My cousin Joe has always had a fascination with unique football player names. One year, when he was amused by the name R.W. McQuarters (who then played for the 49ers), his mom spent hours on the phone trying to procure a jersey for him and somehow inadvertently got connected to the 49ers coaches room.
She ended up talking to a bewildered Steve Mariucci (the head coach), who kept asking her, “HOW did you get this number?” while she politely asked if he was the person who could sell her a jersey over the phone because she had her credit card ready and everything.
The next year, during the Thanksgiving game between the Bears and Lions, Joe decided we should pick a name and all take a drink any time the announcers said it.
He picked the name Urlacher. As in Brian Urlacher – the heart and soul of the Bears. In fact, even though Urlacher was a rookie at the time, the announcers couldn’t help but gush about him, mentioning his name exactly 32987238957783 times. And this was just during the pre-game. Luckily, none of us were drinking alcohol or I’d be writing this from the grave.
The NFL is rife with unique names. Like Rex Hadnot of the Dolphins: “I thought you had it, Rex!” “HadNOT!”
Or Trent Dilfer of the 49ers, whose name is now an insulting putdown: “Seriously man, don’t be such a Dilfer.”
Or Mark Colombo of the Cowboys: “How would I know where the quarterback is? I’m not Colombo. Oh wait…”
Or Todd Weiner of the Falcons. (This is only funny to me, probably. Because I grew up in a small town whose 17 of its 20 4-H members had last names that were either Weiner, Burger or Bacon.)
But then a few weeks ago, I saw The Name. The name to top all names. The name that made me want to immediately go out and purchase the jersey, even though the player is a member of the St. Louis Rams, who I vehemently rooted against in Super Bowl XXXIV for the sole reason that I could not stand Kurt Warner’s wife.
The name is Incognito.
How freaking cool is THAT?
Best name ever.