Friday, June 17, 2011

Brolin...The Story Behind The Name...

Well, our long awaited new-baby-name-guessing-game was a colossal bust. In the mad dash, the contest lasted all of 10 minutes at around 8:00 am, so naturally we had about zero guesses, with no correct answers.... Much different results from our first go 'round with Jackman. As most of you know by now, we had some fun with the naming process of our firstborn. It might help to go back and read "Jackman... The Story Behind The Name..." before you dig into this. You'll need a frame of reference if you weren't there for it, or didn't at least read the blog.

Anyway, a brief introduction is in order. Apparently when we named our firstborn 'Jackman', we knocked one out of the park. As it turns out, his name has been Hugh-ly popular (get it?). The only problem is when you knock one out of the park your first time at bat, everyone expects at least that much the next time up.

Well, obviously we never gave any thought whatsoever as to how difficult it would be to come up with a name that complements 'Jackman', and it all its own at the same time. With Jackman, it was apparent that we went with a movie star's last name - that would be the theme, although we did not know it at the time. It's qualities were that it was highly unique, yet down-to-earth and friendly. Jackman sounds like it could be every boy's name on earth, but I guarantee you don't know another one - that's what we were looking for in a name. Set the bar mighty high I know, but we definitely cleared it.

Rewind a few months - now we've got the Deuce on the way, and he needs a name... what do we do? I had another list this time, and it had several of the actors we love who just didn't make the cut, plus about a thousand -man names, plus the name Mitchum... my brand of deodorant. Hey, what's wrong with that? It's so effective you can skip a day... or at least that's what they used to say.

Well, the criteria that had to be met were as follows:
1. Actor's last name
2. Nobody's first name - unique
3. Sounds like anyone's first name - simple
4. Works with the middle name 'Cody' - Family name on Lisa's side
5. Sounds good when you yell it paired with the name 'Jackman', as if two little boys just did something they were not supposed to do, and are now in a stink-storm of trouble. Example: Jackman!!! ______!!! Get out of the garbage and get your rear ends in here right this instant!!!

Now you see why we just couldn't just name the boy Tom.

So what was the only choice possible in a world full of names?

Just look at how cool that looks. Just the grouping of letters alone looks tough enough to give you a black eye. And think about it... when you say the name 'Brolin'... we are talking about a name that is versatile enough to suit anyone from a broom-pusher to a brain-surgeon... the sky is the limit. Just read this aloud, listen, and you'll see what I mean. "Hey Brolin... you missed a spot over by those tables." Now try this one: "Hey Brolin... mighty fine work doing surgery on that dude's brain." See what I mean.

Well, you may ask "Brolin? Brolin who? Who's Brolin?" Granted, he doesn't have the same kind of status Hugh Jackman does now, but he does have the added advantage of being a super value pack - a father/son duo.

You probably know the younger Brolin, Josh. Brolin exudes pure meanness as the infamous drifter, Tom Chaney in True Grit.

He is Llewelyn Moss in No Country For Old Men, brimming with confidence, either due to the nickle-plated .45 or the circa '80's 'stache. These are by far the younger Brolin's best efforts of his entire career. Sadly, most of his work is terrible... I mean pure bilge. I think the last thing he was in that I really liked was The Goonies... a solid 25 years ago. I guess he bought into the Goonies code - never say die! Well, like the old-timers say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. The Coen Brothers got Brolin, and the rest is history.

As for the elder Brolin, his work is probably not nearly as well known to my culture-poor generation, even though his career is wrought with as much stinkiness as his son's. He was in a lot of TV stuff that I don't really remember. The one thing I do remember him in was his crowning achievement... The Amityville Horror.

Brolin played George Lutz, a dude that got totally ripped off by his realtor and subsequently possessed by evil. You could actually smell his Old Spice in this flick. He was rockin' that late 70's bulletproof hair too. This was the baddest the elder Brolin ever got, but he's still awesome in it. I mean he's sharpening his axe, and he ain't planning on bustin' wood with it.

He's also sporting that late 70's lumberjack style, both pictures from The Amityville Horror.

And by the way... I did my homework just to make certain that we got a unique name. The name Brolin isn't even really real, so to speak; or at least it wasn't until Craig Kenneth Bruderlin changed his name to James Brolin. Apparently, Bruderlin isn't a cool name, but Brolin is. It was cool enough to jumpstart a man's otherwise lifeless Hollywood career. If at this point you are wondering why we named our son after a pair of actors whose good movies over the course of a combined half-century could be counted on one hand, I'm afraid you missed the point. It's not about them... we liked the name.

In the end, I hope both of our boys' names are characteristic of who they are to Lisa and I now, and who we are confident they will become as they grow up... Each of them, matchless and one of a kind, yet unpretentious and down to-earth.

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  1. I'm telling you like I've told you before... you need to write a book. You are a great author! I love to read the stories about your boys. They will be so blessed to read these stories as they get older. What a time-line for them to read! Thanks for sharing.

  2. My first name is Brolin and my middle name is James
    My parents swear that they didn't name me after the actor...

  3. My son is almost 23 and his first name is's a cool name and he is a cool young man.