He’s got the hat and the name


STETSON BENNETT with a victory cigar after Georgia won a national title (Wikipedia).

As a word guy, I couldn’t be more pleased when the Los Angeles Rams drafted Stetson Bennett, who quarterbacked Georgia to two college football titles.

His on-field credentials are impressive: his record with the Bulldogs was 29-3 (second in SEC history) and he passed for 4,000 yards in his senior year (first in Georgia history). He, as a rookie, will be the backup to Matthew Stafford as the Rams’ QB.

You can’t have those kinds of trophies without having a lot of skills, but what intrigues me about the man named after the hat is, well, his name.

Often, it seems, great quarterbacks have great names. Joe Montana went to the Hall of Fame with a name that resembles that of a character in a John Ford movie.  How about Johnny Unitas? As in Johnny Unite-Us?

The greatest Ram name belonged to Roman Gabriel, which sounds like a combination of a conquering classical general and one of God’s archangels, for those of you who weren’t paying attention in Sunday School or in CCD classes.

And it’s not just quarterbacks, either. Seattle had an outstanding fullback named Mack Strong. He wasn’t a great ball-carrier – he rushed for 909 yards in 14 years for the Seahawks – but he could block like a tank because he, was, you know, Strong.

Need someone to lay down the law? Lawyer Milloy was one of 15 players in NFL history, with more than 20 sacks and 20 interceptions in his career.

A cool name doesn’t guarantee success. Colt McCoy, who sounds like he was named after a 1950s TV western, was 10-23 in 33 NFL starts and threw almost as many interceptions as touchdowns.

But a cool name may get you noticed. And a cool name may help give you confidence.

And the announcers will love it. When Stetson comes onto the field in the fourth quarter, the play-by-play guy will say, “OK, Stetson is holstering up his pistols and climbing onto his pinto to see if he can save the day.”

There are worse ways to get attention.

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