In case anyone doubted why college football is so fucking important-it's branding, reader, and we are buying into the whole hog here at everydayshouldbesaturday-one should consider the fabulous names you get to work with as both a fan and an announcer.
The theory really stretches back to Gene Stallings' Alabama teams of the early '90s. In addition to an ability to knock the tight fade out of an opponent's hair, a player on a Stallings' team had to have a great name and the ability to understand the phrase "assets listed in your mother's name." The prototype? Prince Wimbley.
Prince Wimbley? I'm still not sure if he was real, but watching my dad have conniptions fits while screaming his name that season was enough to convince me that college football players weren't born, necessarily: they were named.
What makes a singularly great college football player's name so great? It helps if the name had a few essential qualities:
1. Having a name that sounds completely and totally unreal. As in, so stunning you naturally assume the person is lying to you. Like an alias Fletch would have used. Like a porn star's name. Like a really bad CIA agent's worst cover. Like the name of an obscure town in Eastern Arkansas. A good litmus test is to insert the name into the main character's spot in a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie.
Grizzled colonel: "We've got to get Dr. Maung out of that base. He's the only man with those missile plans, and we can't let them fall into the hands of the Chinese. Who's the best man for the job?"
Sleek Toadying Lieutenant: "That would be Saunders. But he's dead."
GC: "Dammit, who have we got left?"
STL:"That leaves one man, sir: Prince Wimbley."
GC: "WIMBLEY? Are you mad, lieutenant? You know you can't control Prince Wimbley."
STL: "True, sir. But he's our only chance."
If you can't insert the guy's name into the formula, it just doesn't work. Try it with Hines Ward-it just doesn't have the same zing to it, does it?
That's why we call it science, people.
2. Having a completely fabricated first name. We'll call this the Plaxico factor, since Plaxico Burress...well, you couldn't really say you honestly know anyone else named Plaxico, can you?
What the hell does Plaxico mean, anyway? I googled it and came up with this.
It doesn't even have an etymology, for pete's sake. What could it mean? I have a few suggestions:
-A revolutionary new polymer that will enhance your quality of life in ways you couldn't possibly imagine
-A troubled corner of the third world, filled with intrigue and run by the iron fist of a eyepatch wearing tyrant, where a lone journalist tries to uncover the ugly truth...
-A traditional dance of the Hopi people performed to mark the first kinda-glary, overcast, and dreary day of the year.
The point being: Plaxico could mean any of these things, really, since it's completely made up. The same goes for Earthwind Moreland and Daccus Turman. (Although Daccus is the Genus name of the olive fly, which I would bet you five billion dollars Daccus Turman does not know.)
And yes, it helps to be black to be in this category. But that's not racist-you don't see a whole lot of white players named Dontarrious, just like you won't see a whole lot of black wide receivers from Lousiana flocking to Notre Dame to "wake up the alumni-I mean, the echoes." BECAUSE NOTRE DAME IS A PREDOMINANTLY WHITE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY IN A COLD PLACE WHERE THEY JUST FIRED A BLACK COACH WITH A WINNING RECORD.
It just so happens that some white kids get names that mean "please kick me in the face for the first eighteen years of my life"-Darwin, Trevor, Ethan-and some black kids get named Finesse or Taurean.
3. Having a name of Polynesian or Asian descent.
So we'll be working on the all name team in order to kill the time between now and August. Please leave your suggestions in the comments, since we've been too drunk lately to figure out our webmail yet.