I am here to address the most important sports story of our time: What player names are complete sentences?
This all started when, in previewing several breakout candidates for the upcoming 2019 NFL season, our own Stephen White referenced D.K. Metcalf while profiling David Moore.
D.K. Metcalf is a full sentence, albeit a crude one. It might work more as a picture caption than in prose, but it also got me to thinking about what other sports names are complete sentences. I’ve split these into categories, starting with where Metcalf fits best, since he started this idea in my broken brain.
This might be stretching the concept of a complete sentence, but several names work as picture captions, like Herm Winningham, D.K. Metcalf, Adam Eaton, Mookie Betts, Stefon Diggs, or Chris Mills.
Imagine a picture of a certain Braves pitcher working the griddle, with the caption “Max Fried.”
Your quiet friend finally opens his mouth: Breeland Speaks!
At the family reunion when picking teams, Adam Gotsis.
Keep it simple
Many are simple commands, like Aaron Judge, Justin Smoak, Andrew Knapp, Paul Fry (or Jace Fry, or Channing Frye), Joe Panik, Erik Swoope, Logan Cooke, Michael Gallup, or Tyler Wade. Think of these names with a comma in between the first and last names. They work better as sentences that way.
Ideally, the command fits the objective of the sport. So when the call from San Francisco’s dugout is “Brandon Belt,” the batter knows exactly what to do.
When the Nationals’ manager calls down to the bullpen and says, “Sean Doolittle,” Washington’s closer knows he has the night off.
Such mandates might be difficult to satisfy. We could tell Joe Biagini all day, but unless he gains the ability to grant wishes or fit inside a bottle it won’t do us any good.
Others are patriotic, such as the November decree to a particular Giants catcher: Stephen Vogt.
She needs the code to get into the building. Wyatt Teller.
We need more suckers for this Ponzi scheme. She looks like a rube. James Conner.
A television talking head said something dumb to get viewers and clicks? Tarell Basham
When you send your younger sibling to get a closer look at the hidden Christmas gifts: Charone Peake.
After you tell your buddy a joke: JK Scott.
Sorry for interrupting you, sir. Kerryon Johnson.
Some orders are expressly followed, like during the 2018 World Cup when Denmark fulfilled its goal to Ty France, the eventual tournament champions.
When you need your group to get favorable treatment from a teacher or boss, you might designate a particular person to get it done: Ryan Succop.
If you want to pass down your love of real estate to your kid: Courtland Sutton.
Ricky Seals-Jones sounds ominous for poor Jones.
Sometimes in a spelling bee you get flustered by a difficult word like pendeloque, then your opponent has an easy one when the proctor says, “Omari Spellman.”
These are more fun if you imagine a loincloth-wearing barbarian beating their chest as they say them. Crude, yet still effective:
- Tyrod Taylor
- Richard Lovelady
- Bob Waterfield
Phillip Gaines is descriptive, but doesn’t tell the entire story. Whom did he gain on, and to what end?
Derrick Favors but we don’t know exactly what. Does he favor strawberry over chocolate, Coca-Cola over Pepsi, the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich over Chick-fil-A?
Sammie Coates is close, but we need to know what exactly he coat(e)s. Perhaps his house with a fresh coat of paint. Patrick Scales also works in this vein.
We could say “Mike Love” but wouldn’t it be nice if we had just a little more information?
Baker Mayfield what, exactly? Possibly a playoff team in Cleveland, but the name alone isn’t quite enough to drive that point home.
Detrez Newsome almost works, too. I just wish his name told us whom or what he knew.
Others answer specific questions
Will someone pick up dinner on the way home? Trevor May, or Dustin May.
What does a videographer do immediately after getting a new camera? Phil Maton.
You might not think some of these constitute actual sentences, but Hunter Wood, and Alex Wood. Christian Wood, too.
Saving the best for last
Just like Vanessa Williams taught us.
Larry Fitzgerald will end up in the Hall of Fame once he finally retires, after a wonderful career that will have earned him over $160 million, at least. He won’t have to work another day in his life. But let’s say he has a passion for tailoring, and has a friend named Gerald who likes to wear custom-fitted clothes.
This is the perfect match, as far as I’m concerned. But if Ryan Fitzpatrick chooses this path, I’m certainly not going to stop him.