The 10 Worst Names in Sports

Jason M. BurnsContributor IIFebruary 3, 2011

Top 10 Worst Names in Sports

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    As Buddy in the holiday film Elf, Will Ferrell meets an office worker named Francisco, and in a classic delivery of a classic line, responds to the introduction by saying, “Francisco, that’s fun to say!” 

    With both a Ben Francisco and a Francisco Cervelli putting in man-hours as Major League Baseball players, Buddy the Elf sure would have a good time announcing the game. But before we heard the Tale of Two Franciscos, the sporting world had plenty of names that could elicit a giggle out of a crowd.

    Here’s a small sampling.

Dick Butkus

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    Firstly, if a remake of the 1980s sitcom Webster ever gets greenlit in Hollywood, I’m nominating Dick for the job of foster dad George Papadapolis.

    Secondly, if he does get said job, I’ll laugh every time I see his name in the opening credits. The man may be a football legend, but he still lives in the shadow of his totally awesome moniker.

Dong Dong

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    A lot of people will argue, some more emphatically than others, that being a trampoline gymnast is not all that manly, but try telling that to Dong Dong. 

    With an Olympic bronze medal hanging around his neck, this Dong can bounce, and if he did not get beat up in grade school for doing tumblesaults at recess, he most certainly took a cheap shot to the breadbasket during roll call.

Milton Bradley

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    He may not be responsible for creating "Candyland" and "Battleship," but that doesn't mean Milton Bradley hasn’t made his mark. Currently employed by the Seattle Mariners, he has spent more than a decade in Major League Baseball, landing in his first (and only) All-Star game in 2008.

    Obvious board-game jokes aside, the most interesting thing about Bradley are his retirement plans. Apparently, he has formed a band with childhood friends Matt Tel and the Parker Brothers, and as soon he’s done with baseball, they plan to tour the country.

    The first stop on the tour…Baltic Avenue.  And don’t worry, there will be plenty of Free Parking.

Chubby Cox

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    At no fault of his name, Cox had a short career in the NBA, proving that if you play professional sports, you can call yourself whatever you want.  However, this does not exactly fly in other industries.

    “Slip and fall?  Get injured on the job?  Let Chubby Cox get you the money you deserve.”

    No thanks.

Ron Tugnutt

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    Mr. Tugnutt is a former NHL goalie currently coaching in hockey.  He manned the net for a slew of teams throughout his career before being forced into retirement due to an incurable hernia condition brought on by his last name.*

    *That faux fact is in no way true, but it still makes me laugh.

Coco Crisp

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    Coco isn’t his birth name, Covelli is.  That means somewhere along the way, the Coco portion of this Crisp was either self-appointed or given to him by his peers.

    That got me to thinking, given the waxy coating that Cocoa Krispies leaves on your teeth, is there a better nickname to go with?

    Apple Crisp:  Warm, inviting, and reminiscent of a winter’s morn, it’s a solid name if you’re the next Martha Stewart, but when you’re playing baseball, you need something with a little more zing.

    Crisp Hundred Dollar Bill:  Doesn’t exactly flow off of the tongue.

    Cookie Crisp: Another cereal option, but the name does not have the same snap, crackle, and pop of the original.  Maybe Covelli was right to go with Coco all along.

Johnny Dickshot

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    I have got nothing to say that his name does not already say for me.

Alge Crumpler

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    Sounding less like a human name and more like a creature Jim Henson created for Fraggle Rock, this tight end may have been better suited for a career in puppetry, or at the very least, something involving a body of stagnant water.

Smush Parker

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    Love it.  In fact, I have already put in a written request to my wife that our firstborn be named Smush.

    Neighbor: “Oh, you broke the window with your baseball? Don’t worry about it, Smush, you little rascal.”

    Principal: “Mrs. Smith tells me you have been caught cheating on a test.  Normally I’d be forced to give out a detention, but I’m going to let you off with a somewhat-stern warning, Smush.”

    Judge: “Murder?  Pff.  The case against Smush is dismissed.”

    How could anyone ever stay mad at someone named Smush?

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

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    Holding the record for the longest name in Major League history, Salty hasn’t exactly found his stride behind home plate, but that doesn’t mean he has to start from scratch.

    I propose a different kind of plate for the man with the six-syllable last name.

    Italian cuisine has been in need of finding its next chicken parmigiana for years now, a dish that permeates the hearts and stomachs of food aficionados everywhere.  What about a plate of chicken saltalamacchia?

    I’ll take two!