Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Start of Another NFL Season -- I M Hipp, But Get out the Ben Gay, Happy Feller

While the first game of the 2011 NFL Season started with the Packers-Saints weekday game, this Sunday the 11th is really the official "kick-off". While I take my football seriously, a review of some of the more unusual names in recent NFL history may help put things in perspective:

1. Ben Gay – former Cleveland Browns running back who seems to have dealt with a lot of drug and other problems.  Unclear whether the strange name had anything to do with it; unlikely that it helped.

2. Fair Hooker – wide receiver also formerly of the Cleveland Browns. With a name like that he should have been on the other end of a vice squad.

3. Dick Shiner – For this former Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback, based on name alone and under different circumstances, I would imagine that he could have been a client of Hooker.  It takes a special cruelty for parents with the Shiner surname to name their son “Dick”.

4. Vivian Lee – Yes, this Oscar-winning actress of such epics as Gone with the Wind and Street Car Named Desire was also an African-American male who played cornerback for the New Orleans Saints in the 1970s. Who would have guessed?

5. Dick Butkus – This legendary middle linebacker of the Chicago Bears not only had a great name, he backed it up with great skill.  He is not a guy you messed with.  Heaven forbid, if I were ever in prison, I would not want to be on his bad side.

6. Harry Colon – An evocative name for sure, this former journeyman defensive back with the Patriots, Lions and Jaguars would make most doctors get out their copy of the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) to figure out what in hell was going on.

7. Happy Feller – This place-keeper must have been a jovial guy to be around.

8. CJ Ah You – The name of this former St. Louis Ram sounds more like a fan taunt against the opposing team at a rowdy High School basketball game.

9. I.M. Hipp – This former Nebraska Cornhusker star never did make much of himself in the NFL, but he definitely had one of the coolest, albeit immodest, names of all time.

10. B.J. Askew – I won’t go there.


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