Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Late to This, But...: "Tressel Hayes?!"

I'm late to this story, but about that Ohio State couple that named their kid "Tressel Hayes..."

Now, back when my wife was pregnant, Florida was making its (first) run through the NCAA Tournament, and my Morning Quickie chat audience thought it would be really funny if we named the kid "Joakim." Some of the more realistic participants put the far more reasonable (but no less fanatically driven) "Noah."

Now, "Noah" would have been a great name. "Noah Shanoff": Terrific name. If "N" was one of the first-name first-letters we were considering, I'm positive that "Noah" would have been a serious contender. And, yes, everyone would have thought that I named my kid after Joakim Noah, even though it's just a great name (and a huge -- huuuuge -- coincidence).

But at least "Noah" is a real first name. "Tressel," while an homage, is not a first name; it's a parental indulgence. I try to be "live and let live" when it comes to parents' fandom -- including baby names -- but that seems a bit much of a tribute.

There is an incredibly wide range of names out there for kids. This one seems like it was inflicted, rather than given. I'm not sure how I feel about the athlete tribute. After all, how do you think the guy in Buffalo named "Orenthal James" has felt the last 10 years?

Baby names should be important to the parents -- Gabe is named for his maternal grandmother, whose name started with a "G" -- and I'm not disputing that sports names can be significant enough to a parent to qualify. But this is a tough one.

What happens when the kid wants to upgrade for college and go to Michigan over Ohio State? (Actually, that would be a pretty good gimmick for admission to Michigan: "Help!") But, somehow, I think his parents won't let him even THINK about applying to Michigan.

I guess the good news is that as long as he wants to stay in Columbus the rest of his life, drinks are on the house.

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