Renaming NFL Players After '80s Movie Characters
By now, you’ve probably heard the news about Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Greg White changing his name to Stylez G. White.
Here's the really weird part of the story: White’s inspiration for the name change is Rupert “Stiles” Stilinski—a character played by actor Jerry Levine in the 1985 Michael J. Fox film "Teen Wolf."
Just to clarify, that’s a professional football player changing his name to resemble a fictional character from a 23-year-old film.
But maybe White's onto something here, and there are other NFL players who should look back on some of the more memorable roles of 1980s cinema, and change their respective names to reflect the characters they resemble in some way or form.
Let’s take a look at a couple of new names that would fit some high-profile NFL personalities...
Heather Romo, Heather Witten, and Heather Owens
“Heathers” is one of the definitive dark comedies of the '80s, featuring three spoiled girls (all named Heather) who moan and complain to get attention while backstabbing, gossiping, and manipulating others to maintain their popularity.
Sound familiar, Dallas fans?
From Romo and Witten’s super-secret-BFF-only meetings to T.O.’s public insults and complaints about not getting enough balls thrown his way, these three divas might as well start circulating slam books around the locker room. Hopefully the Heathers can put their differences aside against Baltimore this weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive and well.
Brett Bueller Favre
Like Ferris Bueller, Brett Favre can do no wrong, as far as the general population is concerned.
In 1986’s "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," Bueller (played by Matthew Broderick) pulls every trick in the book to make everyone think he’s home sick, when he’s really having the day of his life. Favre made everyone think he was actually retired, when he was really basking in the “will he come back” media attention, followed by the “will he stay in Green Bay” media attention, followed by the “where will he go next” media attention.
Replace Principal Rooney with Packers’ GM Ted Thompson, and fill Ben Stein’s role as Bueller’s teacher (Bueller…Bueller…Bueller…) with John Madden (Brett Favre’s a real football player…Brett Favre’s one tough guy…Brett Favre knows how to think on his feet…) and you’ve got yourself a new movie: “Brett Favre’s Summer Off.”
Kerry Collins is experienced, well traveled, he’s guiding an underdog to success, and his beard is just a few shades of gray darker than that of Mr. Miyagi’s (played by Pat Morita) from “The Karate Kid.”
Instead of wax on/wax off, it’s been hand off/hand off for Collins this year, as the Titans’ offense has used a stellar running game and Collins’ clock management skills to build up a 12-2 record.
Mr. Miyagi helped Daniel Larusso prepare for an epic showdown with the black-and-gold-robed Kobra Kai, and Collins has put Tennessee in a position to fight for home-field advantage on Sunday against a different black-and-gold foe—the Pittsburgh Steelers.
No word yet if Collins is forcing Albert Haynesworth to catch flies with chopsticks or poking fun of LenDale White for pursuing a way-out-of-his-league Elisabeth Shue.
At first glance, habitual troublemaker John Bender may seem like the “Breakfast Club” character with the most in common with troubled Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress. But, thanks to recent events, Plax and nerd Brian Johnson (played by Anthony Michael Hall) now have some strikingly similar bad luck.
In the 1985 movie, Johnson joins four other teens in Saturday detention. Remember why Johnson’s there? A flare gun he brought to school accidentally discharged in his locker, causing some minor damage.
No further explanation required, other than it looks as if Plax is grounded for a lot longer than just one Saturday.
Jim Dobler Zorn
Cameron Crowe’s directing debut came in the form of 1989’s “Say Anything”—a film about underachieving high school grad Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), and his up-down-up again relationship with sheltered valedictorian Diane Court.
Well, no relationship has seen more severe highs and lows in the NFL this year than the love-hate relationship between first-year Redskins coach Jim Zorn and Washington fans. While Zorn initially wooed Redskins nation with an impressive 6-2 start, Washington has dropped five of six, and is on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture. Needless to say, Washington's not exactly in love with Zorn at the moment.
Next up for Zorn: blasting Peter Gabriel ballads on an oversized boom box outside the home of Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
The Oakland Goonies
Like “The Goonies” (which starred Sean Astin, Josh Brolin and Corey Feldman as child actors), the Raiders are full of young talent (think Darren McFadden, Nnamdi Asomugha), and each player has some terrifyingly ugly people standing in their way.
For the Goonies, it was the criminal Fratelli family keeping the kids from escaping with buried treasure. Standing in the way of the Raiders is owner Al Davis, who has fired coaches, signed mediocre players to bloated contracts, and refused to relinquish control of a franchise that has hit rock bottom.
And yes, I imagine JaMarcus Russell can do a mean version of Chunk’s truffle shuffle.