After the events of two Sundays ago (of which we will not speak), football isn’t exactly the first thing on our mind. Unless an outcome where both participants can lose and be banned from the NFL is added in the next few days, the Super Bowl doesn’t really seem worth watching either. Though we’re fine setting pigskin aside until late August, we couldn’t help but watch the third and latest installment of Key & Peele‘s “East/West Bowl” videos, which draws hyperbolic attention to the increasingly uncommon names making their way into professional sports. This particular piece also features cameos from Green Bay Packers players Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and even “A.A. Ron Rodgers” himself.
While acknowledging many of the new names filtering into the league is a result of football become more popular throughout the world (which is unquestionably great for the sport), as well as the distinctly-American phenomenon of parents intentionally naming their kids something weird so little Aiyden and Cayleigh can been seen as individuals, a Packers roster once brimming with guys with boring ass names like Tony Fisher, Nate Wayne, Robert Brooks, and Mike Prior has now become a little more eclectic. Milwaukee Record doesn’t have the film nor fake mustache budget to make our own East/West Bowl tribute, but we do spend a shitload of time on Pro-Football-Reference. After scanning dozens of old Green Bay rosters, here’s who we’d expect Key & Peele to feature on an all-Packers rendition of the popular sketch.
Quarterback – Carlyle Holiday
Technically, he was a receiver and only served as the emergency quarterback, but Holiday’s name sounds like the placeholder for the villain in the script for a B sports movie that was never changed to something better.
Backfield – Samkon Gado and Kregg Lumpkin
Though both were short-tenured Packers reserve running backs, both Gado and Lumpkin are unquestionable first-teamers in this specific name-based all-star team. The latter (somehow pronounced “Greg”) conjures imagery of Eddie Murphy in a fat suit, playing 20 roles in a 1990s blockbuster. The former was a joy to watch fill in after a wave of RB injuries in 2005 and 2006, and even more of a joy yo say. True story: I own a Samkon Gado replica jersey.
Tight End – Bubba Franks
Is it the ALDI brand jumbo hotdog knockoff or Brett Favre’s preferred redzone target?
Wide Receiver – Clyde Goodnight, Wuert Engelmann Jr., Sterling Sharpe
With all due respect to Sanjay Beach, these three wideoutsall have slightly more unusual names. Clyde Goodnight is the best receiver since Dusty Haveaniceday. German much, Wuert? Sterling Sharpe sounds like a shady home photography business.
Offensive Line – Fuzzy Thurston, Buckets Goldenberg, Zud Schammel, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Marshall Newhouse
Marshall Newhouse seems like a name that’s better fit for a top-tier brand of store-bought cookies than something to call a human. However, let’s look past that one, the increasingly common hyphenated last name, and the two nicknames of yore, and focus on Zud Schammel. The 1937 OG (and DE) was legally named Francis, but went with “Zud” for some reason. To any extra-terrestrial lifeforms out there named Zud, I mean no offense. Praise be to your Zud. (Please don’t enslave all of humanity over this!)
Kicker – Curly Lambeau
Had he not been a marvelous coach, brilliant player (who occasionally kicked) and the deserving namesake of a the most iconic stadium in all of sports, we’d be geeking out about the guy named “Curly Lambeau” while reading about Packers history.
Secondary – Atari Bigby, Bhawoh Jue, Chris Banjo, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Abysmal Packers corner Bhawoh Jue hails from Liberia, hence the name that’s not often seen in America. Amazingly, Atari Bigby is the actual legal name of the hard-hitting mid-’00s strong safety. Sega Dreamcast Bigby just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Chris Banjo is reminiscent of that ’80s and ’90s sitcom trope where a person makes up a fake name by looking around the room. “Sure, I’m the new music teacher here. The name’s Chris. Chris…er, uh…BANJO! Yeah. Chris Banjo.” Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is the strangest collection of syllables in Packers history.
Defensive Line – R-Kal Truluck, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Chukie Nwokorie, Cletidus Hunt
The 2003 and 2004 Packers D-lines were a handful for quarterbacks and a mouthful for fans. R-Kal Truluck employed the all-too-rare first name hyphen. As the DE’s star grew, all nine syllables of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila surely forced at least one racist-ass sportscaster from the old guard into retirement. Cletidus Hunt just screams the American south (down to misspelling Cletus). If you can believe it, Chukie Nwokorie is actually a refreshing nickname for Chijoka Obinna Nwokorie. Esera Tuaolo, with a name composed entirely of one-point Scrabble letters, deserves honorable mention.
Linebackers – Brady Poppinga, Dezman Moses, Na’il Diggs
Na’il Diggs (along with Jue) was also a part of those early- and mid-‘aughts Packers defenses until he sc’rewed the team by signing with the Panthers in 2006. Dezman Moses seems like a badass in the King James Bible.
Punter – Bucky Scribner
Scribner would be a good alternative to saying someone shanked a punt.
With close to 100 years of rosters, we surely missed at least a few strange names. Vic So’oto just missed the cut, and a few too many liberties were taken with the nickname Taco Wallace to warrant inclusion. Who are some others you feel deserve enshrinement in this very specific and undeniably stupid list?