Gamblers rejoice, the NFL season is about to get underway complete with office betting pools, Sunday afternoons spent guzzling beer in lieu of being forced into conversation with your buddies during commercial breaks, and off-field criminal shenanigans that remind you that OJ was not a cricketer.
With its continued ability to make enough cash to keep its monstrous players well fed and then some, the NFL has proven itself to be the best-run sports league in North America (the worst run — probably the wife-carrying one.. haven’t heard from those cats in a while). Hockey has a profile only slightly higher than those diving competitions that measure the circumference of a splash, while baseball records have more asterisks than a fundamentalist-Christian-sponsored transcription of Deadwood.
While the NFL acronym could just as accurately be the “Numerous Felons League, the season remains mercifully short (while the pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, and Angkor Wat could be torn down and rebuilt in the time it takes a baseball season to run its course) and it is the best sport on which to place a wager and to get drunk watching, preferably in that order if you want to hold onto your cash.
Unlike baseball, with which we have some degree of familiarity—having once dodged one hit out onto the freeway—neither of us has ever been to an NFL game — the nearest team to us in Canada is the Buffalo Bills, and we are not the type to invite misery into our lives willingly (unless we’ve been drinking).
What we might lack in gridiron expertise, we more than make up for in a willingness to pour through the NFL rolls and find 10 names to make sport of here on this list. These are the Top 10 NFL names. In this case “Top” means mostly hilarious names or those we were glad we didn’t have growing up a few neck sizes shorter than the guys on this list
10. Willie Colon, Pittsburgh Steelers. As long as Colons clog professional sports, this surname will continue to be funny. Harry Colon continues to delight, as his surname-sake and joke butt-end Bartolo Colon. While the Spanish pronunciation is ‘cologne’, like NHL-er Miro Satan (pronounced “Lucifer”), we cannot blame sports fans for pronouncing it as you would if it was attached to “oscopy” (and we encourage them to do so. This all but guarantees that any “Colon” jersey will be heavily marked down in the discount bin).
Suggested Nickname: ‘The Cleanse’, or, if you go with the correct Spanish pronunciation, ‘Cheap’.
9. Fred Weary, Cleveland Browns. Our last list featured Melvin Bullitt and John McCargo, those are the kind of intimidating names football players need. Fred Weary sounds like someone who might need to be taken out behind the stadium by a rifle-wielding coach with a tear in his eye but who knows that Weary’s time has come.
Suggested Nickname: Fred ‘Chronic Fatigue’ Weary, ‘Touch of Sleep’, although some boxer already has this.
8. Will Smith, New Orleans Saints. Will Smith, before he became an A-List actor, was known for getting thrown out the front door of a Bel Air mansion, a gag that became less and less ‘Fresh’, each time it happened to the ‘Prince’ (at least 35). The Hollywood Will has been a celebrity for a long while, and one would think that this guy would go by Billy or something to save confusion. Going by the name Will Smith and being the size of an NFL player would only fool those strippers with really lousy TV reception.
Honorable Mention: Steve Sanders, Arizona Cardinals. Not the guy with the post-collegiate hairline, played by Ian Ziering on Beverly Hills 90210.
Suggested Nickname: Will ‘Incredibly mediocre early 90s Rapper’ Smith. For Sanders, Steve ‘Zip Code’ Sanders.
7. Maurice Purify, Cincinnati Bengals. In a league filled with ‘Popes’ and ‘Vickers’ (sic) and a deity keeping a close, watchful eye on Superbowl participant prayers, we turn to ‘purify’, that ritual cleansing that is a common feature of most religions (at least those that weren’t founded by aliens). If there’s any NFL franchise in need of a purification ritual, it’s these dismal ankle-bracelet sporting orange cats, who could easily meet the casting requirements for The Longest Yard.
Suggested Nickname: ‘The Baptist’ Maurice Purify…The ‘Sanitizer’, ‘Ganges’.
6. Alge Crumpler, Tennessee Titans. In a sport known for high impact collisions not just on the field of play, but extracurricular DUI ones as well, there’s no better name for a tenacious, toothless linebacker than Crumpler. Unfortunately, he’s a tight end along with fellow automotive-disaster sounding TE and Honorable Mention: Todd Heap, Baltimore Ravens. Too bad Alge isn’t a quarterback in Maryland or else there’d be a ‘Crumpler to Heap’ pass completion.
Suggested Nickname: ‘Cash for Clunker’ Crumpler, ‘Green Alge’, ‘The Floater’