Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Don't look at me--I didn't name them!

A little tribute to those poor unfortunate athletes of the past whose parents had a sense of humor (or didn't, depending on one's point of view).

I'll start you off with a few oddballs:
  • Blenda Gay:  Former NFL defensive back, mostly with Washington and Philadelphia.  His first name was pronounced "Blen-DAY".  Don't ask me why...
  • Boobie Clark:  Former Cincinnati Bengals running back.  Not sure if he was a "Bubble-headed" Boobie or not.
  • Icky Woods:  Another former Cincinnati Bengals running back, who temporarily created a national sensation with his "Icky Shuffle" touchdown celebration dance a few years ago, and may well have been the inspiration for the Genesis song "I Can't Dance".
  • Parris Duffus:  Well-traveled minor-league hockey goalie, whose last name we tended to rhyme with "Rufus"...
  • Bombo Rivera:  Former Major League journeyman player, mostly with Montreal and Minnesota, but had a brief stint with our Royals in 1982.  No relation to Geraldo...
  • Dit Clapper:  Hall of Fame Boston Bruins' hockey defenseman born Aubrey Victor Clapper.  I have no clue where the "Dit" came from...
Then we have a small concubine faction:
  • Fair Hooker:  Former Cleveland Browns defensive back. Why anyone would name their child after a mediocre prostitute is beyond me!
  • Levern Tart:  Journeyman basketball player who played in the old ABA.  His nickname was "Jelly", naturally.
And let's not forget the female anatomy division:
  • Rusty Kuntz:  Former Major Leaguer/current K.C. Royals first base coach.  Yes, I know his last name is pronounced "COONCE", but somehow, us adolescents just can't resist making it rhyme with "runts'.
  • I.M. Hipp:  Former Nebraska University star running back, who had a brief career in the NFL.  I never have heard what the "I.M." stood for, but he sho was Hipp, wasn't he?
  • Marion Butts:  Former San Diego Chargers running back who often kicked butt.
  • Homer Bush:   Journeyman Major Leaguer.  No relation to Dubya or Jed, but you'd think he might've been with a name like that.
And lastly, the male anatomy division:
  • Dick Trickle:  Former NASCAR driver whom ESPN's Dan Patrick always took great pains to inform his audience where D.T. finished each week.
  • Dick Lines:  Former Major League pitcher, mostly with the Red Sox in the '60s. No comment needed here.
  • Dick Pole:  Former Major League pitcher with a career record of 25-37, with one save in the Major Leagues, but somehow, that qualifies him to now be a pitching coachgo figure!  Meantime, he bears the one name in sports which is GUARANTEED to elicit a chuckle from me each and every time I hear it uttered!
  • Pete LaCock:  Former Major League 1st baseman, mostly with the Cubs and Royals, and son of one Pierre LaCock, Sr., better known to the world as original "Hollywood Squares" host Peter Marshall.
  • Peter Ing:  Professional hockey player, last seen with the Toronto Maple Leafs (Leaves?).  I prefer to pronounce his name all as one"Petering"!

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