row2k Features
A Starboard by Any Other Name...
June 28, 2006
Rob Colburn

A Starboard by Any Other Name...

Glancing through regatta programs, one comes across some wonderful names and combinations of names, such as the year Columbia’s lightweights had a Baer, a Bar, and Behr all in the same boat, or the two-year stretch in the mid-1990s when Kearny got almost all of the names on its light 4+ to rhyme at various times -- not just on one syllable, but across two (Duda, Cuhha, DeCunha, Zuza). At Rutgers, Joe, Joe, and Joe-Joe were not only on the same boat; they usually sat one behind the other. In 1990, there was a St. Joes boat with three Jims, two Joes, and a Jerry, and a West Potomac boat with three Scotts.

There was a Stern who rowed bow for Upper Merion, a Hammer who rowed bow for Hylton, and Langley’s women’s 8+ had a Stroke named Bowman. A statistical sampling of people whose last name is Cox -- while they row many seats -- shows the largest concentration of them ending up in six. Picture the following interview on the awards dock (all real names and seats, incidentally):

Reporter -- Coach, if we could just go over the lineup for your boat, starting with the Bowman--

Coach -- Bowman’s stroking the boat. We needed someone who could row really long.

Reporter -- Long?

Coach -- Lange’s in Three seat.

Reporter [crossing out a line in the notebook] -- Oh, I see. So the Stroke is long, but Lange’s not the Stroke?

Coach -- Correct. Strock’s in Four.

Reporter -- Really?

Coach -- Reilly’s the cox.

Reporter -- What does the cox actually do in the boat?

Coach -- Cox rows Six seat.

Reporter -- [consulting roster] Oh, right. Then who rows Seven?

Coach -- Stefan? Stefan is Bowman this season. Unless there’s a Gale. In which case, we put Gale in Bow; move Stefan to Three, and put Lange in Seven.

Reporter [struggling gamely against confusion] -- How do you keep all this straight?

Coach -- Fortunately, it’s the cox’s job to keep everything straight.

Reporter -- You mean, all the way from Six seat?

Coach -- No, Cox is in Six. Reilly’s the cox.

Cross-combining institution and personal names gives us:

Brown rowed for Williams, and Williams rowed for Yale. Bates rowed for Dartmouth. Wharton rowed for Boston University, while Boston pulled an oar for Harvard. Pitt rowed for Navy; Davidson rowed for Columbia; Penn rowed for Robinson, and Robinson rowed for Simsbury. A Brown also rowed for Cornell and before that, a Cornell rowed for Alderdice. Dowling rowed for London, and Emery rowed for Princeton.

Got that? Stotesbury programs also provide rich mines for nomenclatural juxtapositions:

Augustine coxed for Monsignor Bonner; Bonner rowed for Holy Spirit; Signer rowed for Washington & Lee; Lee rowed for Whitman. Whitman rowed for Episcopal; Shipp rowed for T. C. Williams; Williams rowed for Woodrow Wilson; Wilson rowed for -- and Kent coxed for -- LaSalle. Mount rowed for Lawrenceville; Lawrence rowed for Lower Merion; Chris Baltimore rowed for West Potomac, and Kearny rowed for Old Lyme. (And you thought Da Vinci Code was complicated?)

There are some great coxswain names out there: “Alladin,” “Courage,” “Helm,” “Hull,” “Klein (“small”), “Lane,” “Light,” “Reddy,” “Rohrer,” “Turner,” “Wakeman,” and “Weaver,” are just a few. Would you argue with a cox named Heater? Thought not.

Any readers who know of other interesting name combinations, we’d enjoy hearing from you.

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