Late last week, the Social Security Administration revealed the top 1000 baby names in the United Statesfor 2008. And not surprisingly, people continued to name their kids after pop culture icons, including athletes.
In the year the New York Giants won the Super Bowl, their quarterback’s name Eli reached its all-time popularity. In 2008, Eli was the 100th most popular male name in this country, six spots behind Brady, which some could argue had something to do with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. In Massachusetts, just the year before, Brady was ranked the 44th most popular male name.
Parents apparently are fine with naming their kids Kobe again. After his sexual assault case in 2003, the name Kobe – which entered the top 1000 for the first time in Bryant’s rookie season – took a dive. In 2003, Kobe was the 265th most popular male name in the United States, and although the criminal case was dropped and the civil case was settled, the name still suffered. Kobe fell from 265 to 418 (2004) to 544 (2005) before it started to rebound. The 2008 ranking of 403 was its highest since 2003, and interestingly, was one spot ahead of the name Bryant.
Although his first name is really Daniel, Colt McCoy – the University of Texas quarterback and Heisman runner-up – has certainly contributed to the popularity of the name Colt. In 2008, Colt was the 533rd most popular male name, its highest ranking since 1985.
John Madden might be retiring, but the first name Madden is more popular than ever before. The name was never in the top 1000 male names before last year, but it ranked No. 615 in 2008. That’s up almost 200 spots from 2007.
And finally comes the name Beckham. Yes, never before in the top 1000, Beckham was the 893rd most popular male name in the United States in 2008, the year after the soccer star came to this country to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com