You can pick your friends and what college you get to play sports for when you’re an athlete, but there are a couple of things you can’t choose. You certainly can’t pick who your parents are, and those parents are able to give you a weird name that sticks with you for your entire life.
If it’s your first name that’s weird, you can blame your parents. If it’s your last name that’s goofy, then you can blame your parents’ luck. If it’s a combination of the two, you can blame your parents for acting like children.
There have been some very unique names that have come through the sporting world, and many of them have made us giggle and crack jokes almost non-stop. If you want to relive some of the strangest names in sports history, you’re in luck. Just make sure to get your mind back in the gutter before diving into this list, because it’s a little childish.
So who are the athletes that have had the most unfortunate names in sports history? We found 20 that stood above the rest, with some of them still active in their sport today. From NASCAR and the WNBA to the NFL and MLB, pretty much every sport is covered. Here are the 20 weirdest names in sports history.
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20 Jordin Tootoo
Jordin Tootoo either gets jabs about his name because of either the fact that his last name sounds like flatulence, or the proper gear when you’re trying to do ballet. Either way, Tootoo has taken it all in stride during his 12-year NHL career. Tootoo has played with the Devils, Predators and Red Wings after he was the 98th overall pick in the 2001 NHL Draft. Just to show that even he can appreciate how great his name is, Tootoo once wore the number 22. Get it? Two-two? Alright, so it’s pretty lame.
19 Jim Bob Cooter
Think of the most prototypical Southern name that you possibly could, and it still might not stack up to the real name of Jim Bob Cooter. Cooter spent his college career at the University of Tennessee, where he was a redshirt during his freshman year. From there, Cooter only played a total of three games, serving more as a signal caller than anything. Cooter is only 30 years old now, and actually made the NFL...as a coach. Cooter is the quarterbacks coach for the Detroit Lions, because if anybody can connect with Matthew Stafford, it’s a guy named Jim Bob Cooter.
18 DeWanna Bonner
At 6-foot-4 and just 137 pounds, Bonner has incredibly long arms that served her well as a basketball player while with Auburn. Bonner quickly made the SEC All-Freshman team before being named the Conference Player of the Year during her senior season. Bonner was then drafted fifth overall in the 2009 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury, and she still plays with the team today. Just last season, Bonner took home her second NBA title as she averaged nearly a double-double every game. Still, the name can trip some people up in awkward situations.
17 Fair Hooker
Fair Hooker usually sounds like an oxymoron, or the synopsis of Pretty Woman. Hooker was a wide receiver from Los Angeles who was a standout in college with Arizona State in the late 1960s. In the fifth round of the 1969 NFL Draft, the Browns took a chance on the wideout Hooker, who played for five seasons with the team. Hooker didn’t make a big impact, but he at least had a job for a few seasons. Hooker ended his career with 129 receptions, 1,845 yards and eight touchdowns.
16 Steve Sharts
Steve Sharts was a big guy as a 6-foot-5 pitcher, so you probably wouldn’t make fun of his last name to his face. Sharts was drafted by the Phillies in the 17th round of the 1985 MLB Draft out of Cal State Northridge. Sharts never made it to the big leagues, as he spent six seasons in the minors with the Phillies organization. We’re not sure why Sharts quit baseball as he spent his last two seasons with the AAA team when he was just 24 and 25 years old. Sharts had a chance to get to the majors with a record of 31-23 but never did it.
15 Boof Bonser
You’re probably thinking, “there’s no way somebody actually named their kid Boof, right?” Technically, that would be right. Bonser was born as John Paul Bonser, and the definition of what a Boof is depends on who you ask. Bonser said that was his nickname ever since he was a little kid, so he stuck with it as his first name. Bonser spent four total seasons in the MLB (although he’s tried to stick around for longer). Bonser got off to a decent start with the Twins, but his career ended with a 19-25 record with a 5.18 earned run average. Bonser was last seen playing for the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions in China.
14 D’Brickashaw Ferguson
After attending the University of Virginia (where he was a first team All American in 2005), those that weren’t familiar with offensive line prospects said “D’Brickawho now?” when the Jets selected him fourth overall in the 2006 NFL Draft. Ferguson has been with the Jets ever since as their starting left tackle, even making it to three Pro Bowl teams (2009, 2010 and 2011). Ferguson is actually named for a fictional character from a 1977 book called “The Thorn Birds” and the main character Father Ralph De Bricassart. De Bricassart, D’Brickashaw, what’s the difference.
13 Longar Longar
Longar Longar, the basketball player so nice that they named him twice. Longar was born in Sudan and spend much of his childhood there before moving to Egypt. After a short stint there, the Longar family backed up and moved to Chicago in 1998, where one coach saw Longar’s height and convinced him to learn how to play basketball. Longar was good enough to the point where he played for Oklahoma. Longar didn’t get drafted into the league, but he did get some time in the NBA’s Developmental League where he spent three seasons before calling it a career.
12 Yourhighness Morgan
Yourhighness Morgan is the type of name that you would want if you want all of your teammates to think your pompous and arrogant. Morgan was a member of the Florida Atlantic football team, but was far from being a standout. Morgan started five games in his last season with the Owls when he was supposed to be coming back for me. Morgan’s career didn’t pan out the way that the Florida Atlantic coaching staff thought it would, but they still got themselves one of the best names in college football history when they recruited him out of Webster, Florida. It's crazy to think that Morgan's parents chose to forever refer to their son as 'Yourhighness'.
