At the time of birth, parents have the obligation to name their child. With that naming, they hold the power to set their kid up for life with either a great name, or a very difficult standard.
One unfortunate example comes to mind.
In high school, I had the opportunity to work with a kid from Arizona named Michael Irvin. By the time I met him, he had already heard all of the jokes. No, nobody had ever called him “The Playmaker.” No, he wasn’t a triplet. And no, he really wasn’t any good at football.
But his parents were such big Cowboys fans at the time of his birth, that they elected to name him after they’re favorite player. Seriously.
At around the same time, somewhere near Lemont, Ill., Michelle and Bill Fleener were watching a Redskins game, when famed Redskins Hog Joe Jacoby was pictured on the screen. Family legend says that Michelle, quite pregnant at the time, turned to her husband and asked him what he thought of the name “Jacoby Fleener.”
Bill was never really a fan, but after a long labor, who was he to say no? Twenty-three years later, Jacoby “Coby” Fleener, a tight end prospect from Stanford, talked to the media about it (via Jerry McDonald of bayareainsider.com):
“So here I am,” Fleener, who goes by “Coby,” told the assembled media Thursday at the NFL scouting combine.
Fleener, 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, even got to talk with Joe Jacoby recently and thinks he’s found a new friend.
Fleener has good size and speed, and is widely considered to be one of the best tight ends in the draft. Playing with Andrew Luck at Stanford, Fleener amassed 96 receptions for 1,546 yards and 18 touchdowns.
He put up his highest output as a senior, and was named to CBSSports’ 2011 All-American team. He led the Pac-12 in yards per reception last season, with 19.6. And apparently, he can do it all with one hand tied behind his back:
An ankle injury in the Fiesta Bowl has kept him from flashing his speed for scouts, but he appears to be a player that fits the mold of playmaker tight ends. Redskins.com’s Gary Fitzgerald had him listed as one of the top tight ends available in the draft.
Of course, this isn’t the first position that the Redskins need to address this offseason, but someone of Fleener’s talent could be intriguing if he’s still available when they pick in the second round.