The Name Game

July 27, 2011

It’s quite clear that more than any profession, athletes have the most enviable names. Do you think they exit the womb with such power and finesse that their mothers have no choice but to bestow totally kickass names upon them like Cadillac and Tank? I think a study should be done about this. I mean, let’s be honest, I’ve never once been in an office setting where someone introduced themselves as LeGarrette, Shaquille or BenJarvus. I’d like you to meet my accountant, Takeo Spikes. Shit just doesn’t happen. Thus, in honor of fantastic athlete nomenclature, I’ve decided to highlight some of my favorite names in sports over the past few decades.

Honorable Mention – All Product Placement Team:

Milton Bradley and Coco Crisp. I hope that both of these baseball players get lifetime supplies of board games and cereal, respectively. It’s the least their namesakes can do for all of the free advertising they’re given every time these guys play on national television. Also funny that board games and cereal seem to go hand in hand. You know what else goes hand in hand with board games and cereal? Weed.

Honorable Mention – The NFL:

Peerless Price, Quentin Jammer, Takeo Spikes, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Plaxico Burress, Ebenezer Ekuban, A.J. Hawk, Lawyer Malloy, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Madison Hedgecock…the list goes on.

10. Hope Solo: I know, this was an easy one since the Women’s World Cup was recently top of mind. But let’s be serious. Hope Solo could not have been anything besides a soccer goalie. C’mon. Our hope rests upon the goalie as she keeps solo watch over the net. Yea,  yea, I know. Shut the hell up. The main reason I put her at the top of this list is because she’s hot.

9. Slick Watts: Check out the dude at the top of this post. What a pimp. Slick Watts played for the  Sonics in the mid-seventies and apparently earned the name because he was the first player in the NBA to shave his head. I don’t care if the story is true or not. Anyone who rocks a headband at a 30 degree angle is slick as shit in my book.

8. Kaka: Sorry.

7. Fred: While we’re on the subject of one-name soccer players, there’s a Brazilian dude who goes simply by…Fred. Seriously. But, given the fact that he plays in the MLS for the DC United, I’m not sure he’s quite deserving of the one-name name. Cher is awesome.

6. Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje: The Georgetown Hoyas basketball squad has been home to a slew of players that could easily qualify for this list (Dikembe Mutombo, Boubacar Aw, Othella Harrington, to name a few). But Ruben takes the cake. I was lucky enough to be a ballboy for the Providence Friars when I was a little kid and at one point during a game, Mr. Boumtje-Boumtje asked me (aggressively) for a towel during a stop in the action. Apparently dude is crazy smart and speaks three languages. But at that moment, he was yelling at me, a scrawny ten-year-old, in a tongue that was not my own. I was terrified.

5. Fat Lever: Talk about motivation. If Fat Lever didn’t excel at hoops (he was a two-time NBA All-Star in the late-80s), he would have been…well he probably would have walked off a cliff.

4. Dick Trickle: I hate to put anyone whose name resembles a STD symptom on the list, but there he is. I’m sure Dick is a nice guy, and he had quite an illustrious racing career (including NASCAR Rookie of the Year in ’89), but…yikes.

3. World B. Free: Forget Ron Artest’s recent reincarnation as Metta World Peace. World B. Free was there first. Like Ron Ron, World is a Brooklynite, but unlike Ron, it didn’t take a stadium clearing brawl for him to embrace a name that inspires a similarly vague hope in humanity. World earned the name for the 360 degree dunks he used to throw down in the schoolyard…he could ball. He averaged over 20 points in 13 years in the NBA and from 1978-80, he was second in the league in scoring to George freaking Gervin.

2. Duany Duany: The parents of this former University of Wisonsin guard thought his name was so awesome, they gave it to him twice.

1. God Shammgod: Quite possibly my favorite name of all time. Sports or not. Plus Shammgod had one of the best crossovers that basketball has ever seen. If that’s not enough, his name is God. And God wins any contest he enters. Period.

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One Shining Moment

April 11, 2009

“One Shining Moment” has got to be the corniest, most melodramatic song on the planet. You can basically smell the cheese coming off of it. But you know what? I’ll be damned if I’m not staying up until 12:30AM after the NCAA Championship to watch the montage of highlights and emotional moments of March Madness that accompanies Luther Vandross’ serenade. It’s magical. If there’s a better sport than college basketball, someone please let me know.

