What's In A Name: Kobe And Eli Up, Roger Down--And Darren?
The Social Security Administration released its top baby names and there are some telling signs coming from the sports world.
Not surprisingly, Kobe seems to be back. In 2003, the name Kobe was the 265th most popular male name in the United States. After Kobe Bryant was accused of sexual assault, parents stopped naming their kids Kobe with as much frequency and the name fell to No. 417 in 2004, No. 544 in 2005 and leveled out at No. 543 in 2006.
But Bryant's resurgence could be the only factor--I mean what's really happened with the beef?--in the name Kobe rising to No. 472. Worth noting is the fact that before Bryant was drafted into the NBA, the name wasn't ranked in the top 1,000.
The name Roger had its worst year in recent memory, falling to the 467th most popular male name. All Roger Clemens' fault? Maybe not, the name has been on a steady decline from No. 253 in 1993. (In fairness, Roger Federer won the Grand Slam.)
Perhaps thanks to Eli Manning's great season, the name Eli had its best year since at least 1993. Eli was ranked the 130th most popular male name in 2007, up from No. 136 in 2006. But by the time 2007 ended, Eli hadn't yet gone on his run and the Giants didn't yet have a ring.
The defending champs at the time were still the Indianapolis Colts, which is probably why his brother's slightly more obscure Peyton name ranks ahead of Eli at No. 125 in 2007, also a recent high. (Peyton also ranks at No. 121 for young girls.)
But sports stars can only do so much. LeBron still isn't in the top 1,000. Either is Dwyane from Dwyane Wade (his name is intentionally misspelled.)
The same can be said for sports business reporters. The name Darren has been hovering in the 360 range for the past two years, its worst numbers on record over the past two decades.
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