In sports, an athletes name is often linked to their success. As their careers grow and they receive assorted accolades, people begin to take notice. We sometimes identify greatness with these names. Names like Gretzky, Brady, Manning and Jordan all bring up thoughts of greatness and achievement. While these players have had great success over the course of their fantastic careers, could we as fans have taken them as seriously as we do now had their names been something else? Not some other run-of-the-mill sounding name either. What if Michael Jordan’s last name was Sharts? Or what if Tom Brady’s birth name was actually Dick Paradise? Could we as fans really look past the hilarity and focus solely on their individual careers?
This list contains a ton of athletes who had to go through their lives and careers with strange sounding monikers. Laughing at these does seem a little immature, but it’s all in good fun. You’ve got to think that at the very least, some of these poor souls got some grief from their fellow athletes when they were just starting out as professionals. A good amount of the athletes on this list aren’t household names. Some have had successful careers while others aren’t exactly well known. In fact the only thing that makes certain names on this list memorable is just that, their names. As an athlete you want your career and style of play to speak for itself, however that’s not always the case, especially if you’ve got a name that sounds like someone’s cursing out loud every time they say it.
15. Dean Windass
Seventeen years of playing professional soccer ended with a respectable career for former Hull City striker Dean Windass. Now he is British, so maybe it’s a little more common of a name across the pond but come on. The name makes you think of passing gas not soccer balls. The former Hull City star might have a humorous last name but don’t let that catch you off-guard. He’s one mean looking SOB. You can bet that there weren’t that many people who made fun of his name to his face and those that did were probably passing wind through somewhere else.
14. Destinee Hooker
Most of the names on this list must’ve caused these people a lot of grief during their adolescence and former Olympic volleyball player Destinee Hooker is no different. For starters Hooker is just an awful last name to have. Especially if you’re a girl. It opens up a ton of opportunities for people to make really bad and dated jokes. Then there’s her first name. In all due respect it kind of sounds like one of those generic stripper names, like Crystal or Brandy. Destinee Hooker could’ve been a character on Starsky and Hutch. Instead the real life Destinee Hooker that we’re talking about happens to be an Olympic silver medalist. Not bad at all.
13. Dick Trickle
And so it begins. One of the few hilarious names on this list beginning with “Dick.” It’s such an unfortunate name to have. Dick is of course short for Richard which never really made sense. You’d think Dick would be short for something like Dickson, not some name that’s completely out of left field like Richard. The two names don’t even sound like each other. Dick Trickle was a celebrated NASCAR driver whose career was filled with accomplishments and accolades, but you have to second guess his parents judgement on this one. If your last name’s Trickle, don’t give your son a name like Dick. They might not have seen the correlation between the two, but come on, anything’s better than Dick.
12. Dick Paradise
Dick Paradise didn’t have himself that memorable of a career. He played in 144 WHL games and didn’t really have that many years under his belt once he retired. However, if you so happen to pass by some old shoe box at a garage sale in your neighborhood and see a card with this man’s name and face on it buy it. Buy it, not because it’s a rare card or a collector’s item but because you might be the kind of immature twenty something year old man-child that still enjoys a thinly veiled double entendre every now and then. Talk about unfortunate names, this one takes the cake. Can you imagine growing up and having teachers call you during morning attendance with this gem of a moniker? Poor kid.
11. Andre Muff
Andre Muff is a former Swiss soccer player who played over ten years of pro soccer. Now this is another guy from a different side of the neighborhood, so you can’t be too sure how irregular his name sounded back home, but it sounds pretty damn funny over here where we’re standing. Now, of course, finding humor in this might seem incredibly juvenile. In fact that’s exactly what this entire list is about. Go on. Scroll down and try not to at least chuckle at some of the unbelievably dirty names that people actually had to wear on jerseys throughout their professional careers. It’s harder than you’d think.
10. Chubby Cox
A couple of things on this next athlete. One, he’s ironically tall and very skinny. Two, what in the hell were his parents thinking when they looked at their newborn kid’s face and decided “I think we should call him Chubby.” It’s so easy to laugh at that it almost takes the fun out of it completely. Chubby Cox was a basketball player who despite having had a four year career only appeared in seven games with the Washington Bullets in 1982-1983. Want to know something really fun about this guy? It turns out he’s Kobe Bryant’s uncle. Yup. That’s your random fact of the day.
