Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fantastic Sports Names, Vol. II (National Signing Day Edition)

Last March, inspired by the NCAA Tournament, I compiled a list of some of my favorite bizarre first names.  Looking through ESPN's list of high school seniors looking to sign their national letters of intent to play college football next year, I found a brand new crop of names to celebrate.  Some we've seen before, some we've heard before (but mom and dad came up with new spelling), and some are all new, baby. 

I give you the new and improved, categorized list of old-white-announcer-killing sports names. 

New Twists on Classics (add some punctuation or capitalization, change the spelling, add a prefix, combine common names)
Da'Rick, Darious, DeAnthony, Demarco, DeMarcus, Demetrius, Desman, Erique, Kameron, Kelvin, Kolton, Kraig, LaDarius, Lamarcus, LaMichael, LaMont, Lamonte, Markeith, Sascha, Seantrel, Sharrif, Shon, Stephone, Tai-ler, Tarik, Tevin, Telvin, Tharold, Toney, Wesleigh, Xzavier

Made-Up Names (Not quite real words, but familiar enough that they work; often Roman-sounding, typically seen as last names, or used as something other than a name - like an abstract concept)
Arrington, Artaves, Ashton, Carrington, Chevelle, Cortez, Damiere, Darien, Darion, DaVaris, Delonte, Demar, Devonta, Dietrich, Dior, Dondi, Eliar, Hasean, Jacquese, Jadeveon, Ja'Wuan, Jafus, Javorius, Jaylen, Jephte, Justice, Kadron, Kameel, Keenard, Kiehl, Lache, La'El, Martavius, Nickell, Quan, Quandre, Rakeem, Savon, Serderius, Shamir, Shaq, Sheroid, Sterling, Traion, Trovon, Watts

Foreign Names (or at least foreign sounding enough that I didn't think it was a Made-Up Name)
Aremide, Ifo, Faatele, Keiwone, Khairi, Ma-autua, Mustafa, Nyjee, Owamagbe Odighizuwa (good luck, Verne Lundquist), Sioasi

I did not make up any of these names and spelled them as they are spelled on  I ommitted a few unusual names that I assumed were nicknames or abreviations like Nino). 

I realize that a great majority of these names belong to African American kids and so this post risks being labeled as racist.  However, I refute that by stating that I couldn't care less what people name their children. I haven't singled out any particular race of people; I was just looking at a list of athletes.  The ratio of black kids to white kids in this list is probably about the ratio of black kids to white kids in that list.

Plus, you can't just go calling your kid "La-El," Watts," or "Xzavier" and not think someone is going to think it's odd.  Thank you to whatever the hell was going on in people's heads 17 years ago.  One can only imagine how pervasive IM-speak will be/has been in the naming of the next/current generation of toddlers.  The over-under on when a number will apear in the actual spelling of a name sits at 5 years.