What’s In A Name?

That’s what Bill Shakespeare had Juliet ponder on her balcony as the voyeuristic Romeo hid and listened, gaining courage and probably a little woody in the Hydrangea bushes in her Veronian garden below.

The answer to Juliet’s query would be,  “A lot is in a name”.   

Our identities often stem from our names and most names just seem to fit.   Here in the US, you just don’t find a really hot chick named Hortense.     Not a lot of handsome hunks named Adolph, either.

Take Elvis Presley for example.   Not all, but several of his movie characters had macho/butch, testosterone riddled, one-syllable first names like Nick,  Rick, Ross, Mike, Chad and Guy.

If I showed you or uttered the names, Lillian Bethany Whitlock, Stevens Pinth Garnell and Quentin Whitney Vanderpool, III would you think beer and pig’s knuckles or caviar and Cristal??

  • Horace Gertner. 
  • The name evokes images of a man being tall, thin and geeky and nerdy.
  • Bertha Flot. 
  • I’m thinking a Rosacea faced, fat woman in a Babushka…and a lot of flies encircling her.

John Wayne:  a manly man’s manly man name, right?   But Marion Morrison isn’t.  That’s his real name.  Actors are particular about their names.  Not so much as they used to be, but hardcore Jewish kids from New York who came to Hollywood changed their names in order to be socially more accepted.   And of course, to have equity; to be members of the Screen Actor’s Guild, they must have unique names unlike anyone else.   Still, you want a name that is evocative.   Jethro Bodine understood this.  The bumbling, sixth grade educated nephew on “The Beverly Hillbillies” tired of trying his hand at brain surgery, double-naught spying and international playboying and decided to become an actor.

He chose the rugged “Beef Jerky” as his acting name.

Football players are unique individuals who can benefit from strong, manly names.   Specifically, the game’s field generals; the storied quarterbacks.  I’ve done some digging and I’ve decided to come up with my version of great quarterback names; names that evoke coolness, style, grace under pressure, bevies of hot chicks and all the wheeled and worn bling a massive, seven-figure contract in the NFL can buy. 

 10. Bart Starr (Alabama/ Green Bay)

9. Joe Montana (49er’s/ Chiefs)

8. Jim McMahon  (Brigham Young/ Bears and Chargers, among others) 

7.  Troy Aikman  (OU and UCLA/ Cowboys)

6. Drew Brees (Purdue/ Saints)

5. Seneca Wallace (Iowa State/ Seahawks)

4. Carson Palmer (USC/ Bengals)  (A player with a last name as a first name is cool) 

3. Vince Young (Texas/ Titans)     (Chosen because of the Elvis character principle.  Vince is a great manly name)   

2. J.T. O’Sullivan (UC Davis/Chargers)   (The name sounds like some Irish theme bar where the young, newly legal meet to drink beer and Pina Coladas) 

And I ask you…does a quarterback name get ANY cooler than my pick for Number One?????

Drum roll, please


1. Colt McCoy (Texas/ Browns)



  • Joe Namath  (Alabama/Jets)   (Why?  Joe really is a great QB first name and this particular Joe was atually the first real QB superstar, on and off the field
  • Brook Hart/ Yale    (Cool name.  Sounds handsome, but probably wasn’t.  Probably has buck teeth so bad can eat corn on the cob through a picket fence) 
  • Graham Winkelbaum  (Yale)   (dreadful last name for sports–would wrap around the shoulder and on to part of his chest if printed on a jersey, but his first name “Graham” gives it credence.  Besides, GW was the very first quarterback to use the Quarterback Sneak in 1912 against arch rival, Harvard) 
  • Sonny Jurgenson (North Carolina/Philly, Redskins and a brief post career stint in the broadcast booth)
  • Either of the Brothers Manning
  • Major Applewhite (Texas)    (Younger brother, Gunnery Sergeant Applewhite rose through the ranks of cheerleading)


And now, you may opine your ass off...

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