How to Pronounce NFL’s Toughest Names

Is it just me or does it seems like athlete’s names are getting harder to pronounce each year? Sometimes it even hurts my brain to look at the jumble of letters and decipher how  to pronounce them. Well that all ends here. I’ve put together an NFL pronunciation guide for the hardest names in football. Now, you can impress your friends with your ability correctly say the name of any player that you want. Without further ado, here’s how to pronounce some of the toughest names in the league:

Arizona Cardinals:

Hamza Abdullah (Ham-za ab-duh-LA)

Kenny Iwebema (ee-WEB-uh-muh)

Deuce Lutui ( luh-TOO-ee)

Pago Togafau (PONG-oh TONG-uh-fow)

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Cushing Blames ‘Overtrained Athlete Syndrome’ for Positve Test

Has Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing been using steroids since high school?  Of course not.  He insists he hasn’t, so we have to believe him, right?  At first I was skeptical, but now we’ve got a medical diagnosis that supports Cushing’s denial.  The former USC star trains so hard for such an extended period of time that he’s become a product of “overtrained athlete suyndrome,” which supposedly spikes an athlete’s hCG levels and causes a testosterone imbalance.  Cushing tested positive for increased levels of hCG back in May, resulting in a four-game suspension:

Everything points to that overtrained athlete syndrome,” Cushing said, walking back to the Texans’ locker room after their afternoon practice. “I’m pretty sure it is. I’m pretty positive. I didn’t take anything. It’s not a tainted supplement. So all roads lead to that.”

Does it get any more lame than this?  I don’t think anyone has to go further than reading the name of the syndrome before wanting to laugh.  I bet members of the AP will buy this excuse, but I certainly don’t.  It’s funny how we’ve never heard of such a thing with any other player who’s tested positive for a steroid-related substance.

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Emmitt Smith Cried During HOF Speech

For all the awful moments Emmitt Smith had as a football analyst at ESPN, he erased much of it with his moving speech on Saturday evening in Canton. Expected to deliver the longest speech during the induction ceremony and hog the spotlight, Emmitt stole the show — in a good way.

Speaking last of the seven accomplished Hall of Famers from the 2010 class, Emmitt was just that in his speech — total class. He explained how he dreamed of playing for the Dallas Cowboys at the age of six, how he wrote down a list of goals he hoped to accomplish in the NFL, and he wound up making good on all of it with hard work and dedication. While Emmitt did talk about himself, he spent most of his time at the podium recognizing and thanking others. He talked about his family, his teammates, and his coaches.

Emmitt spent time thanking the other members of the triplets (Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman), all of his offensive lineman, and his lead blocker, Daryl Moose Johnston. In fact, Emmitt broke down while thanking Moose in what was the most emotional moment of the entire night. Here’s the Emmitt Smith crying video from his Hall of Fame enshrinement speech:

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Tim Tebow Gets the Friar Tuck Haircut

We’ve already established that Tim Tebow was a certified pad carrier when it came to NFL rookie hazing, but now we know he also takes whatever they do to him like a champ. Giving rookies jacked up haircuts has become quite the trend amongst hazing rituals, and nothing compares to what the Jaguars did to their rookies. But as we found out via Sports by Brooks through LenDale White’s twitter account, messed up haircuts are the best when they’re administered to star players. Check out a picture of Tim Tebow’s new haircut from the rookie hazing:

Well, if there was one benefit from the Broncos signing LenDale White, this was it. He just earned his pay.

Friar Tebow: Denver Rookie Gets Haircut Hazing [Sports by Brooks]
LenDale White on Twitter

Tim Tebow Sells. A Lot of Gear.

Knowing that Tim Tebow was one of the most famous players in college football history, it’s no surprise to see how popular he is as he makes his transition into the NFL. Tebow creates lines when he’s signing autographs (even at a cost of $100+ per signing), and his Denver Broncos jersey has been the league’s top seller. As if that wasn’t enough evidence, we’re discovering that pretty much any gear with his name attached will cause a frenzy.

Nike released 500 limited edition Tim Tebow cross training shoes on its online store and they sold out in 15 minutes. They also released the shoes at three different locations: Nike Town New York, Nike Town Denver, and the new Nike store in Santa Monica. According to a sales rep at the Nike store in Santa Monica, the shoes sold out within two hours of the doors opening Friday, which also happened to be the grand opening.

In an effort to keep the Tebow hunger alive, the nike store online scattered the release of the Tebow shoes and t-shirt. The “Tebow Knows” shirt was released later in the day Friday and is still available in XL and XXL sizes, although likely not for long. Maybe some commercials similar to Bo Knows are forthcoming, but the point is clear: Tim Tebow is one of the most popular athletes around and fans demand his stuff. I wonder how long this will last if Tebow’s NFL career becomes unsuccessful.

No. 15 is the key in Tim Tebow Trainer 1.2 release [Only Gators]

Michael Irvin Loved His Hall of Fame Jacket Too Much

With the Hall of Fame Enshrinement coming up on Saturday, a humorous story about Michael Irvin’s enshrinement in Canton has been making the rounds. As Hot Clicks points out from With Leather, Irvin told the Chicago Tribune that he embraced his Hall of Fame jacket so much that he didn’t take it off for two straight days regardless of what he was doing. And you can guess what he was doing …

“I remember when I was inducted into the Hall of Fame and they gave me my Hall of Fame yellow blazer. I wore it for two straight days. Finally my wife was in bed and said she wanted to make love but that I had to take the coat off. I refused and kept the blazer on because I wanted to perform like a Hall of Famer on the field and off.”

There are plenty of other Michael Irvin jokes to throw in there about what else he did with that blazer on but this was unexpected. And why am I thinking that his wife got her way with this one? Let’s just hope he got it dry cleaned afterward.

Michael Irvin’s Hall of Fame jacket [Hot Clicks]
Michael Irvin Did the Dirty in His Hall of Fame Jacket [With Leather]
Michael Irvin tells all about his NFL Hall of Fame jacket [Chicago Tribune]

Rodney Harrison: Favre Loves the Media Attention

Everyone has an opinion about Brett Favre and Rodney Harrison has an opinion about everyone.  It makes for a perfect combo.  Of course, Harrison wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to let people know how he feels about Favre’s latest retirement charade.  In Rodney’s defense, he probably knows a thing or two about the difficulty that comes with making a decision on when to hang it up, so he can definitely give some perspective on the situation whether you respect his opinion or not.  Here’s what Rodney Harrison had to say about Brett Favre loving media attention on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday, courtesy of WEEI.com:

You get to a point at 40 years old that you know exactly what you want to do — if you want to play football or not,” Harrison said. “And that’s why I’ve been critical of this guy. Because it’s so unfair to your teammates, it’s unfair to your coaches, it’s unfair to the city, the organization that you keep leaving people hung out to dry like that.

“I’ve never understood Brett Favre. I just think he loves the media attention. At 40 years old, you know if you want to grind through an 18-week season. If I was a teammate of his, I’d probably be a little ticked off he’s not in training camp.”

Sounds like Harrison and Bus Cook share a common belief about the 40-year-old.  I don’t think you’ll find many who disagree with Rodney.  Favre can’t bring himself to stay out of the spotlight, and it has to be costing Minnesota as they try to prepare for the season.  I’m sure most of the Vikings wish he’d make a decision one way or another.  At least then they could focus on football and not have to deal with a media circus dedicated solely to one person.

Rodney blasts Favre [WEEI.com]