By Lawrence Vos (@NFLFanInEngland)– 16 June 2019
When the Cleveland Browns made their fourth-round pick in the draft this year they grabbed a cornerback from ‘The U’. Nothing unusual, move along.
Cue the screeching brakes, rubber-necking and general merriment as the dude was called Sheldrick Redwine. Yes the Browns drafted a guy as smooth as a Merlot with a bouquet of gooseberries and elderflower.
So I made the last bit up, but I sure as hell didn’t tell a pork-pie about the first part. It got me thinking, who are the best alcoholic, and for you teetotallers or those under 18 or on reform, non-alcoholic drink-based names to ever adorn an NFL uniform?
In no particular order, like a student night out in the early 90’s where it’s a quid a pint and 50p a shot, let’s mix up a football related cocktail (and yes all of these names are real NFL players past or present).
Jack Daniels – End (1925-1925 Milwaukee Badgers)
You don’t need to believe me, just look him up and the Badgers, who resided in the NFL from 1922 to 1926. Jack’s team went bust in 1926 when they had to pay a $500 fine for playing two high-school athletes in one of their games. The 1922 Badgers were led by two future Hall of Fame enshrinees in the form of running-back Fritz Pollard, one of the first African- American NFL players who went on to become the first African American NFL head coach, and Jimmy Conzelman who remarkably was the coach and player for the Badgers from 1922-24. Daniels himself only managed one NFL game in 1925, aged 19.
Rich Martini – WR (1979-80 Oakland Raiders, 1981 New Orleans Saints)
Martini, who despite being shaken on many occasions on the field, was never stirred. This Raiders wideout managed something that even James Bond never did, by taking the field as a substitute in a Super Bowl victory against the Philadelphia Eagles in 1981. The Raiders won the big one as a Wild Card team, and whilst Martini played in all four games he did not record any statistics. Martini started 5 games in his career, scoring twice as a rookie.
Tom Beer (the First) – TE-G (1967-1969 Denver Broncos, 1970-1972 Boston/New England Patriots)
Tom Beer (the Second) RB-LB (1994-1996 Detroit Lions)
Nope this is not a father and son story, this is just two players who both had exactly the same malty sounding surnames. The more recent Beer was a fascinating coaching project, who was drafted by the Lions in the 7th round, three picks ahead of Tom Nalen the Broncos C (who went to win two Super Bowls). Beer the Second was trialled as a running back, but then reverted back to his drafted position of linebacker. Beer the First also converted roles in his career, moving from TE to G. The senior Beer managed a respectable 1,012 yards receiving in his career at 15.6 yards a catch.
If you like a particular beer brand then why not chug, albeit a hell of a lot better than Aaron Rodgers can, on one of these jugs of suds:
- A Bud Dupree – current Steelers linebacker who has 20 career sacks
- A Bob Coronado – former Steelers WR who started one single career game in 1961
- A Nate Solder – Two-time Super Bowl winner blocking for Tom Brady
- Or a Sam(uel) Adams – 206 career games at DT, 3 Pro Bowls and a shiny ring with the Ravens
If calories are a problem you can always have a Matt Light beer (owner of three rings, again blocking for some guy called Tom Brady).
To partake in these, as Ross Tucker would say, daddy soda’s, you of course need to take a trip to the Emerson Boozer (an AFL and NFL champion running-back with the New York Jets).
Now if you are taking any minors with you to a licensed seller of alcoholic beverages, maybe they can have some Orange Tornadoes (the real name of a 1929 NFL franchise that went 3-5-4 including an astonishing three 0-0 draws), a glass of Cleo Lemon squash (the Dolphins quarterback who played in the NFL’s first ever regular season game at Wembley in 2007), sucked up through a Don Straw (who started two games in the 1920s for the little known Detroit Heralds). If they don’t want anything fruity offer them a glass of John Milks (a 1960’s linebacker who had one career pick).
Now if you are looking to impress an over-18 year old companion you could always offer them a glass of Moet et Chandon Williams (an undrafted free-agent who played 5 games for the Eagles in 2018 and is now a Packers player) or perhaps a chilled glass of Brooks Bollinger (a pretty unspectacular backup quarterback for the Jets, Vikings and Cowboys in the early 2000’s).
To enhance any cocktail you could always drop in a Deron Cherry (Chiefs legendary 80’s defensive back) or a Bobby Olive (a WR drafted 300th in 1991 by the Chiefs).
You may get peckish after all this drinking so maybe have a Rob Crisp or two (an undrafted free-agent who was a high-school All-American in 2009) or maybe a Porky Rundqust scratching (born in 1893 he was a 5ft 10-inch tackle, guard and center), but most likely a handful of Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman (the man with the most famous punch in NFL history, given the famous nickname by his Aunt Renee).
To finish off you may need to sober up a bit and have some Glen Coffee (failed 49ers running back who went for 2.7 a carry in his brief 14 game career in 2009) or you could try some nasty tasting Herb Waters (currently signed to a Steelers Reserve/Futures contract).
All I can say is thank goodness it is now illegal to John Smokey Brown in pubs now (hoping to have a big season in 2019 catching balls from Josh Allen in Buffalo).