The 19 Best, Most Accurately Dead-On Money Names in Sports
Athletes and money have a long history, from the unfortunately named 19th century baseball player Tom Poorman to 1950s NFL defensive back Herb Rich.
And that’s just the beginning when it comes to the link between sports and the financial glossary. Teams often go for broke and mortgage the future in the hopes of winning a title and when they do win, players give credit – a not-so honorable form of payment -- to God. Heck, whether we’re talking about greenbacks, running backs or Diamondbacks, a prospect or a prospectus, trading stock tips or trading draft picks, money and sports go together like "credit score," which invokes the concept of money and points in one tidy phrase.
We can be talking about inflation, interest or an investment – they’re all just a “w” away from having “win” in its name. The ability to save is paramount, too, whether for retirement or a goalie or a reliever looking to nail down the last three outs in the ninth inning.
Stock market and stock car racing. Credit cards and undercards. Federal Reserve and injured reserve. E4s and W4s. They’re all as seamlessly linked as Reggie Jackson and the deposed Andrew Jackson.
One wrong move in hockey and you’ll pay. Ironically, it’s the other player who dishes out a check, though.
Sports has been run over in recent years by the concept of a salary cap, which may or may not be an homage to the hat baseball players wear on their heads. Money is essential – that’s why teams value pitchers who can be economical and singles start rallies and fill our wallets with green, which is the coveted color of the jacket golfers strive for when playing the Masters. Runners always want to be safe, which is where you should keep your valuables, especially when the bases are loaded -- a term of greedy endearment to describe your rich uncle who you’re hoping will kick it, like a soccer ball, soon.
A football game can't officially get underway until the coin flip. An assist is a dime in basketball, there’s a nickel and a dime defense in football and many sports are divided into quarters, showing the ultimate reverence to the almighty dollar (or at least coins).
And let’s talk about the net – it’s just as key in basketball (there’s even a team called the Nets, after all), tennis and soccer as it is when talking about worth, while we all need a return on investment, not to mention the ability to return a serve.
And considering how much money football players stand to earn after they’re drafted, you’d think they’d be forced to run the 1040-yard dash at the combine. That’s not to be outdone by the concept of a 401(k), the shorthand for strikeout.
Even team names themselves call to mind the importance of money in our world. Ever hear of a (Chicago) Bull market or a (Chicago) Bear market? You need (Washington) Capital to get your business off the ground and the concept of the (Buffalo) Bills implies you’re going to be charged for going to a game while the (Milwaukee) Bucks is a reminder you’d better show up with some cash to pay for parking, food and one of those foam fingers.
The amateur ranks are not exempt from the demands of finances, either. We could be talking about an NCAA Tournament seed or seed money to start a business.
Acronyms matter, too. For every IRA, there’s an NHL; for every FDIC, a USTA; for every IRS, a PGA; for every IPO, an NBA. And cheer on our teams we will, whether they’re home or (lay)away.
So, too, are players’ names synonymous with the idea of finance. Norm Cash, Dave Cash and Swin Cash are not to be confused with Wayne Cashman, while former Arkansas basketball player Mario Credit gets, well, credit for having a moniker most associated with your Visa card. And you can take that to the bank -- or at least the Carl Banks and Tony Banks.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, here’s a look at the 19 best money names in sports.