Today's GSNHOF readers get a little double whammy name action, as I felt it appropriate to nominate Craphonso today. Why, do you ask? Well, today he was cut by the Tennessee Titans, and I figured the guy could use a little ego boost on such a day (and what better ego boost is there than knowing that your name is one of the truly great sports names of all time?)
Craphonso Ja'won Thorpe originally grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, where he, like Fair Hooker before him, was a football and track star. Football became his calling, however, and after several years at Florida State (including a senior year where he was first team all ACC), he was drafted in round 4 of the 2005 Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
And that's when things got crappy for Craphonso. His first year was almost entirely practice squad based with no real game time. His second year included shoulder issues, being cut by the Chiefs and a tryout with the Dolphins, as well as an 8 day practice squad stint with the Texans and a sign and release by the Detroit Lions. Not the best of times when you're being cut by the Texans and Lions.
But things turned around in 2007, Craphonso's third year in the league. The Indianapolis Colts, in need of a return man and another reciever following injuries to Anthony Gonzalez and Marvin Harrison, signed Thorpe on October 7th. That day versus the Buccaneers he finally made his NFL debut, returning kickoffs and punts. About a month later, on November 11th, Craphonso played a major role (thanks to injuries) in a loss to the Chargers, where he caught 5 passes for 41 yards. A week later he caught another pass, and it looked like Thorpe was making a name for himself a bit.
However, the only other time Thorpe saw was in the season finale where he caught a pass from Jim Sorgi (it was the Colts season finale, so of course Jim Sorgi was playing). Thorpe was then inactive for the playoffs, and was waived at season's end. Thorpe then was a Jaguar for 16 days, a Giant for a little over two summer months, and finally signed with the Titans this January, which of course ended recently.
So Thorpe is once again a free agent, and I have to say I feel bad. I remember playing a lot of Madden when he was a Chief, because I would often pick teams with him as the kick returner because he fit the standard mold of Madden Excellence: He was really fast (I believe speed rating 94) and he had an awesome/fun to say name.
So hang in there Craphonso. The Titans may not want you (I blame offseason additions Nate Washington and return specialist Mark Jones personally), but they can't take your 94 speed or excellent name away from you. Best of luck on ballot four of the GSNHOF!
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.