The National Football League is an institution built upon a foundation of violence and intimidation. Throughout the long and storied history of the league, men with fearsome names like Deacon Jones and Dexter Manley have been bringing all of the pain that their intense monikers and equally intense play called for.
But hey, we can’t all be blessed with a sweet name like current NFL players Bear Woods or Captain Munnerlyn. Just because you have a lame or even hilarious name doesn’t mean you can’t deliver the hits with the best of them. It just means we’ll laugh a little bit every time you do it.
Here are the 20 least intimidating names in the NFL today…
20. Shareece Wright – DB – San Diego Chargers
Is it any wonder this kid had to fight off a resisting arrest charge just to stay on the field at USC? If you were a dude born with a lady’s name you’d probably raise a little hell off the field too. There’s even a famous Johnny Cash song about that very situation.
That’s not to say Shareece Wright reminds us of a Johnny Cash song or anything. The chances of that happening flew out the window when we realized he shares a first name with an adorable Filipino pop star, even if the spelling is different.
19. Will Smith – DE – New Orleans Saints
This would be much higher on the list if it wasn’t a name that likely strikes fear in the hearts of any alien life form that hears it.
That said, sharing a name with the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is just a bad look for a defensive end, so Will Smith makes the list, barely.
18. Chris Crocker – DB – Cincinnati Bengals
How can you not sympathize with Chris Crocker? For his entire upbringing, he coasted through life without ever having to hear the belittling words of those who might choose to demean a person because they have a funny name (like us).
But then, one day, someone posted a video on YouTube in defense of Britney Spears, and that all changed. It’s like that no-talent ass clown from Office Space all over again.
17. Tyler Clutts – RB – Cleveland Browns
The fact that Tyler Clutts is actually named Tyler Clutts is enough to warrant his inclusion on this list. But the fact that he’s also a running back, a position that calls for klutziness like the job of heart surgeon calls for being stricken with Parkinson’s Disease, gives the name an extra touch of irony that we truly do appeciate.
16. Buster Skrine – DB – Cleveland Browns
Buster Skrine? But we haven’t even seen her skrine yet!
Thank you, that joke comes courtesy of this article’s official sponsor, the year 1833.
15. William Gay – DB – Pittsburgh Steelers
Oh, real mature, laugh at a guy just because his name is William Gay. You know, when you use that word in the way that you’re thinking, it really does…
STOP LAUGHING GODDAMMIT!
14. Ikaika Alama-Francis – DE – Miami Dolphins
So close with this one. The first name is fine, probably even quite awesome when it’s outfitted with all of the clicks and pops and vocal inflections required to pronounce it correctly. The second half of that last name is touchy, but still passable enough that it wouldn’t raise the eyebrows of anyone who happens to be poring over the Miami Dolphins preseason roster looking for funny names (like us).
But it’s that middle name that earns Ikaika Alama-Francis a spot on this list. If you have any place in your heart at all for the adorable animals of the world, you can’t possibly be intimidated when you hear someone say “Alama,” because it sounds like llama, and llamas are absolutely adorable.
Of course, this whole premise is blown to hell if we’re screwing that pronunciation up, which is ridiculously probable. But still, look at these damn things!
13. Kyle Jolly – T – Pittsburgh Steelers
We’re guessing you don’t need us to explain why this name makes the list, but just in case, we’ll do it anyway.
So, let’s get on with it…what the hell kind of name is Kyle? That’s not intimidating at all, are we right?!?!?!
12. Swayze Waters – K – Pittsburgh Steelers
Well, it’s not scary, so it deserves to be on the list, but don’t think for a second that it means we find this name to be anything less than amazing. Swayze Waters? Are you kidding? Not only does he have Patrick Swayze’s name right in his name like some kind of reminder that the Lord put us here to be awesome, but his last name is Waters, so it reminds us of Point Break. And Point Break, ladies and gentleman, is an undeniable Swayze classic.
But this guy is just a kicker. Way to phone it in, Waters.
11. Ed Wang – T – Buffalo Bills
We’ve never been in the trenches, so to speak, but we suspect a healthy amount of trash talking goes on between opposing linemen during a typical NFL game. Talking shit can be an important component of an athlete’s game if they learn to use it to get inside their competitor’s head and gain the upper hand.
