When Sports and Baby Names Collide
- Updated: July 1, 2009
This fact hit me the other night when my wife and I dined our with one of my childhood buddies and his lovely wife. They’re “expecting,” so our dinner conversation not-so-surprisingly veered toward the popular topic of baby names. Here’s where sports managed to creatively insert itself somewhat unexpectedly.
For a few months, my friend and I (both devout Mets and Jets fans) had casually tossed around some personal favorites – D’Brickshaw and Laverneus among them. Shockingly to both of us, no dice. My wife had even gotten into the spirit offering up Tatis as a fine first name on one occasion. I happened to think it was bold and innovative. Negative traction.
So this past Sunday night, as we enjoyed a lovely “couples meal,” some real possibilities were being discussed in between sips of red wine (on a side note, the more the ratio of Bud bottles to glasses of vino shifts in favor of the latter, the older and older I feel). It was in the course of this conversation that I realized the true power and ever-reaching influence of sports fandom.
You see, in addition to the banana-fana-fo-fana game, there are other important filters individuals (e.g., the non-sports fanatic ladies in our life) must be aware of including names of players for whom some venom is reserved (by their husbands, of course). Observe a portion of our conversation below for further explanation.
Me: OK, hit us up with one of the names.
His wife: Promise to tell us your honest opinion?
Me and my wife: Absolutely
His wife: Braden
Collision one. My buddy and I look at each other both immediately thinking the same thing, as a funny-looking knowing grin spreads across each our faces. Both wives stare back at us with expressions that belie the same sense of utter lack of understanding.
The Women (to us): What? (in unison…and in one of those critiquing and accusatory tones that automatically implies you’re a complete moron(s) for what’s about to come of your mouth(s) )
The Men (somewhat embarrassingly studdering/explaining): You see…the Mets…they used to have this closer…Braden Looper…
More looks of incredulousness. We move on. Fast-forward 10 minutes…
Me: What else ya got?
His wife: Chase.
Me: I actually dig Chase. Potential to be bad ass…(trailing off). Wait…
His wife: What?
Collision two. Guess this is the part where it bears mentioning my buddy’s wife’s family is from Pennsylvania, and their sports allegiances are firmly rooted with the Eagles and Phillies. So, you can probably see where this is going.
This time it’s my buddy who is giving me a different look that say’s “think about it for a second.”
Me and my buddy (in unison): Utley
My wife and his wife (in unison): Huh?
I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation, but you get the gist. It was at once highly amusing and all sorts of enlightening. It also got me to thinking of names that are off-limits should my wife and I decide to make the leap in the near future. A few that came to mind immediately included Alex, Brett, Herman and Aaron.
So, you can call me crazy. But, chances are, I think you smell what I’m steppin’ in. If so, hit us up with a few names that are on your personal banned baby name list.