When I was 10, I wanted a different name. Steve Nealy seemed so...normal. Since Alice Cooper and Leif Garrett were already taken, I wanted something even cooler. At my first pro hockey game in '75, the definition of holy-shit-name-coolness hit me like a two ton heavy thing: Réal Cloutier of the Quebec Nordiques.
(True story: I thought they were the "Nordi-cues" until their first goal was announced: "Quebec goal by Real Cloutier. Assisted by Mario Tremblay and Marc Tardif. Time of the Nordiques goal..." I believe Nordique is Canadian for "bacon-chugging greaseball", but they did have cool unis.)
Pronounced ReeAl ClooCheeAy, it was perfect. Who wouldn't want to be Réal Cloutier? If your name is Réal Cloutier, you could do anything. Better yet, you could get ANY chick. Immediately, I began plans to become Central Indiana's only Réal Cloutier. Before I could fully investigate my re-naming process (period two of the hockey game), my soon-to-be-awesomeness was dealt a fatal blow: I found out his nickname was Buddy.
WTF? Buddy? Buddy Cloutier? How could someone with a name that defined cool, be down with Buddy?
No doubt, the name makes the man. Just look at pop culture. It's Bond... James Bond, not, Bond... Timmy Bond. Rambo was John Rambo, not Bruce Rambo. Chuck Norris is Chuck Fucking Norris, OK? (Chuck's given name is actually Carlos Ray Norris, but pity the first cat that told him "Carlos seems kind of gay".) In all seriousness, Kip Winger is a badass musician, but his career wouldn't have been gunned down on MTV by Beavis and Butthead if his name wasn't Kip. You just can't defend Kip as a cool name. Nor could I be down with being Buddy Anything.
So I learned a very important lesson at a young age: maybe being Steve Nealy isn't all that bad.