Google's suggestion engine has always been a learning experience for me. It's how I learned that there were people searching for the word "girlfriend" after the name of nearly every player in Major League Baseball, for instance—I was looking for Laynce Nix's career stats and was legitimately stunned to learn that MLB groupies were interested in even the AAAA-iest of outfielders. Today it taught me just how tough it is to be a punter.â†µ
I was looking for Donnie Jones's career statistics. Jones is one of the best punters in football right now, and having cut his teeth on the Worst Show On Turf St. Louis Rams offenses of the last few years, the serious NFL fan has had a lot of opportunities to see him play. He was the first guy to average 50 yards per punt in something like 60 years. And he's got a unique name; how many adults are named Donnie?â†µ
But if you Google "Donnie J" you'll find that it is more popular even today to search for Donnie Jeffcoat than it is for Donnie Jones. Yes, that Donnie Jeffcoat, if you're my age—one of the hosts of Wild and Crazy Kids, a show that involved, as I recall, a lot of Nerf guns, brightly colored t-shirts, and messy (dare I say wild and crazy?) contests.â†µ
Adding insult to injury, "Donnie Jeffcoat" doesn't even go by Donnie anymore—since appearing on General Hospital in the late nineties his intermittent TV career has seen him billed as Don Jeffcoat. So the Rams' Pro Bowl-caliber football player is being chased off Google by a guy who was last credited on TV in 1992. And that's why it's tough being a punter.