Now, what kind of shit can you talk when your last name is Wang? What can you possibly say that won’t result in the object of your barbs reminding you, for what must be the eleventeenhundredth time, that your last name is penis? It’s best to just keep your mouth shut, you know?
10. Mister Alexander – LB – Houston Texans
Imagine the fun you could have with a name like this. Like when your daughter brings home her first boyfriend, and he awkwardly approaches and goes to shake your hand and says “Good to meet you, sir” and then you’re like “Hey, so formal, don’t call me sir!” and then he calms down a bit and starts to loosen up so you look him right in his punk face and say “Call. Me. Mister.” and then he gets all nervous and shit and your job is done because you’re a dad who lays down the law.
And then he bangs your daughter in the parking lot of the Burger King across the street from the laundromat on 46th Street an hour later.
9. Scooter Berry – DE – Houston Texans
What the hell is it with people who somehow earn the nickname “Scooter” that makes them decide to replace their real name and just start answering to that corny nickname at all times?
Fortunately, we don’t think that’s what is happening here. Rather, this kid’s name might actually be Scooter. And you know what? That’s a hell of a lot worse.
8. Shelley Smith – G – Houston Texans
We’ve already seen one remarkably feminine name on this list already, but that doesn’t mean we can leave a gem like Shelley Smith out of the action. Just out of curiosity, is that the accepted “male” spelling of Shelley? You know, like Aaron and Erin?
7. Erin Henderson – LB – Minnesota Vikings
Why? If you wanted a girl but got strapped with a boy instead, you should’ve just done the responsible thing and flee the state, leaving the child in the care of your nearest fire station (ideally).
But you can’t just have a boy and name him Erin. Aaron is fine. Aron is even fine despite looking kind of retarded and misspelled. It certainly makes us wonder what’s going on with Erin Henderson’s brother and teammate E.J. Henderson. Is it short for Evelyn Jean? We need answers.
6. Frostee Rucker – DE – Cincinnati Bengals
Is the name Frostee Rucker intimidating? No. It’s the exact opposite of that, but only because we’re talking football. If we’re talking pimping, it’s the greatest name of all-time.
5. Landon Cox – WR – Cincinnati Bengals
Fact: Cox is the funniest last name ever, bar none. Okay, maybe “Koch” comes close but only when it’s pronounced like “cock” and even then it doesn’t count because Cox is just the plural form of Koch. For real, look it up.
But it’s the first name that guaranteed a spot for Landon Cox on this list, because it magically transforms what’s already a funny name into the upper stratosphere of comedy. Just for fun, the next time someone asks you what you’re doing this weekend, tell them you’re “Landon Cox.” Don’t worry, they’ll get it.
4. C.J. Ah You – DE – St. Louis Rams
This name scores some points for being remarkably clever, but when your last name is the customary expression to use when you realize that the person walking through the shadows of your darkened home is just your spouse and not an ax wielding lunatic, it makes the top five of this list with no problem.
3. Tysson Poots – WR – Dallas Cowboys
You can’t hardly argue that a name like Tyson doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of man. But luckily for us, this guy adds a superfluous “s” to the spelling of his name, thereby separating him from the menacing boxer he sort of shares a name with. That, and the fact that his last name is Poots. Go ahead, say it out loud a few times. Try not to giggle a little bit.
When you combine that name with the fact that Tysson Poots is a white Wide Receiver, what you have is quite possibly the least threatening player in all the league.
2. Ashlee Palmer – LB – Detroit Lions
At last count, the staff of The Smoking Jacket knows a cumulative total of 14 different women named Ashlee Palmer. And they’re all better linebackers than this guy.
1. Guy Whimper – T – Jacksonville Jaguars
Sometimes, words just aren’t even necessary. This is every gigantic biker dude who everyone calls “Mouse” because it’s funny and ironic, except this dude is named Guy Whimper for real.
But he’s also 6’5″ and 302 pounds, so he probably doesn’t get asked about it much, unless it’s by some anonymous jerk sitting behind the safety of a computer screen (like us).