Friday, September 25, 2015

Great Sports Name Hall of Fame Nominee - Yancey Thigpen

Yancey Thigpen is underrated.  Not just for his play, but also for his name.  Dude's first name is Yancey.  YANCEY!  That is awesome.  Thigpen works for well with it, and then to top things off, the guy's middle name is Dirk.

Yancey.  Dirk.  Thigpen.

That is one hell of an awesome name.  He even went by cool nicknames in his career like "Meatball" and "Phil."  Yup...Phil.

Thigpen is also underrated in NFL minds though, as he had a pretty solid career, albeit with a very short peak.  He was a 4th round pick out of tiny Winston-Salem State by the Chargers, and only got into 4 games in his rookie year.  He then moved to the Steelers, and spent two years as a special teamer before breaking out in 1994 with 36 catches for 546 yards in only 6 starts.  The next three years featured two Pro Bowl, 1,300 yard years with an IR year in between, and Thigpen was able to parlay those stats (plus a Super Bowl touchdown against Deion Sanders) into the then highest contract in WR history with the Tennessee Oilers - Five years, $21 million.  Thigpen's final three years with the Oilers/Titans saw him hampered by injury, so he never shone quite as bright as in his Steelers years, but he did help the 1999 Titans get to the Super Bowl, which was no small feat.

All things told, Thigpen did a lot with his career for a guy who came out of such a small school and barely saw an NFL lineup during his first three years in the league.  His persistence and fight allowed to him to eventually succeed in the NFL, and here's the hoping that his name rises as meteorically in the next round of balloting here at 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.


  1. Good choice! "Yancy" also reminds me of Futurama and Fry's brother from one of the show's best episodes.

  2. There was also an NBA basketball player named Justus Thigpen. And his son, same name, was a good player for Iowa State.

    Wonder if they're related to Yancey?