Are You Ready for Some Football? 1 of 29Names inspired by the beloved American sport
Boys 2 of 29
Aaron 3 of 29Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: "mountain of strength"
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers lived in the shadows of Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre when he was first drafted to the team in 2005. But when the Packers didn't re-sign Favre in 2008, Rodgers took center stage and ended up leading the team to a victory in the 2011 Superbowl. For keeping his cool and leading the team to triumph during a time of transition, ESPN Magazine in 2012 named him "the best franchise quarterback in the NFL."
Barry 4 of 29Origin: Irish
An NFL legend, Barry Sanders has been said to be one of the greatest running backs of all time. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1989 on the third overall draft pick, and after an amazing season won the Rookie of the Year award. Although the Lions never reached the Super Bowl with Sanders on the team, he helped the Lions make the playoffs five times in the 90s and he won NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1994. Not too shabby.
Bo 5 of 29Origin: Slavic
Talk about an all-American name! Bo Jackson (real name Vincent Edward Jackson) was the first athlete to be named an All-Star in two major American sports — baseball and football. During the 1990 playoffs Bo was injured in a tackle that ended his football career, but after a remarkable recovery, he was able to return to play for the White Sox.
Brett 6 of 29Origin: English
Brett Favre seemed to have a hard time leaving the sport he loved so much. He spent the majority of his 20 years in the NFL as a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers but spent 2008 with the Jets and came back after temporary retirement to spend two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He officially retired in January of 2011 but still holds a whole slew of NFL records including most career touchdown passes. An ideal name for your own little football lover!
Eli 7 of 29Origin: Hebrew
Why not name your son after the NFL quarterback who helped lead the New York Giants to this year's Super Bowl championship? Eli Manning may be quarterback Peyton Manning's little brother, but the younger of the two is certainly stealing the show this season!
Joe 8 of 29Origin: English
Meaning: God will increase
With a name like Joe Montana, how could a guy not become an American legend? Now a retired football quarterback, Joe spent most of his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers. Montana won all four of the Super Bowls he started in — who else can boast that? Give your little guy the name of this football great, and maybe he will adopt one of Joe's many awesome nicknames — Joe Cool, Golden Joe, or Comeback Joe.
Johnny 9 of 29Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: God is gracious
An American hero for so many kids for three decades, Johnny Unitas aka "the golden arm," played quarterback for the Baltimore Colts from the 50s through the 70s. He also set a record for throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive NFL games that still goes undefeated to this day.
Kurt 10 of 29Origin: American
Quarterback Kurt Warner was first signed as an undrafted free agent and went on to become one of the best undrafted players of all time. While playing for the St. Louis Rams from 1998 to 2003, Warner earned two NFL MVP awards, including the Super Bowl MVP in 1999. He also helped lead the Arizona Cardinals to the 2008 Super Bowl before announcing his retirement in 2010.
Peyton 11 of 29Origin: English
Meaning: from Pacca's town
If you value your little boy (and of course you do!), consider naming him after the football player who holds the record for the most NFL MVP awards of all time — Peyton Manning. Currently, he has four MVPs and is also one of the most popular NFL players of today, playing for the Indianapolis Colts and appearing in several commercials, TV shows, and even hosted SNL.
Randy 12 of 29Origin: English
Meaning: shield wolf
In a world full of quarterback football stars, Randy Moss made a name for himself as a wide receiver. During his sports career, he played for the Minnesota Vikings, the Oakland Raiders, and the New England Patriots, and he currently holds the single season reception record in 2007.
Thomas 13 of 29Origin: Aramic
The public's obsession with quarterback Thomas "Tom" Brady may rest as much on his marriage with Brazilian supermodel Gisele BÃ¼ndchen as it does on his superstar-caliber stats with the New England Patriots. Since starting in the NFL in 2000, he's racked up oodles of records, including most consecutive completed passes — 16, most consecutive wins 10, and most game-winning drives — 7. How's that for a winning name?
Tim 14 of 29Origin: Greek
Meaning: to honor God
The Tebow craze has been spreading ever since Tim Tebow began playing starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. "Tebowing" (the act of kneeling at the sideline) even has its own website, twitter account, and brand of beer! Tebow is also one of the football players to live up to the meaning of his name — he's infamous for his devout and outspoken Christian beliefs.
Vince 15 of 29Origin: Latin
A good football team isn't just made up of superstar players. Fantastic coaches are just as important! Vince Lombardi, former head coach of the Green Bay Packers, is known as one of the most inspirational and motivational coaches of NFL history. During the 60s, he led the Packers to five league championships in seven years and claimed victories for the first two Super Bowls, too. Unfortunately, Lombardi died in 1970 of cancer, but his memory lives on.
