JSF Top 7: NFL Names of 2012
The 2012 NFL season is right around the corner. It’s time to start getting excited about football again. And why wouldn’t there be excitement? A lot of players and coaches have changed venues since last year, seemingly more so than usual. The St. Louis Rams have a new coach in Jeff Fisher. The Indianapolis Colts have a new quarterback in Andrew Luck after 14 seasons of Peyton Manning, who unless you live under a rock, you already know moved on to Denver. What happened to Tim Tebow? Well, he took his star power (and noodle arm) to the one place where it could shine even brighter: New York City.
Couple that with a solid draft providing an influx of new potential stars. With all the new names in new places this year, it gets us thinking, what are some of the best names in the NFL this season? For that, we bring back the Joe Sports Fan Top 7. In accordance with our newness theme, there’s a heavy dose of rookies, as well as a few players with local ties.
7. Najee Good – LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s fair to say that now that it has surpassed baseball as the nation’s pastime, the game of football could use its own rendition of the famous “Who’s On First?” comedy routine by Abbott & Costello. And the fifth round draft pick from West Virginia could provide the necessary inspiration.
Fan #1: Who’s that new rookie at linebacker for the Bucs?
Fan #2: That guy? That guy is Good.
Fan #1: I know that guy’s good, but what’s his name?
Fan #2: His name is Good.
Fan #1: Well, I don’t doubt that he has a good Christian name, but what is it?
Fan #2: It’s Good.
Fan #1: That’s what you just said!?
And so on and so forth until Fan #1 spears Fan #2 in the chest. Classic sports comedy gold – now translated for the gridiron.
6. Nick Toon – WR, New Orleans Saints
Nick is the son of former New York Jets wide receiver Al Toon, a 3-time Pro Bowler and apparently a big fan of Nickelodeon. He must be to name his son after its lineup of original animated programming, Nicktoons, which has included hits like The Ren & Stimpy Show and SpongeBob SquarePants.
5. Whitney Mercilus – DE, Houston Texans
What name could be more apropos for a defensive lineman than Mercilus? The 2011 first team All-American for the Fighting Illini earned a first-round selection by mercilessly punishing quarterbacks (see what I did there?), setting a school single-season record with 16 sacks, eclipsing a mark held by 3-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion Simeon Rice.
4. Pat Angerer – LB, Indianapolis Colts
I sense a theme here. If Mercilus is a good name for a pass-rushing defensive end, then Angerer is a great name for a middle linebacker. I mean, look at him. He just looks angry. If I was from Iowa, I’d be angry too though. What else is there to do there but get pissed off about there being nothing to do?
3. Brad Smelley – FB, Cleveland Browns
This one’s pretty straightforward. The guy plays fullback. He’s from Alabama. Chances are he really does smell. It’s a perfect name. Next.
2. T-Bob Hebert – C, St. Louis Rams
T-Bob Heber is the son of former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, and an undrafted rookie free agent from Louisiana State signed by the Rams.
And since your great-great grandparents never flew a Confederate flag in the front lawn of their plantation, you’re probably wondering, “What the hell kind of a name is T-Bob anyway?’
T-Bob actually stands for Petite Bobby. Six-foot-three, 300 pound Petite Bobby Hebert. Right.
His real name is Bobby Joseph Hebert the third. And in Cajun tradition when someone’s the third you prefix their name with a “T-”. Like T-Brad, T-John, or T-Rex. Apparently “T” stands for third. Makes me wonder what they’ll call Bobby Hebert the fourth.
Get used to it, Missouri Tiger fans. Now that you’re in the SEC, you’re probably going to see a lot of T-Bobs.
1. Isaiah Pead – RB, St. Louis Rams
The second round draft choice of the Rams has a name that sounds like something Bart Simpson might use to crank call Moe’s Tavern (I. Pead). Is that how it will read on the back of his jersey?
So the number one NFL Name of 2012 according to our JSF panel of experts is: I. Pead. Yes, this is the kind of hard-hitting sports reporting our regular readers have come to expect.
James Laurinaitis – LB, St. Louis Rams
Only because his last name sounds like a rare disease, i.e. “The Rams have Laurinaitis.” The Rams do play like they’re infected with something, but we’re just not sure what it is.