Last year, before the bowl, I really got into checking out which upcoming opponents had the best names.
This year, there was no real competition, since it was clear we'd be playing Texas Tech for a very long time. And let me say this: we are blessed. Texas Tech has a fantastic set of names, one the likes of which we rarely see in Big Ten country.
In writing these posts, generally, what I do is go to the school's athletic site, go to the roster, and open up a tab every time I see a name I think is good. In writing this post, I opened an unprecedented EIGHTEEN tabs. Estimating that the Red Raiders have a tad over 100 players on their roster, the fact that I find 18 of their names humorous is unbelievable. And I was being pretty lenient: I didn't even click on such seemingly great names as Lawrence Rumph, Tramain Swindall, Britton Barbee, Aundree Barr, or Tahrick Peak.
However, sadly, i had to narrow down those 18 names into five. It's a spectacular group: don't spoil it.
Honorable mentions: senior linebacker Bront Bird - It's a bird! It's a brontosaurus! It's a plane! It's a Bront Bird! -, senior linebacker Baron Batch - yes, the Baron of Batch himself! -, freshman defensive end Dartwan Bush, junior cornerback Jared Flannel - the fluffiest of opposing hipster cornerbacks -, freshman cornerback Urell Johnson - not a reat name, but it reminds me of pee - freshman wide receiver Nick Cheesman -The Cheeseman! -, sophomore offensive lineman Deveric Gallington - because he sounds like some sort of famous general or history professor but is clearly just an offensive lineman, and is possibly related to Devery Henderson -, sophomore defensive lineman Demetric Lee - what's your favorite system? Mines DEMETRIC SYSTEM -, senior wide receiver Detron Lewis - if he had added an L, he'd be Del tha Funkee Homosapien alter ego Deltron 3030, as it is, he's just able to say "what's your favorite current Jeff Bridges movie? MINE'S DETRON, BECAUSE I HATE THAT LITTLE GIRL IN TRUE GRIT" -, and junior cornerback Sawyer Vest, because his name makes no sense.
I'm not sure if it shines through in my writing, but, I'm very excited about these names. (If not, it will shine through in my lengthy descriptions of the players' names after the jump.)
JUMP! OR VOTE BEFORE THE JUMP BECAUSE IT DOESN'T ALLOW ME TO PUT A POLL EXCLUSIVELY AFTER THE JUMP!
No. 51, Cqulin Hubert: Sometimes a name just makes me look at the screen I'm reading and yell "WHAT?" I am at a loss for the words with the name "Cqulin". How does that happen? A hard "c" and the letter "q" make identical noises. Is it a shout-out to when fact-checkers write "CQ" next to an article they've checked? Was it supposed to be a girl named "Jacqueline" but then all of a sudden it turned out to be a boy so the parents in question just yelled out "CRAP, TAKE OUT THE "JA" AND BOTH E'S AND IT WILL BE A BOY'S NAME TRUST ME". How, how on earth do I pronounce that? "Cue-lin?" "Koolin?" "Ca-queue-lin?" "Ka-kaw-lin?" "Cthulu?" All I know is that someday, the apocalypse will happen. And most humans will die. But some, some will survive, and most will never know what "society" as we call it is, living alone, fighting amongst animals to survive, perhaps never encountering other humans in their entire lives. Some, however, will live in dystopian societies not unlike the one portrayed in "Mad Max". In this society, one of the most common names will be "Cqulin", and nobody will think otherwise or write blogs about how weird it is.
Cqulin is a freshman, who, rather than redshirting, has taken the backup middle linebacker spot, where he has played in eight games, recording 18 tackles.
No. 45, Kramer Fyfe: I'm not sure why people continue naming their child Kramer. First, like pretty much everything else int he world, it reminds me of Seinfeld. Secondly, it reminds me of racism, kind of like everything else in the world, come to think of it. Thirdly, it reminds me of that movie about people getting divorced. Fourthly, it's not a real first name, much like "fourthly" isn't a word. Fyfe also isn't a real last name. It's a misspelling of an annoying wind instrument used to get troops in the Revolutionary War marching at the same pace that nobody has played since 1873 unless they were getting paid slightly above minimum wage to dance in front of tourists at Colonial Williamsburg, the theme park least likely to get your six-year-old excited about having you as a parent. It's kind of like how naming your kid "Kramer Fyfe" will make your kid, you know, not excited about having you as a parent.
Cosmo is a freshman kicker who is busy redshirting. While not playing, Fyfe has spent his time coming up with harebrained scheme for his enterprise, Kramerica Industries.
No. 95, Pearlie Graves: Pearlie's name isn't so much funny as it is poetic and beautiful. The adjective "pearly" is most often used to describe somebody's sparkling white teeth. Here, it is being used to describe a grave, perhaps a tombstone fashioned out of alabaster, quite the opposite of a Colgate smile. Some might say it's a morbid juxtaposition - gleaming shine with death - I prefer to look on Pearlie's name as an optimistic tip of the cap to the fates, an acknowledgment that although we all must die, there's no reason we can't find beauty in death - and in doing so, find the beauty in life.. Either way, if the football thing doesn't work out, Pearlie will easily find work as a character actor in Western flicks thanks to his name. Much like "Kramer" and "Cqulin", Pearlie is also not a real name.
Pearlie is a redshirt freshman nose tackle who took advantage of weak play by others at the spot this season by notching two sacks in his career debut against Colorado - he's held on to the starting spot ever since the next week's game, racking up 4.5 tackles-for-loss in his six game career. He'll start at nose tackle against Northwestern.
No. 65, LaAdrian Waddle: The obvious humor is that a 322-pound man is named "Waddle". Because he's huge, and the things that waddle are penguins and fat people. (Although LaAdrian is 6-foot-6, so his height gives him some opportunity to be slender.) However, I think it's really important to acknowledge that LaAdrian's first name is a testament to the power of capitalization. Without the concept of capital letters in first names, his name is Laadrian: a weird double vowel thing going on, most likely pronounced "Laydrian". But with that capital A, it's clear: it's Adrian with a "La" in front of it. Thanks, shift key, so that we can forever yell "Yo, LaAdrian!" without confusion.
LaA is a sophomore who has held down the starting left tackle spot since his freshman season. He earned all-conference honorable mention this season, and will get the start Saturday.
and my vote for the name of the bowl season...
No. 36, Nubian Peak: BOOM!
This is one of the best names I've ever come across, in my opinion. Nubia, of course, is the region along the Nile river in Northern Sudan that used to trade with Egypt and whatnot in ancient times. A person from Nubia is a Nubian. The region is best known it is best known for 1980's hip-hop group Brand Nubian, who were not from Nubia. (The region is also best known because the area was known to the Greeks by the name "Kush", which is now something people call certain types of weed.) Nubian Peak's name, amazingly, therefore, refers to a mountain in Africa. Most likely, his name could be interpreted as referring to a mountain in the Nuba range in Central Sudan. It could also refer to a fat, tall, African dude. Sadly, Nubian himself is 5-foot-11 and from Virginia, so, he himself is not a Nubian Peak, you know, even though, like, HIS NAME IS NUBIAN PEAK.
Nubian sat out this season thanks to NCAA transfer rules. He had been a wide receiver redshirting at Virginia Tech, but transferred to Texas Tech when his younger brother, freshman linebacker Tahrick Peak, committed to Texas Tech - also, in the hopes of getting more playing time and switching back to his original position of running back.
A truly great name field. However, if you support excellence in the field of naming, there's only one clear option: Nubian Peak is far and away the most creatiive and wondrous name I've seen in a while. However, I urge you to vote with your hearts.