It's kind of funny, because he could have used a whole lot of Ben-Gay to get over the pain and suffering of a lifetime.
Ben Gay, the football player, is a story of hope to sadness to hope to middling NFL career. He had a great high school career in Texas and then moved on to Baylor for college, hoping to continue his play as "The Legend." However, his girlfriend said she was pregnant during his first semester, which caused him to miss a lot of class driving back and forth to help her. And then when it was born she said it wasn't his, and that absolutely broke the man. Gay couldn't get it together, was kicked off Baylor's team the following season for many violations, and ended up transferring to Garden City Community College in Kansas. Things got worse and worse, Gay ended up having a concussion and failing out of school, and he began to sell cocaine and drink heavily. Not a happy story.
But a barroom brawl and a pregnant girlfriend seemingly changed Gay for the better. Working in a nursing home and being a Dad made him realize his priorities, and though he botched a tryout with the CFL Edmonton Eskimos in 1999 but got lucky (especially after questionably firing his agent) when the Browns signed him to a free agent deal in July of 2001. And he finally got his attempt at NFL glory, which he didn't really achieve since he was mostly a kick returner and saw garbage time due to his inconsistent play and wandering mind. Think of him as the 2005 Elijah Dukes of Football, less troublesome but equally frustrating in how he threw away his talent. And so the Browns cut him at season's end. He signed on with the Colts for a few weeks but they cut him long before cutdowns were even mandated because of his off field issues. Since then he's played a little more CFL and otherwise vanished.
Gay supposedly had so much talent, with coaches comparing him to everyone from Michael Jordan to Walter Payton (after he gained his first NFL yards the Browns put a stat on screen saying how far he was from Payton's rushing record). But raw talent isn't always easy to harness, and so Gay never became the football great that he could have been. But just by existing, and being nominated to the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame, he could become the great name we all know he is.
To see the best sports names of all time, visit the Truly Great Names page.
To see some good sports names that were voted out, visit the Good Names page.
To see the current voting ballot, visit the Ballot page.