For many football fans, the obsession runs deep, and rightfully so — imagine being born into a family who spends each Sunday (or Saturday, if college football is your thing) gathered around the TV to cheer on their home team together. It’s one of those times every week families get together, share some homemade snacks and meals, and can put all disagreements aside because rooting for their Bucs, Steelers, or Cowboys is just more important.
So, when thinking about baby names and whether you’d want to name your little one after one of your heroes, it’s natural that famous coaches, players, and team founders come to mind. Heck, even some mascots would make darn good monikers. If your partner isn’t so much into the whole football thing, you may have some convincing to do. Good thing: there are plenty of football-inspired name options that don’t sound like they came straight off of somebody’s jersey. But then again, some of the best names do.
No matter what name you choose for your bundle of joy, just make sure it’s one that’s easy to shout once they’re big enough to throw a football in the front yard and you need them to go long.
Ah yes, the man, the myth, the legend himself. While Tom seems like the obvious choice for his No. 1 fans, Brady is a slightly subtler way to pay homage to this football great. It was ranked #305 out of all the baby boy names in 2020, so while it’s not completely unheard of, it’s not intensely popular either.
If it feels like there are a million great football-related name options for boys, you’re not wrong. I mean, talk about a male-dominated industry. But there are some pretty special and unique choices for baby girls if you’re looking. Take Peyton (or alternately spelled, Payton) for example, inspired by quarterback Peyton Manning. The name Peyton also means “fighting man’s estate” if that kind of description appeals to you.
Mascots are a great place to source some baby name inspo. Any Indianapolis Colts fans in the building? This could be a super cute moniker on a rambunctious baby boy.
While we’re on the topic of baby girl names, what about Raven? This one is courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens, but the name doesn’t scream football, so it’s a great compromise for NFL fans with partners who aren’t that into sports.
The New York Jets are obviously the namesake here, but Jet is a super cool name even out of the context of football. It’s in the top 800 names in the U.S. right now, so chances are it’ll be a pretty unique name choice for your babe. Jett, spelled with two Ts, is another way to write this option.
Eli Manning, Peyton Manning’s little bro, has his own incredible NFL career to celebrate. If you’re a fan of the sport but not his older bro’s name, Eli might be more your speed. It can also be short for other names, like Elias, Elijah, or Elliott.
Victor Cruz is a former wide receiver and one of the best known in the history of the game. Aside from that obvious tie to football, to be the victor of something means you’ve won, which, for those highly competitive sports fans, might be enough to make them fall in love with this name.
Let’s go ahead and snag Victor’s last name and use it for a first, because Cruz is quite possibly the coolest name ever. Cruz is a Spanish name meaning “cross,” and is traditionally a unisex name.
Joe Montana is yet another incredible NFL player with a last name worth stealing for your own future athlete. Montana would be the most adorable name for a rough and tumble baby girl, the kind you know will live up to Joe’s nickname of “The Comeback Kid.”
The Lombardi trophy, awarded to Super Bowl winning teams, is named for Vince Lombardi. He has one of the most successful and storied careers of any coach in any sport, is definitely considered by many to be the best leader ever in football. Vince would be a great name for your little boy if you love the man himself and need a one-syllable first name. The name is also short for Vincent, which means “conqueror, victor.” How fitting.
Some of the best first names come from famous players’ last names. Take Jarvis Landry, for example. Landry would be adorable on a baby girl, or spunky on a bouncing boy.
If you already have a Terrible Towel purchased to gift your newborn, then this name needs no explanation. Art Rooney founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, a major sports exec, and even had an Olympic boxing career. Now, just imagine the name Rooney on a bright-eyed little gal ready to take on the boys!
Did Kim Kardashian popularize Saint when she gave the name to her her son, Saint West? She sure did. However, the Saints are one of those NFL teams that have had plenty of superstars on their roster and a legion of loyal fans. If you’re among them, this is a solid name choice for a boy or girl.
A man who needs no introduction, because if you haven’t seen him play football, you’ve at least seen Drew Brees in a Nyquil commercial. He played in the NFL for 20 seasons, nearly all of them with the New Orleans Saints. This name would be just as perfect for girls as it would be for boys.
Big Ben Roethlisberger is another legendary QB who will go down in football history. And Ben is a timeless boy name that can be short for Benjamin, Bentley, Benedict, and more, or stand all on its own.
Cooper Kupp is one of the biggest names in football right now, playing as a wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams. Cooper is currently ranked #74 in popularity in the United States’ top 1,000 names, so it’s getting more mainstream, but still just offbeat enough that it’s exciting.
While it may not be one of the first names you think of when pondering baby girl names, this would be a super cool football-inspired name for a future world-changer. Lori Locust is one of two women coaches for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and she made history as one of the first women coaches to claim a Super Bowl win.
Just like Lori, Maral Javadifar is one of the women coaches on the Bucs blazing trails for future generations of female coaches. She’s an assistant strength and conditioning coach, so, you know, just a casual bad*ss.