Just call me Old Crow Jr.

It’s October so I think it’s time to talk football and a current trend that has become a thorn in my side. No, I’m not talking about the unpatriotic kneeling and other asinine acts football players are doing these days during our national anthem. Yes, this bothers me greatly, but I won’t give these spoiled, ungrateful athletes any media attention since that’s what they want. If the networks stop showing these showboats’ protests on TV, I believe they will soon stop. It’s like that proverbial tree falling in the forest. If no one sees it, is there a protest?

That’s all I will say about these overpaid ingrates and their antics. I want to express my view on something else I’ve been seeing in college and pro sports. Something that is relatively harmless but it really bugs me. I just wonder if it bothers any other sports fans, and if any of y’all can explain to me why they do it, let me know.

Why in tarnation do some athletes insist on putting Jr or III in their name printed on their jersey? Like NY Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. and Detroit Lions’ Golden Tate III. And then we have RG III. Some of these guys say they add the suffix as a show of respect to their dads and grandfathers. If this is the case, that’s fine, but it’s still a bit perplexing to me.

When I’m watching a football game and I see a player with Jr on his jersey, I wonder if his dad is out there playing too. Oh, it’s possible. George Blanda played in the NFL until he was 48, and currently there are two kickers in their 40s. These guys could possibly have a son playing alongside them, requiring Jr to be added to their jerseys to prevent confusion. Tom Brady is 38 and theoretically could have a son playing in the NFL, but he doesn’t probably due to his problem with deflated balls.

And who else looked closely at the TV when Robert Griffin III was playing in Waco to see if ol’ granddad had walked on as a Baylor Bear? I was expecting to see some old guy with a walker lined up at split end. Why else would they need to distinguish the quarterback with III on his jersey?

Now, some of y’all might think I’m being kinda silly with this concept of a father and son playing together. Well, I have two words for you: Ken and Griffey. That’s right, back in 1990, Ken Griffey Sr. played on the same major league baseball team as his son, Ken Junior. Not only were they both playing for the Seattle Mariners, but in a game against the Royals, they both had hits and were on base at the same time. But neither had Sr or Jr on their jersey.

I personally am a junior, sharing the name of my father, but in the past, I only added Jr to important documents like tax returns, bank loans and bar tabs. I never introduced myself with Junior tacked on to my name simply because I don’t think anyone would confuse me with my dad. Sometimes when I was with my dad at some social gathering like family reunions, I might’ve been referred to as Junior, but rarely any other times. Well, occasionally if I did something really bad as a kid, my mother would yell my entire name. When you heard her say your whole name, it was time to stuff the seat of your pants with a pillow.

For a while after my dad passed away, I would get phone calls from solicitors asking for him. At least, I believed they wanted to speak to my dad since they were selling hearing aids, senior vitamins and walk-in bathtubs. I reckon I should’ve added Jr to my name in the phonebook back then to stop these telemarketers from calling me. I’m still not sure why I keep getting those calls today. 

Clint Younts still works at a vet clinic, and with his cows. They don’t mind if he is a junior, just as long as he gets the hay out on time.

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