Girls 16 of 29
Anita 17 of 29Origin: Spanish, Hebrew
Girls just wanna have fun … and play some football! Anita Marks proved football isn't just a boys' club during her career as a professional women's football player for the Miami Fury and the Florida Rays. She now has her own football radio show called The Anita Marks Show on ESPN.
Ashley 18 of 29Origin: English
Meaning: ash wood
Female kicker Ashley Martin made football history in 2001 when she became the first woman to play and score in a Division I-AA football game, scoring three extra points for Jackson State University.
Brianna 19 of 29Origin: Gaelic
Meaning: noble, strong
Beauty and brawn — this name is inspired by Brianna Amat, a high school senior who not only helped lead her team to a homecoming game victory at Pinckney Community High School in Michigan, but she was also crowned homecoming queen that very same night at halftime.
Brittany 20 of 29Origin: English
Meaning: land of the Britons
Though Ashley Martin was the first to score in a NCAA game, Brittany Ryan, the former placekicker for Lebanon Valley College, is the current scoring leader in the NCAA. Nic Shirey, one of Ryan's former teammates told the New York Times, "When she puts on the football pads, she is one of us. We tease her about carrying her purse or breaking a nail, but she is a football player."
Elizabeth 21 of 29Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: "God's promise; God is my oath."
Believe it or not, until 1997, a woman had never played in a college football game! Elizabeth "Liz" Heaston, then a 20-year-old college junior, set that milestone when she filled in for injured kicker Gordon Thomson. In the face of an all-guys team, Heaston kicked two extra points, helping Willamette University defeat Linfield College. Girl power!
Gayle 22 of 29Origin: English
Meaning: festive party
It's a tough world for women in football, not only for aspiring players, but for football journalists and announcers as well. Gayle Sierens became the first female sports journalist in the Bay Area during the 70s. In 1987, through a short gig with NBC sports, Sierens became the first (and as of today, only) for an NFL football game.
Julie 23 of 29Origin: French
Meaning: youthful, downy
Female kicker Julie Harshbarger knows the true meaning of "never give up." After originally being cut from the Chicago Cardinals indoor football league, the team asked Harshbarger after struggling with subpar kicking. Soon after, she became the first woman ever to score a field goal in indoor football. Sometimes it just takes a woman's touch … or incredibly awesome kicks.
Katie 24 of 29Origin: Greek
Katie Hnida is one of the most well-known women football players. Hnida was invited to join the Colorado Buffaloes as a walk-on freshman but left a short time after. In 2004, Hnida admitted to Sports Illustrated that she left because she had been sexually abused by her teammates. She went on to play for the University of New Mexico though and became the first to score in a NCAA Division 1-A game. This brave woman is living proof that although women's football still has a long way to go, some very talented women are making big strides.
Mina 25 of 29Origin: German
When she was only an 8th grader, young Mina Johnson was already making headlines. In 2011, Johnson, the first girl to play football for Southampton Academy, chose to sit out when their opposition threatened to forfeit the game if she played. Looks like she already knows the true meaning of teamwork!
Patricia 26 of 29Origin: English
Until Katie Hnida stepped on the scene, Patricia Palinkas was the first and only woman to play football professionally. During her first game as placekicker in 1970 for the Orlando Panthers an opposing player admitted to tackling her and attempting to "break her neck for making folly of a man's game." Palinkas continued with the sport but left the team after the season ended.
Robin 27 of 29Origin: English
Meaning: bright fame
Go on with your bad self! An anchor for Good Morning America, Robin Roberts has added greatly to women's involvement in sports journalism as a host for ESPN's SportsCenter and contributing to NFL Primetime. Not only that, but she's a breast cancer survivor, too!
Samantha 28 of 29Origin: English and Greek
YouTube sensation Samantha "Sam" Gordon, 9, wowed football fans of all ages when she accumulated 35 touchdowns, made 65 tackles, and rushed nearly 2,000 yards total in 2012. Appearing on Good Morning America and even receiving an invitation to this year's Super Bowl, Gordon's fame won't be forgotten anytime soon. Finding her stats so impressive, Wheaties even recruited the youth football player for her own prime-time spot: a place on the front of their cereal box. You go, girl!
Tonya 29 of 29Origin: American
Meaning: variant of Tanya, fairy queen
Yet another woman we get a kick out of — Tonya Butler was the first woman in NCAA to successfully kick a field goal and was the leading scorer for the University of West Alabama's team in 2003. Why send a man to do a woman's job?