9. Steve Sharts
Steve Sharts never became a household name. Which is a damn shame considering that every time he had a good or bad game, the only thing on peoples mind would be Sharts… Sharts had a small five year career in the minors but could never break to into the majors. It’s too bad that he couldn’t. Apart from the onslaught of Sharts merchandise that would’ve followed his success in the majors such as Sharts jerseys, hats and autographed memorabilia, there would’ve also been a ton of funny YouTube compilations of announcers calling out his name. Imagine he played football or soccer where the announcers really accentuate the names during scoring plays…
8. DeWanna Bonner
Less than two weeks ago, WNBA standout DeWanna Bonner set the league single-season free throw record with 59 straight. It’s quite the achievement. Sadly, this article isn’t one that focuses on these athletes’ achievements. There’s only one reason she’s on here and everyone knows why that is. This is one of those names that you’ve really got to look over a few times before you truly grasp its comedic value. Nah just kidding. It’s blatantly obvious as to why this makes people chuckle. Her first name itself isn’t really funny, but it’s her last name that seals it. Then combine the two and you’ve got a hilarious combination on your hands.
7. Ivana Mandic
Not much is known about this young athlete. She’s one of the rare few cases on this list that never made it into a major sports league. However, she will forever be remembered in our hearts for having a name similar to an old James Bond femme fatal. Ivanna Mandic played college hoops for Charlotte but never made it to the pros. But she still lives on in infamy on the internet for her incredibly unfortunate name. She, unlike most on this list, took notice and changed her name to Ivi once she transferred into Charlotte in 2002. But things have a way of coming back to haunt you. Especially on the web.
6. Rusty Kuntz
When reading through this list, be mindful of the large generation gap between you and some of these players. To you, Rusty Kuntz might sound somewhat dirty and perverse, but four decades ago, it would’ve sounded completely innocent. Let’s hope that’s the case, for his sake, because going through life with that name tag wouldn’t be too fun if it meant what it does today. Obviously we’re taking some liberties with the pronunciation of these names but who wouldn’t? It just rolls off the tongue that way,
5. Gaylord Silly
Gaylord is not a great name to give a kid. Gabriel, sure but not Gaylord. Unless this is the 1930s and gay means something completely different than what it means now, you’re giving your kid a name that will cause him to get teased. It shouldn’t be that way, but that’s unfortunately the way it is. Silly’s name came into public spotlight back in 2012 when he broke his countries 800m record at the World Indoor Athletics championship. It trended on Twitter and if you know anything about the internet, you know that people had a field day with this.
4. Kim Yoo Suk
Possibly the only name in all of organized sports that can make a chant sound like a taunt. Being an athlete, the last thing you want to hear is that you’re bad at what you do. But South Korean vaulter Kim Yoo Suk has to hear that ever time people call his name. This must not sound like a big deal in his native Korean, but if he ever picks up some English (maybe he has already), it’ll be pretty funny to see the look on his face once he hears the crowd screaming his name and he comes to the full realization as to what it means overseas.
3. Yoshie Takeshita
A former bronze medalist who played with the Japanese volleyball team at the Olympics, Yoshie Takeshita has had a nice professional career. That being said it’s hard to look over the fact that she’s got one of the dirtiest sounding names in all of sports. In her native Japan, the name probably doesn’t hold the same comedic value it does over here. It you really take the time to sound it out, you’ll know exactly why people thinks it sounds as dirty as it does. Kind of makes you think of those classic Bart Simpson prank calls.
2. Dick Felt
Alright this is it. The last “Dick” name on this list. While the other two were pretty funny, this one leaves very little to the imagination. Dick Felt was a defensive back for the Boston Patriots in the mid 1960s. Though his career was short lived, you can still find some of his football cards on the net. Again this was a different era, so you’ve got to wonder if it sounded then like it did now. It just leaves very little to the imagination, but it does the job. Quick punchline and good for a couple of laughs.
1. Tokyo Sexwale
Firstly, he’s not technically an athlete, but he works with FIFA so he makes the cut. The sheer randomness of this name is something to be appreciated. Putting aside the complete absurdity of a name like Sexwale, let’s first examine his first name. Who names their kid after a city? It’s so random. You hear of names like Montana and things to that degree but “Tokyo” just seems like an unnatural name. Then there’s his last name, Sexwale. Which brings you to question how those words combined together to make a person’s last name. It sounds like something you’d see in a really bad adult film.
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