What’s in a name? Not much unless you’re one of the lucky souls out there who has an awesome one. Nothing against Tom Brady, but who would want to be a Tom when you could be an Apolo, a Flozell or even a Shaquille? Who even knew Shaquille could be a name?
For some reason, athletes always seem to have the coolest names. Whether they’re blessed with them at birth or bold enough to come up with their own, professional athletes always seem to leave us scratching our heads at the names next we see in the box scores. Here is a salute to some of the coolest athlete names of all time. And yes, this is 100% my opinion.
1. D’Brickashaw Ferguson
Let’s start things off with one of the most memorable names ever bestowed upon a human being: D’Brickashaw. Just try to forget that name. Go on, I dare you. You can’t, because it’s totally awesome. At first glance, D’Brickashaw seems exotic, maybe even made up. But upon delving further into this name wormhole, I found that Ferguson’s name was actually based on the priest in Thorn Birds, Father Ralph de Bricassart (where would I be without you, Wikipedia?). Being named after a character in a hugely popular book/movie = totally legit. Richard Chamberlain must be so proud!
Spell check hates me so much right now. Punctuation is hard, so imagine how young Chris felt when he was learning to spell his name. Is the hyphen really necessary? Where do I put that pesky apostrophe? A before U except after F? These are all questions he must have asked himself on a daily basis. Can you imagine the inner battle?
But then again, Chris was born in Hawaii and got to play in the NFL, so should we really feel badly for him? No, I didn’t think so. And he also has one of the coolest names of all time. You go, Chris! Keep causing spell check nightmares with your 7-8 syllable last name, depending on how you actually pronounce it.
3. Usain Bolt
Sometimes names aren’t just cool because they sound awesome or spawn pronunciation controversies. Sometimes they’re just cool because they fit perfectly with your job description. Nobody has a more fitting name than Usain Bolt. Sure, Prince Fielder plays baseball, but Cecil’s son isn’t exactly known for the leather. Bolt, on the other hand, is the fastest man on Earth, holding both the 100 and 200 meter records. Pretty sick name for a man who has been likened to a flash of lighting. You think his parents pressured him into being a sprinter because they knew how marketable he would be with that name? Yeah, I think so too.
Pelé is the Madonna of professional sports. Who else can get away with going by one name for his/her entire career? Pelé in and of itself isn’t a game-changer of a name, but the feelings it elicits are what put it among the coolest athlete names ever. When you hear Pelé, you know exactly who someone is talking about and you likely think “best soccer player ever.” He is the one, the only. You can’t buy that kind of awesomeness. For that, Pelé makes the cut.
5. Metta World Peace
I didn’t want to do it. I mean, I really didn’t want to include the artist formerly known as Ron Artest to this list, but as an advocate for weird names, there’s a lot to love about Metta World Peace. Let’s start with how ridiculous “World Peace” looks on the back of a basketball jersey. It’s a two word last name without any hyphens – weird. It makes Metta look like he’s playing a charity game for some kind of pacifist organization, which would be great, except this is the same dude who once jumped a fan when he was playing for the Pacers. Quite the display of peace if you ask me.
As a Lakers fan, though, I can’t hate on the guy. He did help Kobe win his first Shaq-less championship with some great D and clutch shooting. Still, I can’t help but chuckle to myself every time I see “World Peace” trot onto the court. I’m laughing to myself just thinking about it.
These are some of the best athlete names of all time, according to me, of course. I only wish I had time to dredge up more names, because sports have brought us so many classics. What are your favorite athlete names? Clearly there are plenty more out there, so tell us your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @BaconSports! We’d love your input.
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