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Contest of Names

John Rentoul

percy 300x192 Contest of NamesThe Super Bowl was the most exciting one-sided game I have seen for a long time. Possibly this was because my team – you know, the one I have been supporting for two weeks now – won, despite having been the underdogs.

The game started unexpectedly, with the nervous Denver Broncos making a mistake on the first play, which cost them two points, and from which they never recovered. But the Seattle Seahawks played well, especially on defense, which we connoisseurs affect to savour more than the more obvious attractions of offense.

Marshawn Lynch had a good game and once again shook hands with his team mates when he scored, a retro touch that could be reintroduced into association football.

His is a good example of one of the side delights of American football: the anthropology of working-class African American names. The variations on Sean and Shawn are legion: as well as Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks had DeShawn Shead, while the Broncos had a plain Shaun Phillips as well as the wonderful Knowshon Moreno, whose first name is pronounced No-Shawn.

The Broncos roster of names included:

Demaryius Thomas
Zane Beadles
Trindon Holliday
Quanterus Smith
Paris Lenon
Lerentee McCray
Marquice Cole
Quentin Jammer
Quinton Carter
Britton Colquitt

While the Seahawks fielded:

Golden Tate
Tarvaris Jackson
Christine Michael
Lemuel Jeanpierre
O’Brien Schofield
Tharold Simon

But the one I liked the most was Percy Harvin (pictured), who ran a kick-off back for a touchdown. It is not often that we British come across a Percy outside the pages of JK Rowling.

Photograph: Getty

Previously in this series on the NFL and names.

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  • Ciaron Goggins

    Dear John, I advise you to seek professional help. If not then make your way to the nearest channel port. Good luck.

  • greggf

    “The Broncos roster of names included…….”

    Is there a spoonerism hidden here somewhere…..?

  • http://www.heroesfitness.co.uk/ spencer

    The SuperBowl 2014 was a great game and excellent to see the minnows win easily, sportsmanship needs to be re-introduced in to association football for sure

  • Pingback: New Crop of Names | John Rentoul | Independent Eagle Eye Blogs


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