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Are the Cincinnati Bengals influencing Ohio’s Baby Names?

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Do children in Ohio get named for our favorite Cincinnati Bengals players?

Al Bello/Getty Images

Parents name their children a variety of names, and for a variety of reasons.

There are many examples where someone we know, or even ourselves, has named a child based on a Biblical name, a family name, due to love of a certain movie or celebrity, or in some cases because it just seemed to be conjured ex nihilo.

But do children in Ohio get named for our favorite Cincinnati Bengals players?

Names like "Chad" (Johnson), "Vontaze" (Burfict), and "Leon" (Hall) are not popular enough to register in the top 100 for Ohio. So we can’t easily look at a correlation with those. But, the Bengals’ recent quarterbacks do have popular names. Also, a team’s quarterback is often the team’s most popular and recognizable player. Therefore, we can take a look and see if these quarterbacks time with the Bengals coincides with the popularity of their names with Ohio’s parents.

Note: a lower number shows more popularity as the below rankings are the rating for the name.

Carson

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

76

73

62

41

41

48

45

38

64

72

74

Before Carson Palmer was drafted, the name "Carson" hovered in the 70’s as far as overall popularity in Ohio. Then following the Bengals’ playoff season in 2005 the name jumped up to 41 in overall Ohio popularity. It remained in the 38-48 range for the next five years until Carson Palmer decided he would no longer play for the Bengals. In 2011, the Bengals’ first year without Carson Palmer, the name’s popularity returned to its previous range in the mid 70’s.

In this case, the popularity of the name Carson seems to be directly linked to Carson Palmer’s successful run in Cincinnati.

Andrew (Andy)

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

12

11

15

19

20

The name "Andrew" is one that has received much popularity during the last decade. In 2010, the year before Andy Dalton was drafted by the Bengals, the name was 12th in overall Ohio popularity. In 2011, which was Dalton’s rookie season, the name was slightly more popular, as the 11th most popular baby boy name in the state. But just like with Dalton’s continual playoff stumbles, the name has stumbled out of its high standing, as it has dropped in popularity for three consecutive years.

In this case, the name Andy seems to have a negative correlation with Andy Dalton’s time in Cincinnati, in that the longer Dalton stays in Cincinnati, the less popular the name has become for Ohioans.

Apparently it’s not only our Bengals’ who are influencing the naming of future generations. The most popular football team in the state of Ohio is seeing its star players memorialized by fans through the naming of their offspring.

The name "Braxton" (as in the Ohio State University’s quarterback Braxton Miller) emerged from the dregs of unpopularity, and skyrocketed following Braxton Miller’s 2011 season for the Buckeyes. After holding a popularity outside of the top 100 since the time of Adam and Eve, the name "Braxton" has risen to a popularity of 56-61 in Ohio during the last three years.

It does seem that the names of the Bengals’ quarterbacks do influence the naming of children born when those quarterbacks are playing in Cincinnati. Just imagine... if Akili Smith hadn’t been one of the worst drafted quarterbacks in Bengals’ history, there would be a bunch of teenagers running around today named Akili.