Friday, February 10, 2012

Things I Find Fascinating: Athletes With Unusual, Unpronounceable, Or Unfortunate Names

Confession: This post didn't take a whole lot of extra effort on my part, since I often ponder over the strange and wonderful names that people are born with, or that they change their names to, as well as the interesting nicknames that people accumulate throughout their lives. This morning, I was thinking in particular about athletes. There are a variety of oddball-named people in the world of sports, and though it often isn't their fault at all, they're still very much in the public eye, and it's hard to ignore the wonderful weirdness of their names. 

So here's a list I compiled, mostly from pages on, of players whose names I find to be unusual, unpronounceable, or just plain unfortunate. You won't find Manute Bol, Dick Trickle, Bimbo Coles, Y.A. Tittle, or any others like them on this list, as I only included active players in the major sports. It might seem like I'm sort of making fun of them, but I'm really not. Not much at least. I figure what goes around comes around. Some of them might think I have a funny name too (although the Jason Hill who plays wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Jason Hill who plays golf probably wouldn't have a problem with it. But I digress...). Enjoy! Happy Weekend!

"It Better Mean Something Really Beautiful
In My Native Tongue, Because It's Almost
Impossible To Pronounce Or Spell"
Visanthe Shiancoe  (NFL)
Ndamukong Suh   (NFL)
Oshiomogho Atogwe  (NFL)
Pannel Egboh  (NFL)
Leger Douzable  (NFL)
Gosder Cherilus  (NFL)
Fenuki Tupou  (NFL)
Ubaldo Jimenez  (MLB)
Yuniesky Betancourt  (MLB)
Thabo Sefolosha  (NBA)
Jannero Pargo  (NBA)
Udonis Haslem  (NBA)
Beno Udrih  (NBA)
Hedo Turkoglu  (NBA)
Nene Hilario  (NBA)
Zaza Pachulia  (NBA)
Hasheem Thabeet  (NBA)
Zenon Konopka  (NHL)
Marek Zidlicky  (NHL)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat  (Golf)
Gaganjeet Bhullar  (Golf)
Clodomirro Carranza  (Golf)
Retief Goosen  (Golf)
Thongchai Jaidee  (Golf)
Pariya Junhasavasdikul  (Golf)
Prom Meesawat  (Golf)
Chinnarat Phadungsil  (Golf)
Facundo Bagnis  (Tennis)
Teymuraz Gabashvili  (Tennis)
Noppawan Lertcheewakarn  (Tennis)
Lofo Ramiaramanan  (Tennis)
Kittipong Wachiramanowong  (Tennis)

"How Did I Get Unlucky Enough 
To Be Born With This Family Name?"
Dave Zastudil  (NFL)
Ashton Youboty  (NFL)
Antonio Bastardo  (MLB)
Jeff Manship  (MLB)
Tyler Flowers  (MLB)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia  (MLB)
Taylor Teagarden  (MLB)
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute  (NBA)
Carlos Boozer  (NBA)
Vernon Fiddler  (NHL)
Cal Clutterbuck  (NHL)
Jordin Tootoo  (NHL)
Dustin Byfuglien  (NHL)
Kevin Shattenkirk  (NHL)
Jason Bacashihua  (NHL)
Greg Biffle  (NASCAR)
Grant Enfinger  (NASCAR)
Marcus Both  (Golf)
Nicolas Vanhootegem  (Golf)
Alexis Hornbuckle  (WNBA)
Whitney Boddie  (WNBA)
Karima Christmas  (WNBA)
Sybille Bammer  (Tennis)
KJ Hippensteel  (Tennis)
Lisa Whybourn  (Tennis)

"I Can't Help What My Last Name Is, 
But My Parents Could Have At Least 
Cut Me Some Slack With My First Name"
Jerricho Cotchery  (NFL)
Montario Hardesty  (NFL)
Roddrick Muckelroy  (NFL)
Brashton Satele  (NFL)
Orlando Scandrick  (NFL)
D'Brickashaw Ferguson  (NFL)
Byron Stingily  (NFL)
La Rod Stephens-Howling  (NFL)
Burke Badenhop  (MLB)
Chauncey Billups  (NBA)
Jimmer Fredette  (NBA)
Iman Shumpert  (NBA)
Luol Deng  (NBA)
Bismack Biyombo  (NBA)
DeSagana Diop  (NBA)
Tiago Splitter  (NBA)
Notah Begay III  (Golf)
Amandeep Johl  (Golf)
Alpheus Kelapile  (Golf)
Rocco Mediate  (Golf)
Tag Ridings  (Golf)
Mads Vibe-Hastrup  (Golf)
Shavonte Zellous  (WNBA)
Tully Bevilaqua  (WNBA)
Indy De Vroome  (Tennis)
Bibiane Schoofs  (Tennis)
Coco Vandeweghe  (Tennis)

"Please Tell Me That's Just A Nickname!"
Shaky Smithson  (NFL)
Ziggy Hood  (NFL)
Mister Alexander  (NFL)
Frostee Rucker  (NFL)
Metta World Peace*  (NBA)  
(*formerly Ron Artest)
Duffy Waldorf  (Golf)
Fuzzy Zoeller  (Golf)
Epiphanny Prince  (WNBA)
Cappie Pondexter  (WNBA)
Wanting Liu  (Tennis)

"The All-Ironic Team"
Cecil Shorts  (NFL)  (this could only be better if his name were Jim)
Jake Locker  (NFL)  (he has a whole room named after him near the showers)
Chad Ochocinco  (NFL)  (legally changed his name to 
match his uniform number, which is "85" not "Eight-Five")
Scott Speed  (NASCAR)  (he's a race car driver – need I say more?)
Tan White  (WNBA)  (um, excuse me, your name is an oxymoron)
Brittany Spears  (WNBA)  (well, at least it's spelled differently)
Ebony Hoffman  (WNBA)  (wait for it...wait for it...)
Ivory Latta  (WNBA)  (shades of Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder?)
Joy Cheek  (WNBA)  (aww, poor thing!)
Tennys Sandgren  (Tennis)  (the name, the sport, yeah, that's destiny for you)
Mi Yoo  (Tennis)  (okay, which one is it? Mi or Yoo?)
Anna Smashnova  (Tennis)  (known for smashing shots over the net with aplomb)

Just Plain Weird Names:
BenJarvus Green-Ellis  (NFL)
Kregg Lumpkin  (NFL)
Tressor Baptiste  (NFL)
Sampson Genus  (NFL)
Prince Amukamara  (NFL)
Ras-I Dowling  (NFL)
Atari Bigby  (NFL)
Chone Figgins  (MLB)
Shin-Soo Choo  (MLB)
Sundiata Gaines  (NBA)
Hermie Sadler  (NASCAR)
S.S.P. Chowrasia  (Golf)
Sancho Lyttle  (WNBA)
Plenette Pierson  (WNBA)
Swin Cash  (WNBA)
Ryler De Heart  (Tennis)
Julie Ditty  (Tennis)
Mardy Fish  (Tennis)
Pippa Horn  (Tennis)
Jingjing Lu  (Tennis)

WAR AND PEACE UPDATE:  I'm still sitting at 15% currently, as I've taken a bit of time off from reading it. I've gotten to the "war" part of the book, which I find far less interesting than the "peace" portion. I'm sure it'll get better after Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo, but that probably won't be for another two or three hundred pages from now. Oh, well! You take the good with the bad. I'll get there...

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