Adam\’s Stream of Consciousness

If you blog it, they will come

Filling the Floyd Void

Posted by Adam on July 24, 2006

Floyd isn’t the most imposing name out there. Perhaps that’s why it isn’t a common choice for recent parents (it ranked as the 816th most popular name for boys in the 1990s, and isn’t in the top 1000 for this decade). If it seems old-fashioned, that’s because it is. Floyd means “gray-haired.” It’s no wonder you don’t hear much happening to guys named Floyd. In fact the most famous Floyd isn’t even a guy; it’s a group – Pink Floyd.

Floyd is one of those names that predetermine who you are. It’s like Maurice, or Sasha, or Sue. As Johnny Cash sang, “So I gave you that name, and I said good-bye. I knew you’d have to get tough or die, and it’s that name that helped to make you strong.” So its no wonder that many of the famous Floyd’s in sport made their name in the ring. The late Floyd Patterson was boxing’s youngest heavyweight champion, beating Archie Moore at age 21; and many would argue that “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather is the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world today.

In fact the only other historically famous sports Floyd isn’t even named Floyd. It’s Eric Floyd, better known as “Sleepy” Floyd. Sleepy Floyd had a solid, if unspectacular NBA career, but in the 1987 Western Conference finals Sleepy woke up. He ended up scoring an NBA record 29 points in a single quarter against the “Showtime” Lakers. There was no avoiding Floyd.

It should be noted that Bo Jackson was my favorite athlete for a long time. I collected his playing cards and posters. I would play as him in video games. He was just fun to watch, and the two sport star thing was an added attraction. Bo was a tough guy too. You have to be to take the kind of punishment he did as a running back, yet despite that he still was man enough to regularly bust baseball bats over his thigh in his “second” season. Nothing could stop Bo … except for his hip, and if an injury ends the career of Bo Jackson you know it’s serious.

Enter one final Floyd. I’m sure by now you know where I am going with this. Greg LeMond showed us that an American could win the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong showed us that personal obstacles could be overcome, and that will power and determination can lead a man to accomplish something as remarkable as winning the Tour de France. Greg and Lance have come and gone, but there was a new American wearing the yellow jersey atop the podium on the Champs-Elysees. This wasn’t any ordinary victory either; our man rode while dealing with the same hip injury that ended Bo’s career. He could walk without assistance. Heck, he couldn’t even stand without pain, but he could ride like the wind. Yesterday’s victory at the Tour de France placed a new name atop the list of great cyclists, but it also placed a new name at the top of another list. For all who share his name, there is a new Floyd to be proud of: Floyd Landis.

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2 Responses to “Filling the Floyd Void”

  1. Enabler said

    Damn. And I thought it was going to be Cliff Floyd…

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