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28 July, 2011

The Name Game

   by Gus Ramsey

   When I was in high school we didn't have iPod's to listen to or cell phones to use, you know, all the typical "we didn't have that when I was in high school" stuff. So when we would play road games, my high school basketball team used to play the Name Game to pass the time. The rules were pretty simple, someone says a name, the next person has to come up with another name that either had the previous person's first or last name. Believe it or not, this was actually an entertaining game.

Koes: Johnny Carson
Tuck: Johnny Miller
Chip: Marvin Miller
Gus: Marvin Gaye
and so on.

A few of the rules:

1) Names like Robert or Johnathon could be used in shortened form, like Bob or John, for first names only. Someone couldn't say Fred Thomas and the next person says Tom Seaver.

2) You had roughly one minute to say a name. This is where it gets fun. Believe it or not, after a while it is actually hard to come up with names. You start thinking so hard you get dumber by the second. At around the :20 left mark, the entire rest of the team would start a simultaneous countdown/clapping deal that made it impossible to think. "20! (clap), 19! (clap) 18! (clap)..."
The Game Ender

  Again, this was before the internet and the explosion of cable television so the depth of names you had to draw on was severely limited compared to today. For example, this was an automatic game-ender;

Koes: Dave Parker
Tuck: Dave Concepcion
Gus: Onix Concepcion
Game over!

Another trap was this.
Jimmy: Tony Perez
Tony: Tony Orlando
Gus: Orlando Woolridge
Bill: Orlando Cepeda
Game over!

   In 1985 there were no other Concepcions and no other people anyone had heard of named Onix. Now, with the access to so much information and so many random sports televised, there are too many escape routs. Today you could spend the entire bus trip just going through the Kardashian family.
   If you are on a college or high school team, try to convince your teammates to give this a try in the upcoming year and let me know how it goes. Also, anyone else out there have some good travel games your teams used to play while on the road? Share them in the comments section.

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