“Did you know you have the same name as a famous football player?”
It was a line I heard often from teachers growing up, the first time they saw my name on the attendance sheet. And yes. Yes, I did know. Mr. Outside. Heisman winner. Regrettably, I did not go on to continue the trend of Glenn Davises winning Heismans. And if you have the name “Glen(n) Davis,” it doesn’t end there. In addition to the Heisman winner, you’ve got the 1980s Astros first baseman. You’ve got the Olympic gold medalist (who also played some football).
And finally, you’ve got Big Baby, who has supplanted Mr. Outside as the “Wow, I just realized you had the same name as…” athlete of choice in recent years. Of course, given the one vs. two “n” situation, I don’t quite, but it’s close enough. (My friends had one hell of a time with this.) It’s a strange thing, sharing your name (and, alas, none of the talent) with all these sports personalities. “Glen(n) Davis” is just an oddly fertile name for the sports world, I guess. But it could be worse:
Sure, this gimmick has been done before, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable – especially for those of us who know that feel. I’ll be the first to admit, though, that being named “Glenn Davis” is nothing next to what the Michael Jordans of the world must deal with. Maybe the secret to escaping the constant comparisons is to add your middle initial into the mix, like the actor Michael B. Jordan (a.k.a. Wallace from The Wire and Vince Howard on Friday Night Lights). Seems like it’s working fine for him. And still, the comparisons. Always, the comparisons.