby Purify.  At any rate, with his hairdo, he looks more like a Conehead from the Saturday Night Live sketches of that era.

Xavier Grimble, TE, USC–Wait a minute–didn’t I already cover this guy in my post about funny names in the works of Charles Dickens?  This name sounds as if it came straight out of The Pickwick Papers.  And it’s appropriate that he’s a tight end, because Xavier Grimble would make a great moniker for a prototypical Dickensian tightwad.  (Note: there actually was a  Dickens character named Arthur Grimble in Nicholas Nickleby, but I think ‘ol Charles missed the boat. Xavier is just sooooooo much better.)

Honorable mentions go to:

  •  Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri, with one of the most mellifluous of this year’s entries.
  •  Cyrus  Kouandjio, OT, Alabama, and if Cyrus isn’t as awesome as Cornelius, it sure comes close.
  • Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU.  Finally, somebody gets the first name Joe Namath or Mohammed Ali should have had.
  • Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, Virginia.  Wow, an apostrophe and a hyphen.  Too bad he will probably split the Xavier vote with Grimble.
  • IK Enemkpali, DE, Louisiana Tech.  Yes, he apparently spells his first name with two capital letters.  IK is short for..er–uh–something-or-other.

As an added twist to this year’s voting, write-ins will be allowed.    And they don’t have to come from the honorable mentions.  You can put in any ol’ name you please, as long as it’s an amateur football player.  Even your 8-year-old nephew playing Pop Warner is eligible because, hey, you never know.   You can vote as often as you like, but the polls will close one week from today.  So as the oft-quoted and unfunny Al Capone said, “vote early and vote often.”

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Funny Names in the NFL Draft 2013

Here is my newest opus on The Blog of Funny Names. My apologies to those of you who are not North American sports fans. You have my permission to skip this one–and miss all the fun.

The Blog of Funny Names

I am about to commit the ultimate heresy as a 50-year keeper and chronicler of baseball funny names.

This post is about funny names in football,  which I admit concede nothing to baseball in this post-post-modern era. One has simply to look at just a few of the names in the recent history of the game to get the drift.  Plaxico Burress. Osi Umenyiora. Mathias Kiwanuka. Santana MossD’Brickashaw Ferguson.  And this list is only a partial accounting of the unusual and funny names that have passed through just one NFL city–New York–over the past decade.

The NFL draft begins tomorrow evening.  We would be remiss in not giving it its due.  Further, we will involve you, the reader in a stirring competition: a poll to pick the funniest name in the 2013 NFL draft.  So without further banter, here are the nominees for Funniest…

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