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NFL Teammates With Same Last Name


BlueSky

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If this has been discussed I don't recall seeing it, and I have no idea why it took me so long to notice it either. With that said, does the NFL no longer require first initials on the nameplate if multiple players on the same team have the same last name? The Saints have 3 guys named Thomas (CB Fred, DT Hollis, and RB Pierre) and as you can see in this pic from last week's Saints-Falcons game, Pierre has no initial in front of his name. I can't recall if Hollis and Fred had initials in that game.

thomas.jpg

Watching yesterday's game with the 49ers, SF has two guys not only with the same last name but the same first name as well (WR/KR Michael Lewis and a DB with the same name). I'm going to take another look at the tape but am pretty certain the WR/KR (the former Saints' "Beer Man" BTW) only had LEWIS on his jersey and I think the same is true for the DB.

Has the rule changed?

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Hasn't been required for a couple years now.

Makes sense to me - I am of the opinion that the FOUR SETS OF HUGE, HONKING NUMBERS are sufficient to tell players apart. The name on the back is confirmation only.

EDIT: I gladly stand corrected. Thanks, BRice16.

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Wow, that surprises me, especially given all the thrashing around that teams used to do when 2 guys had the same first initial. For instance, here are the 2004 Saints at Lambeau. At the time they had a WR named Ahmad Brooks so they crammed Aaron Brooks' whole name onto his nameplate.

HuddleUp-1.jpg

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And let me say, maybe never is incorrect, but it's been at least since '96. A guy that I know with the Titans told me several years ago when they had a guy with FNOB (thanks UniWatch), that it was allowed but not required, and that he thought it looked completely ridiculous with the full name and that the initial was even unecessary. He had been with the team since they moved to TN after the 96 season, but had been an intern with the Falcons before that, so I at least know the non-rule has gone back that far.

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It is no longer allowed to have anything but the last name on the jerseys. I believe some players are grandfathered in however.

As was said, it was never required.

Again, I never understood the first initial, first 2 initials or the first 2 letters. How is the giant 12" number below the name not enough to distinguish 2 Thomas' from each other?

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Agreed. Of all the things that bother me about unis, this might be my biggest pet peeve. A first name or the first two letters always look ridiculous when you have a system in place to determine who's who, namely the aforementioned number that is three or four times the size of the lettering.

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I could see if two players play the same position, but yeah having the number printed four times on the jersey should be enough to tell them apart that an initial isn't needed. Look at the Patriots - two Bradys and they don't need to put a T or K because any idiot should be able to tell Tom Brady (QB) from Kyle Brady (TE).

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I could see if two players play the same position, but yeah having the number printed four times on the jersey should be enough to tell them apart that an initial isn't needed. Look at the Patriots - two Bradys and they don't need to put a T or K because any idiot should be able to tell Tom Brady (QB) from Kyle Brady (TE).

Funny that you mention the two Bradys (Tom and Kyle) because their teammate Troy Brown, used to have T. Brown on his jersey when Chad Brown was with the team in 2005. In fact, from 1993-1995, there was Troy, Corwin, and Vincent Brown on the Pats, and each had the first initial on their jerseys.

Sticking with the same topic, Lamont Warren played for the Pats in '99, and he insisted on "L.WARREN", even though there was no other fellow by the name "Warren" on the team that year.

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I could see if two players play the same position, but yeah having the number printed four times on the jersey should be enough to tell them apart that an initial isn't needed. Look at the Patriots - two Bradys and they don't need to put a T or K because any idiot should be able to tell Tom Brady (QB) from Kyle Brady (TE).

Funny that you mention the two Bradys (Tom and Kyle) because their teammate Troy Brown, used to have T. Brown on his jersey when Chad Brown was with the team in 2005. In fact, from 1993-1995, there was Troy, Corwin, and Vincent Brown on the Pats, and each had the first initial on their jerseys.

Sticking with the same topic, Lamont Warren played for the Pats in '99, and he insisted on "L.WARREN", even though there was no other fellow by the name "Warren" on the team that year.

I think they made the exception for Tom Brady because of merchandise sales. They'd have to produce entirely new jerseys and discount the already made "BRADY 12" jerseys which would be waaaay too much work.

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You kidding me? Any opportunity to sell more jerseys. If anything, that's an argument against them keeping such a rule, not eliminating it.

Except that, as has been pointed out, the initials have been optional for over a decade (if they were ever actually required in the first place).

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Not NFL, but for the past two previous seasons, BYU's first and second string QBs had the last name Beck. On top of that, the starter was John and the backup was Jason (no relation). I would have been fine with giving them both "BECK" or even "J. BECK," but no, the equipment people made sure to issue a #12 "JO. BECK" and a #7 "JA. BECK." It was really annoying.

20061119000405_beckallenjube.jpg

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I'm in the agreement that the numbers are enough to distinguish players from each other, but I do think that it is still somewhat unique and cool to stand out a little bit by having your first initial on the back of your uniform. Still, numbers are enough to tell players apart. Anyway, the only time this instance made any bit of sense to me was when the Browns had Andre' Davis and Andra Davis.

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I'm in the agreement that the numbers are enough to distinguish players from each other, but I do think that it is still somewhat unique and cool to stand out a little bit by having your first initial on the back of your uniform.

Now we get into the philosophical realm.

For my own part, I don't think the uniform is the place to "stand out a little bit." Exactly the opposite - I think the uniform is where you put your ego aside and join something that is bigger than you are: a team.

You stand out a little bit by your play on the field. Do your job every time, make the play every time. That's the appropriate outlet for self-promotion.

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