11 World B. Free
The man that was born as Lloyd B. Free didn’t think that it sounded quite cool enough or “World Peacy” so he changed it to World B. Free. Unlike a lot of the players on this list, World B. Free had a solid professional career where he spent 13 seasons in the NBA with Cleveland, Philadelphia, Golden State, San Diego (Clippers) and Houston. World B. Free made one All Star game in his career, and he averaged 20.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game over that span.
10 God Shammgod
God Shammgod just sounds like a product for a Bible cleaner, but it’s actually a basketball player that spent a whopping one season in the NBA. Shammgod played his college ball at Providence, where he was drafted in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets in the second round. The 21-year-old played just 20 games with the Washington squad and scored 60 points in the season. Shammgod then tried his hand at international ball with trips to Poland, China, Saudi Arabia, Croatia and Kuwait. For some reason, the Wizards have not decided to retire his number two jersey yet, but give it time.
9 Misty Hyman
Misty Hyman is a truly unfortunate name, but she has something that the rest of us with normal names don’t have...a gold medal. Hyman is an American swimmer that competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. It was there that she won the 200 meter butterfly gold medal, but failed to qualify for the 2004 games. Hyman almost made it to the 1996 Olympics as well, but finished just outside in two different events. These days, the Stanford graduate is working as a private swimming coach, probably for kids that try not to giggle at her name.
8 Dick Butkus
It’s odd that one of the best defensive players in football history had such an odd name. Perhaps he built up a lot of rage as a youngster and took it out on those that made fun of him on the field. Butkus attended the University of Illinois (he was from Chicago) and was happy to learn that he was drafted by his hometown Chicago Bears with the third overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft. Butkus was named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams throughout his career, and is in both the Pro and College Football Halls of Fame. Butkus is without a doubt the best athlete in their respective sport on this list.
7 Metta World Peace
There was a young man named Ron Artest that was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bulls back in 1999. Eventually, he seemed like he started to lose his mind a little bit and only lasted there for two seasons. Artest then spent the rest of his career with the Pacers, Kings, Rockets, Lakers and Knicks. While he was still with the Lakers, Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace for reasons that are still foggy to us today. World Peace was a one time All Star who averaged 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during his career.
6 Johnny Dickshot
Coming straight from the bustling metropolis of Waukegan, Illinois is Johnny Dickshot. Despite already having a hilarious name, his teammates decided to give him the nickname of “Ugly”. As if life couldn’t get any worse for the poor guy. Dickshot made it to the major leagues when he was 26 with the Pirates, but only played six seasons after serving the United States in World War II. Dickshot finished his modest career with a .276 batting average and just seven home runs, but his prime years were cut thanks to the war.
5 Rusty Kuntz
Rusty Kuntz isn’t exactly what you would have called a perennial All Star during his time in the MLB. Kuntz played for the White Sox, Twins and Tigers for a total of seven seasons, and rarely played more than half of a season’s worth of games as a backup outfielder. Kuntz finished his career with a batting average of just .236, hitting five home runs and 38 runs batted in. His coaching career has been better than his playing career, as he is currently a first base coach for the Kansas City Royals. At least he has a 1984 World Series ring.
4 God’sgift Achiuwa
If you’re mom really believes that you’re something special and she wants everyone else in the world to know about it, she might give you the name of God’sgift. Achiuwa never made it to the NBA, but the 6-foot-8 forward did play for two years with St. Johns. His first year saw him playing nearly 30 minutes a game, scoring nine points and bringing down 5.6 rebounds. In his only other year, however, Achiuwa was only able to see the court for nine minutes per game and scored just 2.5 points per game.
3 Milton Bradley
Milton Bradley was such a headcase on the baseball field and in the clubhouse, he almost made you forget that he had a ridiculous name. If you aren’t familiar, Milton Bradley is also the name of a toy company that the baseball player was given as his birth name. Bradley played for 12 seasons in the MLB, with his best days coming as a member of the Texas Rangers during his one all-star season. The Cubs then gave him a big contract in 2009, but only played for one year when he was shipped to Seattle. Bradley rubbed teammates the wrong way and even had one of the biggest blunders in baseball when he tossed a live ball into the stands thinking he nabbed the third out.
2 Chubby Cox
Chubby Cox was born as John Arthur Cox, but everyone knew him as Chubby. Cox attended Villanova for two years before transferring to San Francisco where he was a standout. Back when there were a ton of rounds in the NBA Draft, the Bulls took him 159th overall in the eighth round of the 1978 NBA Draft. Cox played just one season in the NBA, and that was with the 1983 Washington Bullets. His career ended with a whopping 29 points.
1 Dick Trickle
Dick Trickle had the hands down oddest name in all of sports when he was participating in NASCAR. As a short track racer, Trickle was one of the best, and dominated the state of Wisconsin. When it came to the big boys league of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, though, Trickle could never win the big one. Despite starting in over 300 races in the span of a quarter century, Trickle not only never won a race, but his best finish was third. Trickle with 15 trips to the top five. Trickle tragically took his own life in May of 2013 in North Carolina.
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