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From Where I Sit: What’s in a name? Perhaps destiny

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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Congratulations to Folsom High’s football team. They had a great season that finally ended Saturday against what could only be called a national powerhouse. I did not attend any games but followed them through our paper.

It is interesting how certain players have names that seem to suit their position. Former quarterback Dano Graves is one. That name has that ring to it, as does Jake Browning, the current prodigious quarterback. I have never met the young man, but his name has “quarterback” written all over it. You would expect someone with that name to be able to drill the ball.

Then I saw this year’s team also has a player named Harry Lipnosky. That name is so cool. Just hearing that name inspires visions of a hard-nosed linebacker or barreling running back, which happen to be the two positions he is listed as playing.

And I hardly have time to mention Hunter Hast, Chaz Arnold, Trace Noble, Devon Nooner, Troy Tillman, Austin Rothrock, Dalton Bledsoe and so many others from this year’s squad. These are all football names. They sound like it, don’t they?

This year’s winner of the Heisman Trophy for college football excellence is Johnny Manziel, also known as “Johnny Football.” Of course.

Sometimes a name can hold a destiny. The Nov. 3 issue of the Wall Street Journal featured an article detailing how people in Thailand are changing their names for good luck. “Charisma” was one choice mentioned. I have a baseball card for Wonderful Terrific Monds. I kid you not.

This month’s Christianity Today quotes a New York civil court judge who denied a Nigerian American couple the chance to change their last name from “Nwadiuko” to “ChristisKing,” explaining, “The general public would be subjected to this unwarranted intrusion of the petitioner’s religious beliefs.” Really? By the way, their children are named “Rejoice” and “JesusisLord.”

Often in Biblical times, a name conferred a destiny. In the Christmas story the angel told Joseph said, “You are to give him the name ‘Jesus,’ because (there’s the destiny) he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Then again, sometimes a name is just a name.  My birth certificate shows no middle name. I admired my grandfather and therefore adopted his middle name, Walter. It’s now on everything but the birth certificate. It was my way of trying to replicate some of his good traits.

Reach Tom Rupp at truppfolsom@yahoo.com.