Friday, January 25, 2008

Would You Name Your Baby "Eli"?

Let's start with this: I really like the baby name "Eli." I guess I would say I like it, even though -- as a sports fan -- the immediate association is to "Eli Manning."

Now, would you name your kid Eli after Eli Manning, the Giants QB? Hard to say.

Would you name your kid Eli after Eli Manning, the Ole Miss QB? (Just check the birth records in the mid-90s in Tennessee for babies named "Peyton.) Feels like college fans are willing to make that leap more than pro fans. (Though I wonder how many babies in Wisconsin are named "Brett" every year.)

OK: But would you name your kid Eli after Eli Manning, the high school QB?

That's what this guy did
. It's definitely unconventional, but if you were ever going to promote that, this would be your week. Not sure how that kid had dealt with things during Eli's first few pro seasons (particularly the draft-day debacle of demands), but it's a good week to be an "Eli."

Question: Do you know anyone who has named their kid specifically after an athlete?

This isn't the same as having a kid's name coincidentally be the same as an athlete (i.e., Gabe is NOT named for Gabe Kapler, though I appreciate connection to something as novel as a Jewish baseball player. I also have a fond spot for someone like NBA rookie Gabe Pruitt, simply because he shares a name with my son.).

But the question is: Do you know anyone who (or did YOU) name your kid specifically after an athlete? Would love to hear the stories. Send in a comment.

-- D.S.

18 comments:

Brian said...

Eli Mannings's proper first name is Elisha. I could never do that to my son.

Besides his girl-ish though, I can't ever see naming my kid after an athlete, I would rather name them after a family member who I respected and had a direct impact on my life.

Your Humble Correspondent said...

I have a ten-month old son named Zambrano, for Carlos Zambrano.

My wife and I had been discussing names, and I suggested Shawon, for my favorite Cub, Shawon Dunston. Well, my wife doesn't like Shawon, Sean, Shaun, etc., and suggested "Dunston." This reminded me of a dumb monkey-Jason Alexander movie, Dunston Checks In, and I said no. I kiddingly suggested Zambrano, for Carlos Zambrano, a favorite of both of us, and my wife almost immediately said yes, and soon we had the boy's name.

We caught some grief, but also got to meet Big Z, and the picture was made a part of our Xmas card.

We hope to make it an annual event.

Brian said...

I wanted to name my son Brett, but my wife wouldn't go for it (I am a huge Packers fan in Michigan). We ended up deciding to name him Curtis while watching a Tigers game (Curtis Granderson).

Guy Davis said...

Good pick. The name Eli is popular in the Northeast US as well as parts of Europe.

A said...

My brother-in-law/sister-in-law have 4 kids, 3 of which are named after athletes. Their daughter is named Jordan, and their 2 sons are named Peyton and Tyson. My sister-in-law refused to name their youngest son after an athlete.

Tom said...

I'm from Boston. I'm lobbying to name my first born "Ramirez" *but* not after Manny-being-Manny, only so people think he's named after Manny. (the Mrs. won't go for it - but she's a cubs fan, so maybe I can play the Aramis card.)

I just really like the name. (It's got a "z" in it.)

It only works if the name is distinctive. How many Boston kids were named Ted (Williams) or David (Ortiz) or Bobby(Orr) and no one ever realized it's because their dad had season tickets at the old Boston Garden?

Names to consider have to be Peyton, Eli (I guess), Cadillac, LaMarcus, Mario, Tiger...or last names like Gretzky, Jordan, or... Simms.

Or Ramirez.
-t

kristi w said...

One of my good friends growing up was named Bart after Bart Starr.

If you are going to name your kid after anyone famous, it behooves you to use someone who's career is already finished (e.g. dead or retired), so there are no surprises!

Sean said...

my cousin: http://www.newsandtribune.com/family/cnhinsfamily_story_150232416.html

nathan said...

A guy at work (and his wife) decided to name their kid Payton (after Walter) before they even knew the sex. They're big Chicago sport fans and they like the way Payton sounded for either a boy or a girl. Turns out that they had a boy and I believe he has one of the coolest names in Chicago.

Johnny B said...

Back in 1982, I named my firstborn son Britt Burns Jones, after the White Sox pitcher back then. I had said that I'd name him after the best Sox SP, and he was the guy. I probably wouldn't have named him after Steve Trout, Richard Dotson or Ross Baumgarten though...

The biggest problem with naming him that has been people wanting to call him "Brett" or "Brent". I didn't realize how uncommon that name was at the time...

Tdubs23 said...

I named my first born son Payton after legendary Chicago Bears RB Walter Payton. (Yes, I'm a diehard bear fan). My wife didn't go for Halas, Ditka, McMahon, or Butkus!

Bacon said...

Wife and I are currently in negotiations about that now. She loves the name "Emmitt", but growing up in Dallas in the 90's, I automatically think of Emmitt Smith of course. She is starting to prefer the spelling Emmett, but still, when you hear the name I think of #22. I am struggling with being "that guy" who names his kid after an athlete.

amr said...

I have a eight-year-old (or so) cousin named Kirby, 100% after Mr. Puckett, my Uncle's favorite player ever. I'm sure there was a compromise involved with his wife, like "you get to name him Kirby if you agree we have no more" as they were both married in their late 30s and she already had a kid.

"Harmon" was a top-five name for my son, only partially after Killebrew. We settled on "Henry" which could be 5% after Hank Aaron and 0.2% after Henry Blanco.

Kirk said...

Hey Dan --

We named our son Brady because, well, we really liked the name. However, since this happened, many people assumed we named him after Tom Brady, which, of course, we didn't. The side note to this story is that, at one point, it was a reasonable expectation that the Vikings would draft Brady Quinn. My wife (Packer fan) said that, if that happened, we would not be able to name him Brady because her family would be very unhappy. So I guess that would have been quite the opposite of what you suggested.

One side note, I do have a high school friend whose first name is Nolan and middle name is Ryan. That's not a coincidence.

Mark said...

I threw out Patrick or Tillman for middle names, but mom didn't go for it, and in the final analysis there were other names I liked better as well. Although I never knew Pat Tillman, I was a student at ASU at the same time as he was, we're the same age, I saw pretty much every game he ever played in a Sun Devil uniform, and I was absolutely devastated when he died. I don't call athletes "heroes" anymore because it seems so cheap compared to what he did. There have been other players I loved more for their on-field exploits, and I never in a million years thought of using their names.

Heck, it's so dangerous nowadays with the way so many athletes get into trouble or switch/scorn teams or fanbases that you don't want your kid stuck with a name of a guy that is cool for a 4-5 year period but suddenly he gets tossed in jail or signs a contract with a hated rival. There are probably kids in New England born in 1988-1992 named "Roger" and they've gotta make up a new story for their name now, cause uhhh...yeah.

Brew City Legend said...

I only have a little girl, Perla Jade. She's not named after an athlete. However, if I ever have a boy, his mother would have no say in his name. Since I was 14, I've wanted the name to be Cade (first name) Daniel (second name). Cade not as in Cade McNown (that would be quite the curse for my son), but just because I thought it was a cool name. Secondly, Dan, after "the man" Marino.

James said...

I'm not married, nor will I ever find a woman to allow me to name our first daughter Gattison Bieniemy, which I would like too. I'm not a huge fan of Kenny Gattison or Eric Bieniemy, but I think it sounds like a good name and is a decent twist on all the Madison's and Addison's running around...

Jennifer said...

WEll I am due in June and naming on BC Elijah and calling him Eli Elisha is girly