Bill Gates. Computer whiz, philanthropist, richest man in the history of everything. He had absolutely no chance to succeed as an athlete. Why? His name. Well, the fact that he spent all his time growing up inventing computers, and rarely left the house. But mostly, his name. Specifically, his first name.
Bill is a very un-athletish name. For a Bill to succeed in sports, he has to have a cool-sounding last name to make up for the boring start, like Gramatica, Musgrave or Romanowski. If he had been "Willie Gates" instead, he could have ended up a speedster, either in centerfield or as a spread quarterback. Taking it further, "Billy Gates" would make a second baseman or a point guard, "Will Gates", a linebacker or a power forward, and "William Gates" would be a three-point sharpshooter or a sprinter. In any event, Bill is one of the worst possible names to have if you want to be a star athlete.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Joe Montana. The only thing that Joe Montana could have possibly done with that name, apart from becoming an archaeologist by day, adventurer and treasure seeker by night, is be the coolest guy in the room at all times and the best quarterback ever to play football.
To accompany this week's YouTube video, we're counting down the official Tako Tuesdays Top 10 Best Names on the Oregon 2012 roster.
10. (tie) Soph. RB De'Anthony Thomas and Fresh. DL DeForest Buckner - Once Buckner arrives in Eugene and begins working out with the team, he will close the books on the LaDucks era and officially usher in the age of the DeDucks. In 2009, the backfield of LaMichael James and LeGarrette Blount had national pundits brushing up on French. In 2012, Thomas and Buckner will have the media embracing their inner Rastafarian. De'Anthony and DeForest went to de party and played de steel drums, mon!
9. (tie) Jr. C Karrington Armstrong, Jr. OT Everett Benyard, RFresh. LB Carlyle Garrick, and Sr. LB Jennings Stewart - If I win the lottery, I will hire four butlers. They could be named anything, but because I'm paying them, they're going to answer to Karrington, Everett, Carlyle, and Jennings. I will make them sing barbershop quartet songs, and reenact scenes from The Breakfast Club with my fifth butler, Anthony Michael Hall. I will sit in an adirondack chair made from a 250 year old redwood tree, drink a double old fashioned, and giggle like a little baby.
8. Fresh. WR Chance Allen - I'm a sucker for easily punnable names. Allen not only brings his explosiveness to the Oregon offense, but gives me the opportunity to title future posts "Game of Chance", "Chance for a Title", "Leaving Everything to Chance", and "USC's defense has no Chanswer for the Ducks' passing attack". I'm so pumped!
7. Fresh. CB Oshay Dunmore - Same reasoning as #8, but with the added bonus of two pun-worthy names. Stay tuned for articles like, "Could the secondary have Dunmore to stop WSU?" and "Oshay needs no luck of the Irish, intercepts Barkley twice in Duck win". Your excitement is palpable!
6. Sr. RB Kenjon Barner - He's the first Kenjon I've ever come into contact with, his last name is one letter away from "Burner", fitting perfectly into our offense, and it's a terrific name to yell in your best Michael Buffer voice. Try it! Kenyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwn Barner!
5. RFresh. OT Andre Yruretagoyena - Thirteen letters, five different vowels (if you count Y), and thousands of befuddled eyes and tongues around the state of Oregon. And as legendary wrestler Andre the Giant proved, the name Andre is a fitting name for a big guy, and suits all 6'5" of Yruretagoyena nicely.
4. Soph. CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Rolls off the tongue smoothly, and like Kenjon Barner's name, is very yellable (Ifooooooooooo Ekpre-Oloooooooooomuuuuuuuuuuu!). Plus, I really enjoy his last name's symmetry; five letters in Ekpre, and five in Olomu, perfectly balancing the hyphen. It looks fantastic on the back of his jersey.
3. Sr. LB Boseko Lokombo - For a school with an "O" as it's logo, the five Os in Lokombo's name feel right at home. It's the most yellable name on the team, it shortens to something catchy (BoLo), and with three syllables in both first and last, is wonderfully rhythmic.
2. Jr. DT Axel McQuaw - I don't think I need to explain why the name Axel McQuaw is transcendentally awesome.
1. Fresh. TE Pharaoh Brown - Despite all the great names so far, nothing matches the singular cool of incoming tight end Pharaoh Brown. Pharaoh Brown sounds too good to be true. Pharaoh Brown should be an old Saturday Night Live sketch about an Egyptian prince, played by Eddie Murphy, who travels through time to the Bronx in the 1970s and fights crime with a jewel-encrusted cobra head walking stick that shoots lasers. The two other Pharaohs I can think of off hand, apart from the ancient ones, are rapper Pharoahe Monch and jazz saxophone legend Pharoah Sanders. Conclusion? All Pharaohs, no matter how they're spelled, are cool. This particular Pharaoh is a 6'7" tight end, and he's gonna be an Oregon Duck very soon. I can't wait.