12 October, 2007

The Amusing and Ridiculous Names World Series - Real Football vs. American Football

Hot on the heals of our cutting edge, scientific investigation into using the standard of Europe’s stadium food as a gauge for the club’s footballing ability, STT are now proud to present yet another exclusive, undercover expose. The sights this time are trained on our cousins across the food and the differences between the sports they incorrectly label as “football” and “soccer.” Now, rather than have a boring debate about the technical merits of each, we at STT have decided to take the most rational course of action available in deciding once and for all which is the superior sport. The only obvious barometer for this was, of course: which sports boasts players with most hilarious names??!!

American Football:

Winston Justice – Probably the greatest name ever created, his parents have tapped into a level of genius few people have mastered throughout history. Apparently he’s actually rubbish at the sport, as he got his arse handed to him last week by another fellow with a silly name - Osi Umeniyora. But no matter; when he’s retires a long career as a budget vigilante crime-fighter awaits…

Maurice Morris – Presumably upon birth, Mr and Mrs Morris realized that their son wouldn’t be blessed with the greatest intelligence, so decided to make at least one thing in his life that bit easier. Now, whenever asked for either his first name or surname, he only has to remember one!

LaBrandon Toefield – Amazing for so many reasons, this kind of sums up the general weirdness of Americans when it comes to names: take a traditional name, add ‘La’ to the front of it, then combine with a bizarrely descriptive mental image straight from a science-fiction/horror movie as the surname.

Willie Ponder – Yes if you say it fast enough he sounds like a gay pornstar. That’s pretty much all we look for in a name at STT. Although judging by the consistently mean look on face, and sheer size of Willie, I certainly wouldn’t bring that up in front of him.

Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala – Originally of Hawaiian decent, Chris is blessed with the surname that sounds most like someone clearing their nose. It’s a good thing.

Chris Weinke – Pronounced ‘Winky,’ there is something incongruously amusing about a guy who is literally twice my weight having a name that is the primary child’s terminology for penis.

Tex Leyendecker – Another one who can anticipate a long career in niche pornography should American Football not work out for him. I haven’t seen a photo, but I just know he’s of German extraction and has a moustache.

Dick Butkus - Pronounced Butt-Kiss, so every syllable is a little bit rude, Dick was always heavily bullied at school. Thankfully for him, he grew up to be a man mountain, so he gets a pass for this truly ridiculous name.

Buster Rhymes – Apparently the inspiration for hip-hop megastar Busta Rhymes, the original Mr. Rhymes actually cared very little for rap in general. He did however send John Barnes a congratulatory fax when he heard Barnes’ killer 16 bars on New order’s World Cup classic “World in Motion” though.

Webster Slaughter – It seems that Slaughter is actually a pretty popular name across the pond generally, as other famous Slaughters include Chuck, Mickey, TJ, Chad and my personal favourite, Sergeant. Insert your own joke about American foreign policy here.

Honorable Mentions:

Not American Football related, but I just had to squeeze these in somewhere!

Ex-Basketball players Scientific Mapps and God Shamgod are too good for words.

Real Football a.k.a Soccer:

Bongo Christ – Everything about this name is just right. So much so in fact that my first son will almost definitely be called Bongo; half in reference to Mr. Christ, and half as homage to Matthew ‘Bongos’ McConaughey

Danger Fourpence – Currently playing for the footballing giant Caps United FC in Zimbabwe, Danger is operating on a much higher level than most of us can ever dream of achieving. Rumours that his middle name is ‘Mouse’ have been unfortunately unsubstantiated.

Have-A-Look Dube – The New York Times went as far as to say that Mr. Dube’s first name was “a form of child abuse,” which might not actually be too far from the truth. I cannot even begin to hypothesise over how he came to be christened Have-a-Look.

Milan Fukal – This Czech defender is lucky to have a snappy comeback as a surname. “Have you got any cash to pay for these beers Milan?” “Fukal mate!” Har-de-har-har.

Danny Invincible – It’s always hilarious when this name appears on Sky Sports’ vidiprinter, but unfortunately since he scores so infrequently, this doesn’t happen too often. If there truly is a God, He will somehow contrive for Invincible and Justice to cross paths at some point in their lives…either to fight crime, or ideally, to form a WWF tag-team.

Anthony Philip David Terry Frank Donald Stanley Gerry Gordon Stephen James Oatway – Possibly the greatest name in footballing history, Mr Conway is famous for having been named after the entire 1973 QPR promotion-winning team. Fortunately for him, most of them had normal names at least; imagine being stung with all eleven names from the current Arsenal team.

Mario Killer – Brother of Daniel, who won the World Cup in 1978 with Argentina, Mario was actually pretty rubbish at football, but makes the cut here ahead of Daniel due to his Nintendo-friendly first name.

Emmanuel Panther – Amazingly Scottish in nationality, ‘Manny’ was once captain of York City, and made famous throughout the Conference by the incredible chant: "He's tall, he's quick, his name's a porno flick…Emmanuel! Emmanuel!"

Prince Polley – A former Ghanian international, Prince was blessed with an ace first name, but was let down by having a girl’s name as a surname. Kudos for the alliteration though, it almost saves him.

Pedro Power – There’s something great about the name Pedro in any context, but add on a famous Simpsons reference as a surname and we’re talking next level shit here.

Honorable Mention:

Stefan Kuntz; Not since Postman Pat has a name been so simply appropriate.