Study finds which first names make best athletes in NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA

By Alex Butler
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady give instructions to young players at his American football clinic on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. The five-time Super Bowl champion Brady is on an Asian tour. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady give instructions to young players at his American football clinic on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. The five-time Super Bowl champion Brady is on an Asian tour. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- Joe Flacco literally isn't your average Joe. And Tom Brady? He's 'Tom Terrific' against other Toms.

The team at Fanatics recently conducted a study, compiling average statistics for athletes by their first names. Fanatics also created an interactive tool so users can see how they stack up against the athletic history of their namesake.


To put things in perspective, Brady averages 11 more touchdown throws per season than the average NFL Tom. Joes are also quite the quarterback. NFL players with that name average 20 passing touchdowns per season and complete 61 percent of their passes.

Chris Johnson is the top NFL Chris. He averages two more rushing scores a year than the average Chris. New New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall is partially responsible for the uptick in Brandon stats. NFL players with that name average more than 1,200 receiving yards per season.


There are 54 active Chris or Christians in the NFL and 58 in Major League Baseball.

Fanatics compared names across MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL to compile the stats.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is the most valuable Chris pitching in baseball, according to the study. His 6.22 wins above replacement (WAR) are more than the average Chris on the hill. That WAR is 4.24 wins higher than the average Chris. For comparison sake, San Francisco Giants starter Johnny Cueto (3.3 WAR) averages 1.3 more wins than the average Johnny.

RELATED New York Jets ink former Chicago Bears WR Marquess Wilson

For baseball stats, Fanatics included only players with 100 innings pitched or more. Only batters with at least 100 at-bats were included in the study. Athletes in other sports had to have at least 10 games played.

Washington Nationals infielder Daniel Murphy rakes in the batter's box compared to the average Daniel. His batting average is .032 points higher than the average season for other Daniels. Former Red Sox slugger David 'Big Papi' Ortiz slugged 16.8 more home runs in a season compared to average Davids.


On the NBA front, it's no surprise that Houston Rockets superstar James Harden paced the James name. He bucketed nearly 600 more points per season than the average James. He also has 189.4 more assists than other James-named players. Harden does slack in the rebound category against his namesake, averaging 35 fewer rebounds per season against other James-named ballers.

RELATED Former Patriots, Chiefs OL Ryan O'Callaghan describes being gay in NFL

Patrick Kane is arguably the best Patrick ever when it comes to hockey. The Chicago Blackhawks winger averaged 16.53 more goals, 30.01 more assists, and 46.54 more points in a season than the average Patrick. He also sits in the penalty box for nearly seven fewer minutes than other Patricks. San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton isn't quite as lucky when it comes to punching the clock in the penalty box. Thornton spends an average of 50.2 more minutes in the 'sin bin' than the average Joe.

If it wasn't already clear that Tom Brady's five Super Bowls made him better than the average Tom, his other stats make the case as well. He also averages nearly 1,500 passing yards more than other Toms and has a completion percentage 8.6 points higher than other Toms. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco throws 3.7 more touchdowns per season than the average Joe while retired gunslinger Tony Romo threw for 10.9 more passing scores than the average Tony during his career.


Seattle Seahawks running back Eddie Lacy gets 3.29 more rushing touchdowns per season than the average Eddie while Indianapolis Colts back Frank Gore gets 3.72 more rushing touchdowns than other Franks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans paces other NFL Mikes by scoring an average of 3.7 more touchdowns per season than his brethren.

On the defensive side, Seattle Seahawks star Michael Bennett needs to pick it up when it comes to combined tackles and interceptions. He averages nearly 20 fewer combined takedowns than other Michaels and 1.23 fewer pick-offs than his namesake. Kansas City Chiefs star Derrick Johnson picked up an average of 33.1 more combined takedowns than other Derricks while former All-Pro Charles Woodson averaged 1.86 more interceptions than average Charles' during his decorated career.

Latest Headlines


Follow Us