Ranking the top-10 names in Illini athletics

By Kevin McCarthy

I have one of the coolest names of all time — Kevin O’Brien McCarthy. And at 6-foot-3, I stand as the world’s tallest leprechaun.

I don’t want to be a braggart, but I will admit my apostrophe-privilege. Five capital letters, an apostrophe and a floating ‘c’ make for a truly extraordinary name.

This week I’m going to write about a largely insignificant — but incredibly interesting topic. I’ll be analyzing the top 10 names in University of Illinois athletics.

You might ask, “What gives you the authority to speak on this matter, Mr. McCarthy?”

Since I am the world’s foremost authority on all matters — and this is a matter — I think the answer to this question is clear. Moreover, I may or may not have a doctorate from the University of Oxford in onomastics — the study of the history and origin of proper names.

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I don’t. But, I wanted you all to know what onomastics were.

Now that I’ve made my expertise in this area abundantly clear, let’s take a look at the best names in Fighting Illini athletics.

10. Twinkle Mehta, Women’s Track and Field

Mehta was bound to be a star. This is a fantastic name, especially for a runner. Her name is Twinkle, which is what gold medals tend to do — which is what she is literally running for.

She might have gotten her fair share of “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” jabs on the playground in first grade, but it was worth it — now she’s a Division I athlete.

9. Jannelle Flaws, Soccer

Flaws doesn’t have many of her last name in her game. Read that sentence again — it makes more sense the second time around.

Illinois’ all-time leading goal scorer has one of the scariest right legs in the Big Ten. Don’t sleep on her left foot either — the striker can score with either leg. Fans hit their feet whenever the ball is on her foot. Great name, too.

8. Reagan Robishaw, Soccer

Beyond it’s obvious alliterative-flare, I also appreciate her parents presumed love for the former President. I don’t want to get too political — mostly because I know that most of the campus disagrees with me. I’ll just say this: I have a Ronald Reagan poster hanging up in my room.

Was this a biased choice? Absolutely.

7. Breanna Wonderly, Softball

No explanation necessary. This is a wonderful name.

6. Tyson Bull, Men’s Gymnastics

If your last name has to be an animal, Bull is a pretty damn good one. Tyson Pig? Frog? Anteater? Aardvark? Grizzly Bear? Hippopotamus? They just don’t have the same ring.

I’ll leave you with this, “What does the bull say?” Food for thought.

5. Bing Singhsumalee, Women’s Golf

If you’re going to have the first name of a major search engine, Bing is the best you can have. No one wants to be called a Yahoo and Google isn’t ideal either.

However, Bing is perfect for a golfer. It’s the very sound a driver makes when you stripe a ball down the middle of the fairway. It’s like a basketball player being named Swoosh — it’s the perfect onomatopoeia. Second figure of speech reference, check.

4. Tim McCarthy, Men’s Track and Field

He’s got the best last name in the world, what else can I say? Would it be better if his first name was Kevin? Probably. But, I’m also not looking for somebody to try to steal my thunder.

Overall, this kid was blessed by a beautiful name. If I ever get to meet him, I hope we can share a Sheppard’s pie and a Guinness while discussing how cool it is to have a floating letter in your name.

3. Alex Gold, Men’s Track and Field

This last name is impeccable. This young man was bound to be a successful athlete. Each time he races, his very motivation is written across his back. Golden name.

2. Chunky Clements, Football

Clements is a 290-pound defensive lineman for the Fighting Illini. Can you think of a better name than Chunky for a 290-pounder? That’s brilliant.

The bottom line is this: I’m not messing with anybody named Chunky. I’m just staying out of his way all together.

1. Justin Spring, Men’s Gymnastics

The Illini head coach won four NCAA titles when he wore the orange and blue during his college days. He also added an olympic bronze medal to his trophy case in 2008.

I’m no gymnastics expert, but it seems that gymnasts tend to spring off of things quite often.

Justin Spring is a lucky guy. If his ancestors had chosen a different season for their last name, he wouldn’t have been so lucky. Justin Fall? That’s a bad omen. He would’ve been absolutely screwed.? 

Closing thoughts

The parents of each of these people are freaking awesome.

As Beyonce once said, “say my name.” I’ll give Beyonce credit, she’s got herself a cool name tag too. Almost as good as mine.

You’re probably wondering what I plan to name my children, considering my expertise. Good question.

I’ve got bigger things to worry about for now, though. First, I have to find a dashing young lady who wants to marry me and have children that look like me. That’s a tall order.

Once I get that all figured out, I’ll get back to you guys.

Kevin is a sophomore in Media.?

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