Did I just spend hundreds of words musing existentially on the value of a name? Yes.
Am I also going to spend words here noting that there is a lot of value in the name of the only man wearing No. 17 on Florida’s 2021 roster, freshman linebacker Scooby Williams? Yes.
Scooby is a great nickname, because it at once conjures an image — like, uh, the terrifying one at the top of this post, or the more endearing one of the animated version of Scooby-Doo — and doesn’t actually mean anything. What’s a Scoob? A Scooby? A Scooby-Doo?
Ask Shaggy, maybe? I don’t know that he knows any better than I do.
But a linebacker having this specific name means that the puns are going to be endless. If he sacks some hapless QB? A Scooby Sack. Maybe Williams chases down a runner in the flats? He’s having a Scooby Snack. Florida’s defense is, er, a little lost? The Mystery Machine!
I don’t think Scooby Williams ended up with that nickname because of the potential for marketing it, but he should keep and use it and milk the hell out of it. There’s plenty to love about a player who makes fans think of a goofy, lovable character even if that player hasn’t done anything on the field as of yet.
And this is all supposed to be fun, right?