Friday, November 18, 2011

The Name Game

New Cubs manager Dale Sveum's surname is pronounced "swame," rhyming with 'name.'

It occurs to me that there have been a host of athletes' names through the years that do not have the most common pronunciations, and yet sports fans don't give them much thought.

MLB
Craig Biggio - "bih-zhee-oh"
Kiki Cuyler - "kye-kye kye-ler"
Johnny Evers - "ee-verz"
Mark Grudzielanek - "grud-zih-lah-neck"
Derek Jeter - "jee-ter" (NBA player Pooh Jeter pronounces his surname "jeh-ter")
Sandy Koufax - "koh-fax"
Stan Musial - "myew-zee-uhl" (or "myew-zhul")
Mike Piazza - "pee-ah-tza"
Albert Pujols - "poo-holes"
Gary/Ron Roenicke - "reh-nickey"
Red Schoendienst - "shane-deenst"
Jim Thome - "toh-may" (although "toh-me" is also acceptable)
Joe Torre - "tohr-ee"
Carl Yastrzemski - "yuh-strem-skee"

NBA
Kobe Bryant - "koh-bee"
Antawn Jamison - "an-twan"
Dirk Nowitzki - "noh-vitz-kee"
Shaquille O'Neal - "shuh-keel"
Kiki Vandeweghe - "van-deh-way"
Dwyane Wade - "dwayne"

And, lastly:

NFL
Brett Favre - "farv"

All right, who'd I miss?

2 comments:

Bryan said...

An oldie, but a goodie:
http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/therundown/2008/07/espn_list_baseball_players_names_pronunciation.php

Jesse Goldberg-Strassler said...

That's brilliant stuff. I've heard Mike Emrick does the same for the NHL. One of the most important things a person, particularly a broadcaster, can do to avoid looking ignorant -- pronounce someone else's name right.