As the NFL lock out ended, I thought my head would start to hurt less. But there's this guy now that everybody keeps talking about who has a name I can't stop obsessing about: Nnamdi Asomugha. I keep hearing Nombie Assumwua on ESPN talk shows. "Nassunwhat?" I asked myself to no avail. Are we talking about a person, a type of Indian food, an African nation, a Japanese theatre, paleontology? With NFL free agents now flying all over America to teams other than the ones they were on two days ago, I can't keep track of that madness even if I sported Adam Shefter's Blackberry. My mind is absorbed and fixed on Nombie. The rest of the estimated 556 players are of distant importance to me. Curious beyond reason, I checked on him. Here's how you spell his name: Nnamdi Asomugha. OK, that's fine and confusing pretty much. Sounds like Nombie Assamuga but the world is pronouncing it Assumwua. This can't be the first time someone has mispronounced his name, so I've got to believe Nomdie is cool with it.
He's no doubt also chillin' because he's supposedly the best, or second best, cornerback in the league and teams are waving tens of millions of dollars in his face as I waste this time blogging. As far as Nombie is concerned, I bet they can all call him Festus for all he cares. But how come nothing about the NFL can be more straightforward these days? A complicated lock out, free agency in an unprecented pell mell state, Roger Goddell taking his vacation with his billions, I can't handle it. As I've said in recent and previous blogs cancel the season. Just have a 60 minute documentary on Nombie's life with 45 minutes dedicated to the origin of his name and how to pronounce it. Then be done with it. No Super Bowl. No Fox robot man. Toast.
Nombie Pombie's name made me think of the same distress I've felt the past few years attempting to get my head around another NFL star's name and spelling. The player is, of course, the Detroit Lions All Pro defense lineman, Ndamukong Su. The Su part is easy. Any fourth grader could pronounce it without leaping out of their chairs in astonishment. But that first name has Nombie characteristics, Nombie tint. Isn't it remarkable that his first name, like Nombie's, begins with the letter N. Is the purpose of the letter N to create unpronounceable first names? I can just imagine: Want to really send them reeling, some parents say to themselves when deciding to name their children? Just start their first name with the letter N and you are halfway there. Su's first name has "Kong" in it which is actually pretty mainstream if you remember King Kong or Dave Kingman, a whiff and home run kind with the Mets back in the day.
But the Nd at the beginning of Su's first name really throws me. It's pronounced something like Endomikong, sort of like engender and endanger. But there is no E at the beginning, just an N, and that doesn't engender me to him.
Checking over the list of 556 free agents, I note some others with oddball names: Hamza Abdullah (safety for the Cardinals); Chinedum Ndukwe (safety with the Bungles)--there's that Nd thing again--make it stop, please; Sabby Piscatelli (safety with the Browns).
Notice any patterns? It seems defense is the land of wierd names. I know what you're thinking--but what about Benjarvus Green-Ellis, runningback for the Patriots? Ok fair point but at least his name doesn't begin with an Nd. Defensive guys own that. Maybe they changed their names in college because they thought Nd would intimidate quarterbacks. And your next question would no doubt be "what about another current free agent, Patrick Bailey? He's a linebacker with the Titans--a defensive player--and his name is mainstream, right out of Hollywood's central casting and the American heartland?"
You may have a point, but I Ndunno.