It’s no secret I root for the Giants. And lately it seems every team has a player whose jersey goes on beyond that player’s last name. Notably, Robert Griffin III, whose jersey reads “Griffin III”. We received our player gift wrapped in last year’s draft and he goes by the name Odell Beckham Jr, and his jersey is embroidered with “Beckham Jr”. Okay, fine. My father brought up this pet peeve of his to me some months back and it has continued to irk me since. Now I’m horrified by the grammar of our nation’s elite sports broadcasters. Beckham Junior didn’t make the catch, Beckham did!
Surely it’s the player’s choice how he wishes his name displayed on his jersey. But can we not agree that to refer to the man as Beckham Junior is surely a colloquialism. He isn’t Beckham Junior. If anything, he’s Odell Junior and primarily only in the presence of his father, Odell Senior. Neither of them is Beckham Junior or Beckham Senior. They’re both Beckham’s. If Odell had a brother and he played for the Giants, he’d have to live with his jersey written as “Beckham”, would he not? And that’s because his first name wasn’t Odell. It doesn’t matter how many Beckham’s are on the team either, none of them are Beckham Junior, unless Beckham is a teammate’s first name. Each would then distinguish their own Beckham with a first initial. And it would only be, then, if both father and son played for the same team, and both their first names were the same that you’d ever grammatically see Jr after Beckham, and in truth it would only be proper if the two were “O. Beckham” and “O. Beckham Jr.” So there.
I bet not one soul cares about this blog post except for maybe my father! But I feel better having written it!