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The “Personal Foul” of Baby Names

I have a new favorite name: Jacquizz, as in Jacquizz Rodgers, the football player.
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While I love football on its own merit, and I love cheering on my favorite teams, my favorite football folly is the players’ names. I have always been fascinated by the process parents use to bestow a moniker on their unsuspecting children. Nowhere does it give me greater pleasure to explore this fascination than on the football field.

For instance, the aforementioned Jacquizz. Not only do I love this name because it begins with “Jac” but because it is so unusual. I can only imagine Mrs. Rodgers holding her newborn baby, looking down at him and thinking, he looks like a “Jacquizz” to me…My only assumption about the selection of his name is that Jactest and Jacexam were just too common!

Another favorite of mine is LaDainian Tomlinson, both for his play on the field, and for his unique title.  Once again, it’s my belief that his parents thought Dainian must have been too trite;  we’ll call him “THE” Dainian, instead!  I guess if a child has an unusual first name, his chances of making it into the NFL multiply.

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And it’s not just the off beat names that catch my attention, names like “Tim Tebow”, the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, also captivate me.  I’ve never understood the appeal of the alliteration nor do I particularly care for names that have both first and last names that begin with the same letter, as in Mr. Tebow’s case.  My rationale has always been that there are 26 letters in the alphabet; be creative and use more than one letter to name your kid!  Although, I must concede, the irony of my marrying into “Jackie James” is not lost on me.

Not that parents of football players have the only children with uncommon names; many celebrities have tacked on weird handles to their kids, as well.  There’s the bizarre Pilot Inspektor (Jason Lee), to the hysterical Jermajesty Jackson (Jermaine Jackson) to the practical Kyd (David Duchovny and Tea Leoni–they’d be calling him kid, anyway, right?)

I guess I am just too practical.   I worry about the children with rare names being targeted by the more traditionally named children, because we all know how cruel kids can be.  Take, for example, the New Jersey boy tagged “Adolf Hitler Campbell” by his loving, considerate parents.  This kid won’t grow up the butt of jokes, now will he?  He won’t have any trauma in sharing a name with a mass murderer and I am sure his parents, commonly named Heath and Deborah, thought nothing of bestowing on him this train-wreck of a name.  As the father was quoted as saying, “They’re just names, you know.”  And me calling you an idiot is just another name, Mr. Campbell.

I also had the pleasure of meeting a family with four little girls.  The parents first introduced me to Mercedes,a cute little person of about 5.  Her younger sisters were Porsche and Lexus (are you spotting a clever trend, here?) and of course, baby Infiniti.  Just think of all the awesome names they could have come up with had they had a son!  If, in fact, they wanted to steer away from the car names, they could have always jumped on the rhyming name bandwagon.  When I worked for a baby store, I met more Aidens, Braydens, Caydens, Haydens, and Jaydens that I thought:  that is going to be one interesting kindergarten class.

So it is back to football I go, for my weekly dose of field goals, fumbles, first downs and first names.  Holy Tim Tebow, too much alliteration!


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