Angry Ward Wednesday: Names of the Games starts with the Colin

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Colin Kaepernick

NEW YORK, NY - The sudden success of 49ers wunderkind quarterback Colin Kaepernick got me thinking of whether this automatically makes him the most famous sports star named Colin ever. Seeing as how he only has to beat out never-won-anything-of-note, universally despised Scottish duffer Colin Montgomerie, he probably is. It does make one wonder: What is the best first name in sports? Of course there is something to be said about originality. You don’t hear names like Wilt or Nolan or Pele or Elgin Gay Baylor and not know exactly who is being discussed. But still, when it comes to given names in athletics, there has to be one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. For instance, Colin Kaepernick’s Super Bowl quarterback counterpart is Joe Flacco, so let’s start there.

Joe. In football you’ve got guys like Montana and Namath and Mean Joe Greene, which is impressive. But you also have Joey Harrington, which is a major negative. Hockey has Joe Sakic, ninth on the all-time scoring list. ShoelessJoeBaseball has the one-two punch of Joe DiMaggio and Shoeless Joe Jackson, but then you also have to include disappointing Joses like Canseco and Jose Paniagua (that’s Joe Bread and Water to you). Two of the best boxing heavyweights ever, Joe Louis and Joe Frazier, help the cause. Basketball? Best I can come up with is Jo Jo White and perennial sleepwalker Joe Barry Carrol. Still, not a bad group.

Mike. When it comes to basketball, it doesn’t get much better than Michael Jordan. Same goes for Mike Schmidt and baseball. Hockey boasts guys like Mike Bossy and Mike Modano… meh. Football has big fellas like Singletary, Strahan, and Webster. Not bad, but by no means the best.

Jim. Brown, Palmer, and Clancy, for starters. Hey, how about Jim Thorpe? That’s not a bad one. After that it kinda thins out. Jim Rice? Jim Spanarkel? Let’s move on.

nolan ryan and tom seaver

If only they’d kept these guys…

Tom. You start right off with Tom (I haven’t won a big game in years) Brady and Tom “Terrific” Seaver and you really think you have something going. But I can’t think of a single basketball player named Tom outside of Tom Chambers. Tom Landry is another football guy. You could even throw Tom Watson in there for golf, but that’s really not enough to beat out the List of Joes.

Pete. Charlie Hustle, Pete Rose, is a solid building block for Team Pete. Pistol Pete Maravich is another. Cam we include Pedro Martinez? Sure, why not? Placekicker Pete Gogolak gets thrown in for entertainment purposes only. This one’s done.

Jerry. You wouldn’t think this name would be a contender but when you start with the trio of Jerry Rice, Jerry West, and Jerry Koosman, you see reason for hope. Former Green Bay Packers guard Jerry Kramer comes to mind, but he’s not even in the Hall of Fame. And guys like Jerry Quarry and Jerry Stackhouse are just not getting it done.

This one really looks like it’s going to the Joes so… hey, wait a minute, let’s try one more.

George. Are you serious? George? Hmm, let’s see. George Herman “Babe” Ruth. Not bad having the greatest baseball player of all time. Who else? George Sisler, George Brett, George “The Stork” Theodore (just kidding). George Halas, George Martin, and George Blanda represent football pretty well. Same goes for George Foreman with boxing and non-stick grills. Basketball does pretty well with George Mikan, George McGinnis, and George “Ice Man” Gervin. Hockey has Georges Laraque, who was a pretty tough hombre and is now a high-ranking official in Canada’s Green Party (who knew?). Is this enough to beat out the Joes? It is when you throw in wrestling legends Gorgeous George and George “The Animal” Steele.

By George I think we’ve got it. The answer to, what’s the best first name in sports is, George. Tune in tomorrow for someone with a name like Cam or Lori or Bronko Nagurski.

Go to the 2:14 mark:

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Wednesday: Angry Ward, who has admirers at the NY Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way conservatives embrace Mitt Romney. While the Vikings tease him incessantly with flirtations of success, the Golden State Warriors, "Don't have a enough short, white angry guys but I don't dislike them... that much." A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, The Franchise.
  • Mark Wahlberg

    How many times do I have to tell you, Colin??? Drinking and tattooing don’t mix!

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      Hey, leave Scarlet Pimpernick alone, Mr. Laser Removal.

      • http://twitter.com/Cookies_Corner Cookies Corner

        You rang Matts? Hey Angry… that’s ‘Dreamy’ Mike Modano to you, if I recall correctly.

        There’s also no other noted (or rather.. notorious) sports figure named Lance. Yeah… he’ll be right next to Ray Lewis on the ‘Gallows du Cookie.’

        • buffalobilly84

          What about Bison/Met Lance Broadway?

          • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

            You mean Lance “Off” Broadway? He pitched once and then he was off to another vocation.

            WARNING: Do not mess with Cookie.

          • http://twitter.com/Cookies_Corner Cookies Corner

            Ahhh.. i knew there was a Lance I may have missed, buffalobillybob.
            Unless he had one ball and/or juiced… since he was a Met, doesn’t count.

  • http://twitter.com/Cookies_Corner Cookies Corner

    I also would like to say that we probably won’t see another ‘Meadowlark’ in our time either. (And no.. i don’t care if that’s not his real name either. Don’t Google that crap. I don’t care.)

