If football games were decided on the basis of playersâ€™ names instead of points scored, Iâ€™d hand the Super Bowl victory to The New York Giants and their quarterback Eli Manning. Eli is on the rise, reaching #65 in 2010 before considering boys named Elijah, Elias, Elliot, and Elliott who might answer to Eli, too.
Brady, on the other hand, was boosted by long-time New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, plus Mirandaâ€™s adorable red-haired son on Sex and the City. But the football star has had a long career, and Mirandaâ€™s kiddo is growing up in infrequent movie sequels. The stylish Irish surname is fading, falling to #125 in 2010.
Weâ€™ll have to wait and see. For now, here are this weekâ€™s nine newsiest names:
Lucas â€“ The players who faced off in Super Bowl XLVI had quite the bunch of names: Thereâ€™s Ramses, Zak, Rocky, Bear, Niko, Nate, Tiquan, and Lousaka, to say nothing of Chad Ochocinco. But if youâ€™ve just delivered a bouncing baby boy on game day and want a subtle connection for your sonâ€™s name? Consider Lucas. In an age of corporate naming rights, few fields offer possibilities for a childâ€™s name. Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Indianapolis Colts, is the exception.
Indiana â€“ Thereâ€™s also the name of the state where the game will be played. XLVI marks the very first Super Bowl to come to Indiana. The state is also a gender neutral option popular with actors â€“ Casey Affleck has a son named Indiana August, while Ethan Hawke called his daughter Indiana. The â€“ana ending makes it wearable for girls, while Harrison Fordâ€™s adventurous archeologist keeps it masculine, too.
Emmett â€“ This name still brings to mind NFL Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith, but it makes the list this week as a birth announcement from journalist and Parents.com blogger Jill Cordes, mom to Fia Lily. Emmett Redmond was almost Simon or Liam or another L-name. But once he arrived, they chucked their list and started over again. Congratulations!
Madelyn â€“ Thereâ€™s asking for suggestions via social media, and then thereâ€™s turning the matter over to the anonymous many who voted in one coupleâ€™s Facebook poll. The parents made good with their promise to choose the top name. Madelyn beat out Emily, McKenna, and Addilynne, and so Madelyn Rae she is!
Astala â€“ For every couple struggling to settle on a name, there are those who work it out well in advance. Count Peaches Geldof and fiancĂ© Thomas Cohen among the latter. Their son isnâ€™t due until April but theyâ€™ve settled on Astala Dylan Willow. The mom-to-be described their ideal name as â€śunusual but not ridiculous.â€ť Iâ€™m not entirely certain they hit that mark.
Martin â€“ Post-Super Bowl, weâ€™ll all be ready for the debut of new television series. Hereâ€™s one to watch: Kiefer Sutherlandâ€™s new show Touch. He plays Martin, a character I suspect will be thoroughly admirable. Will it help Martin shake off some of his fustiness in favor of a certain Dean Martin retro cool? Or better still, will we simply recognize him as an enduring classic as worthy of consideration as, say, Jack?
Walter â€“ Another leading man in a new debut wears a once-dated, now-prime-for-revival name: Walter, as in The Finderâ€™s Walter Sherman. The Bones spin-off is rich with intriguing monikers, like Willa Monday. Is it any surprise that a television writer and producer called Hart Hanson knows something about naming a character?
Meg â€“ Speaking of writing, did you know that celebrated young adult science fiction novel A Wrinkle in TimeÂ has just turned fifty? Heroine Meg Murry remains ageless â€“ a shy girl with a talent for math and more bravery than many of us could muster in our teens – the forerunner of Hermione Granger. While her full name is Margaret, sheâ€™s the kind of figure that makes a brief, three-letter name feel complete.
Tom â€“ Speaking of three-letter names, letâ€™s head back to the gridiron for just a minute. While Brady is fading, could Tom stage a comeback? Â Thomas has never fallen out of the US Top 100, but heâ€™s far less common that was once true. But Tom â€“ just Tom â€“ is in the French Top Twenty, and heâ€™d be right at home with Max and Gus today.
Heard any interesting names lately?