ESPN.com hosted a dope gallery of old school skate photos by J. Grant Brittain. A couple highlights below. Do yourself a favor and check out the rest HERE.

christian-hosoi

Christian Hosoi

tony-hawk

Tony Hawk

pierre-andre

Pierre Andre

Yankees Rodriguez BaseballLook. I get it. A lot of baseball players take steroids. It’s cheating and it sucks for those that have been true to themselves and the game and resisted the temptation of the juice. But can we please stop talking about A-Rod everyday? I seriously don’t give a fuck anymore. I’m tired of his lame ass excuses and backtracking. I wouldn’t be surprised if word got out that he used after 2003 as well. I won’t care then either. Let’s have regular random testing for every player, and if someone fails, suspend them for a year. Case closed, end of story. Anyone that used is banned from the Hall of Fame. That’s it, sorry. That way we can move on and concentrate on great stories like the one I read on ESPN.com today (and ESPN is probably more guilty than any outlet for putting A-Rod under the microscope).

A high school player in Wisconsin lost his mother to cancer, and after initially indicating that he would sit out his next game, decided on game day that he wanted to play. Since he wasn’t listed on the roster for the game, his team was issued a techincal and the opponent was awarded two free throws, despite attempting to decline the foul. In a moment of pure class, the opposing coach instructed the player who volunteered to take the shots to miss the free throws on purpose–to no resistance from the player. It’s a great story and an example of the type of sportsmanship wholly absent from athletics today. Class begins at the youngest levels and is shortly thereafter abandoned, unfortunately. Check out the story HERE.

Stephen Curry

December 9, 2008

Any person that considers himself a college basketball fan is aware of Stephen Curry, the man singlehandedly driving Davidson. Last year, Curry propelled the squad to the Elite 8 and this season has them positioned as the No. 22 team in the nation, an impressive slot for a small program like Davidson.

When I noticed that Davidson was playing West Virginia tonight on ESPN for the Jimmy V Classic, I was eager to watch Curry play as I hadn’t seen him in action since the tournament last year. I tuned in for the second half and although Davidson was ahead by a couple of buckets, Curry was struggling from the field. Despite the fact that he had dropped 44 on NC State in his last time out, or perhaps because of it, Curry was forcing outside jumpers and taking bad shots early in the possession. Curry displayed a marked ability to create his own shot and has a rapid-fire release, but he seemed to want to win the game on his own.

Come to find out, that’s exactly what he did. As Davidson found themselves down by a few due to atrocious rebounding, all it took was a jumper to go down for Curry to find his stroke. He wound up scoring Davidson’s last 11 points, including the step-back three that ultimately put Davidson ahead for good. Some might argue that Curry is too small to play in the Association, but his ability to create his own shot and marksmanship from outside will make him a threat. As my dad used to say, a great shooter makes up for a multitude of sins.

Watch the PTI guys argue about Loyola MD’s strategy to double team curry the ENTIRE GAME despite losing by 30:

This dude is cooler than you

November 14, 2008

kite-surfer-whaleI was reading the Post the other day and saw a photo that caught my eye. Apparently David Sheridan, an Australian kite surfer, was cruising along when he noticed what he thought was a shadow beneath him. Turns out it was a whale. Turns out the whale whacked him in the head with his tale. Turns out he coasted away unharmed. Turns out he took the photo himself with a camera mounted on his kite.

The photo is ridiculous. Check out the story HERE.

Running

September 8, 2008

Aside from skateboarding and walking around the city, I engage in very little physically demanding activity. I don’t belong to a gym because frankly, they creep me out, and I could never afford to join one anyways. I ran quite a bit last summer, but then inertia and laziness zapped any desire to continue. Yet for some reason, perhaps prompted by near cardiac arrest during a skate up to Central Park last weekend, or a few recent late night Big Mac runs, I decided tonight to put one leg in front of the other in rapid succession.

Pretty glad I did. I suppose I’m lucky that we live so close to Battery Park, because it’s a beautiful run at night and there aren’t two million people competing for the same square inch. Looking out over the water really helps put you at ease, and for a moment you almost forget where you are. It’s almost like a mini-vacation, aside from the cramps and soreness. This is a trend I’m going to try to keep alive. For the hell of it, here are a couple sweet music videos that involve running. Flock of Seagulls are scary.

“Runnin” (original version was blocked)

“I Ran”