Top Nine What's in a Name?
By Lou DiPietro
What's in a name? For some parents, apparently not a whole lot of thought, as evidenced by recent American Idol winner Philip Phillips among other humanoids.
Roughly half of the Top 10 Baby Names for males in 2011, including No. 1 Jacob, are (or could easily be turned into) common surnames - which means that there could be a whole lot of poor toddlers with names that even Chad Ochocinco or Metta World Peace might call silly.
There are quite a few of these double-dips in sports as well, and for this week's Niner, we went straight to the Department of Redundancy Department here at Niner HQ to dig up some of the best in sports.
MAGNUS VER MAGNUSSON
The most famous Icelander this side of Bjork, Magnus made a living by picking things up and putting them down ... and since he's a four-time winner of the World's Strongest Man Competition, we're just going to mention the double name and walk away slowly.
This former Florida Gators and Chicago Bears wideout's given name is Elliott, but he chose to go by Jack. Maybe Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, or Michael would have worked better?
JOHNNY AND JOHNNIE JOHNSON
The latter was a defensive back for the Rams and Seahawks, the former (pictured) was a running back for the Cardinals and Jets ... and their parents were apparently stumped for ideas.
JOHN HENRY JOHNSON
We give props to this Hall of Famer and "Million Dollar Backfield" member for trying to differentiate himself from football's other John Johnsons ... but wouldn't it have been easier to just go by his initials?
There are at least a half-dozen Willie Williamses in pro sports history, most of which played football like the former Steelers corner shown blanketing Deion Sanders at right. Why?
Apparently, Mr. & Mrs. Duany were saving their top choices for younger siblings Kueth, Nyagon, Nok, and Bil, so this former University of Wisconsin hoopster got the shaft.
This gentleman was a quarterback for Washington State in 1979 and 1980. No idea where he came from, though.
While at Providence College, this hoopster wanted to legally change his name to the moniker he went by in high school (Shammgod Wells), but didn't have the $600 to do so. Way to drop the ball on THAT one, PC Booster Club.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
Translate the Spanish into English, and they are "The Angels Angels of Anaheim." Unless it's in the city of Anaheim's charter that one of their sports teams has to fit the (Adjective) (Plural Noun) of Anaheim naming convention, that's just silly.