Celebrity Names Blog

Super Bowl Showdown - NameCandy Edition!

Super Bowl Showdown - NameCandy Edition!
Photo Credit: Fame/Flynet

The big game is almost here!  As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, NameCandy couldn't help but take a look into the naming styles among the quarterbacks, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos to see what we could find. In a word? Surnames.  From Mosley to Carrington, the family trees of both star quarterback are filled with surnames as first and middle names.

On the Seahawks side of the field, Russell Carrington Wilson will be cheered on by his wife, Ashton, as well as his parents, the late Harrison "Harry" III and Tammy Wilson.  They'll also be joined by Russell's siblings, Harrison IV and Anna

Let's dive a little deeper into Russell's first name.  The name Russell peaked in popularity in the 1910s, and aside from a small resurgence in the 1950s, has been on the decline since then.  In the year Russell Wilson was born (1988!), his name was the 128th most popular name for boys, and by 2012 the name had dropped down to the 426th most popular name.  Interestingly enough, his last name Wilson, also peaked in the 1910s, and has only seen a small increase in popularity in recent years, even though the surnames-as-first-names trend is hugely popular right now.  In fact, the Baby Name Wizard blog even featured this topic a couple years back, using the rival quarterback, Peyton Manning, as an example in the blog!

Moving on from the Seahawk's star quarterback, let's talk about a quarterback that might be more familiar to the naming world: Peyton Manning.  Peyton Williams Manning is no stranger to longtime NameCandy readers, as we reported on the birth of his twins in 2011.  He'll be cheered on by his daughter, Mosley Thompson Manning, and his son, Marshall Williams Manning, his wife, Ashley, his brothers, Eli (also seen on Name Candy!) and Cooper, and his parents, Archie and Olivia Manning.

While Russell Wilson's name was declining in popularity when he was named, Peyton's parents named him ahead of the trend. In 1976, the year Peyton Manning was born, his first name was not even in the top 1000 most popular boys names.  The boy name Peyton made it's first appearance in 1989 at 991, peaked in popularity in 2007 and was the 183rd most popular boys name in 2012.  It's also worth mentioning that Peyton is more popular as a girl's name and has been almost every year that it has been in the top 1000 names.

While we're not willing to pick a favorite to win Sunday's game, we certainly appreciate all the naming inspiration that the team's quarterbacks and their families provide!  Best of luck to both teams in Sunday's big game!

What's your favorite name of those mentioned here? Are there other football families whose naming style you appreciate?

--S.L.

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