Saturday, 21 February 2015


I have stated before that I am a big fan of names, in particular the names of sporting stars. I love the fact that there is a 'Tiger' in golf, a 'Rafa' in tennis and a 'Lightening' Bolt in sprinting. Their names are money in the bank right from the start of their careers. So what of the 'less fortunate' named stars ?
I mean no disrespect to those sporting stars who have names that are, well, not so marketable but perhaps their earning capacity may be slightly less than the rest. I have mentioned in an earlier chapter that  Australian tennis does in fact have a John Smith, sorry, John-Patrick Smith,  'Smithy' playing the circuit. 
Only the land of Oz could come up with a sporting star who goes by the name of John Smith, we are unique here Down Under. 'Smithy' just played singles and doubles in Delray Beach.
Now speaking of Delray, have a look at the last 4 left in the Mens singles Draw and tell me if you see a bit of a pattern here. Let's start with Adrian and Ivo in the top half followed by Donald and Bernard in the bottom half.
Ok Ivo is a name that could pass as a sports star but what of the others ?
Adrian is from France so why is he called Adrian ? Why isn't he called Jean-Pierre ? Donald is American and I suppose 'Don' for short is the usual way of saying his name as is 'Bernie' for short as the preferred way of saying Bernard.
Interesting isn't it the way we shorten names ?
Like the famous Irish/Australian Comedian Jimeoin once said. 'Someone asked if they could call me 'Jimmy' for short. I said sure but you aren't going to save a lot of time by doing so'.
So to Delray and some new names in the semi finals is a breath of fresh air for tennis and it's also a chance for a 'Don', a 'Bernie', an Adrian or an Ivo to get their name on the list of champions at a fantastic beach side tennis tournament. It makes a change from the 'usual suspects' such as Rafa, Novak, Roger and Andy.
It could be a tournament won by some 'house hold' names and by that I mean names of simple everyday people that aren't likened to the sporting elite. Personally I am hoping Bob and Mike win the doubles and either Donald or Bernie win the singles.
I do realize that the Bryan brothers have won every doubles tournament under the sun but isn't it just great that their parents called them those names ?? These two were destined to become bus drivers with those names but they have bucked the trend, in a big way.
It will be a win for the everyday man, the Postman, the garbage guy, the Insurance guru or the parcel delivery driver. This is at last a tournament that may just produce a champion who hasn't been blessed like the 'Tiger' or the 'Rafa'  but who own the necessary skills to still be respected.
We can't choose our own names, we have our folks to blame for that so let's embrace these 'ordinary' named stars if they do happen to get over the line this weekend. It's a win for the refrigerator mechanic and it's a win for the lawn mower man.
These everyday, 'commonly named' people weren't blessed with 'Rock Star' names but they work just as hard, perhaps for a few less dollars than a sporting star.......

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