    • AngryWard

      Don’t count out the name Meadowlark just yet. In the highly unlikely event that I ever produce a male child, that name will be a finalist along with Stymie and Shamgod.

      • http://twitter.com/Cookies_Corner Cookies Corner

        This begs the question why you’d say ‘highly unlikely’ (I thought Scotch Soaked Swimmers NEVER miss their mark.. or is it just they’re ‘x’s?’), but I’ll leave it at that I loudly applaud the name ‘Meadowlark’ for your next offspring.

  • http://twitter.com/CheesyBruin Cheesy Bruin

    Let’s not forget Big Georges Laraque’s (BGL) appearance in “Goon”. Good enough for George to get the top spot.

  • Grote2Dmax

    George was also a pretty good Beatle and Phylis George was the co host of the old NFL Today on CBS in the 70’s.

    • AngryWard

      Phyllis George really brought those intangibles that Jimmy the Greek was always talking about, to the NFL Today. A good add for sure.

  • Cam_James

    What about Ray? Sugar Ray, Ray Robinson, Ray Borque, Ray Romano plays golf in the tahoe tourney every year. Ray fucking lewis, Ray Allen, Ray Charles, Porn Star Ray Victory!

    • AngryWard

      What, no Rae Dawn Chong? You really need to watch Soul Man again to remind yourself just how good she was.

      • http://twitter.com/Cookies_Corner Cookies Corner

        Or ‘The Crying Game.’ hahahah! How about Martha Ray of Polident fame?

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      Really? Watch the French, CJ!

    • Grote2Dmax

      You can call me Ray or you can call me Jay…

    • Sam’s-A-Fan

      I go for my man Michael Sugar Ray Richardson. He can’t compete in the Michael category with the likes of His Airness, but with the Rays, well, he can’t really compete there either, unless the competition is in ingesting enormous quantities of weasel dust. Sugar would do the amount that took out Len Bias for brunch!

      • AngryWard

        That last line was hilarious, Sam. Michael Ray Richardson and the Cocaine Brunch is yet another great name for a band.

  • Nick Erbocker

    Does Jeff George count? His coaches called him George. Go Knicks!

    • AngryWard

      Sorry, he gets lumped in with the Jeffs along with Jeff Gordon, Jeff Hornacek, and Yankee demon seed Jeffrey Maier.

      • Cam_James

        Jeff George gets black listed. You cant trust a guy with two first names.

  • http://twitter.com/JunoirBlaber Junoir Blaber

    The Jets will likely draft 2008 Name of the year winner, Barkevious MIngo. We don’t need any more Joe’s!!

  • http://twitter.com/CheesyBruin Cheesy Bruin

    Seaver is also a George but known by his middle name.

    • Grote2Dmax

      Great point Cheeseman. Add one for the Georges and minus one from the Toms.

      • AngryWard

        That’s right! Well done CB. Let that be a lesson to those who say you’ve lost what’s left of your mind.

  • Sam’s-A-Fan

    Where does 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan fit in to all of this? He’s better looking than Danny Ferry, smarter than Thunder Dan Majerle (sp?), never did an embarrassing weight loss commercial like Dan Marino, never had his swing effed with by George Costanza, like Danny Tartabul, and he’s a better color commentator than Dan Dierdorf.

    • AngryWard

      Another great Dan horse was Lucky Dan. He usually ran second.

    • Big Fat Toad

      Dan Pastorini! He was banging playmates and driving racecars.

  • Baseball Lifer

    Jim Thome would be a good Jim.

  • WestCoastCraig

    I think Joey Jo Jo Junior Shabadoo puts Joe back on top.

    Pete Sampras also helps out the Pete’s. How about Andre–Agassi, Dawson, the Giant?

    • AngryWard

      There has to be a Formula One Andre out there somewhere, no?

      • Cam_James

        Marc Andre Fluery. he is only ever reffered to by all three names so that works

  • http://ThePublicProfessor.com The Public Professor

    No Akim’s?

    • AngryWard

      You’re an original like Elgin Gay Baylor and Scientific Mapp.

    • Cam_James

      Akim abdul Jabbar or akim Olojowan.

  • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

    Phew… We just spent the day clearing out 95,000 spam “Ping” comment that had – unbeknownst to us – had been transformed into that many fake MTM pages advertising everything from cars to “insertible eggs” all over the globe. We could only delete 250 at a time and had to clear the cache between each. THAT was trying.

    • Cam_James

      “insert-able eggs” so i guess the ben wah balls people are smart enough to do simple arithmetic….makes sense. That was a pretty clutch invention

    • AngryWard

      How about a large vibrating egg? Any ads for those?

  • Tall Matt

    Barkevious Mingo from LSU will be a high NFL Draft pick in 2013. He has two older brothers – Hugh and Hughtavious. Straight up truth

    • AngryWard

      Hughtavious just made my male child names finals. That is just an incredible name. Just adding TAVIOUS on to any name is a brilliant idea. Wardtavious?

      • Tall Matt

        It is so stupidly catchy. Mattavious (gotta lose a t there) is SOOO neo-Roman. Let’s all play gladiator games.

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