Rewind to roughly 9 months ago, when the doctor pegged the due date on October 11. Me: "But that's the Florida-LSU game!*"
(* - NOT my reaction. My immediate reaction.)
While there is no guarantee it will happen tomorrow, I am holding on to what I feel is a very medically sound theory that we will be in the delivery room precisely at the start of the 4th quarter of a close game.*
(* - NOT that I will care about the game at that point. Or, let's be honest here: I'll have the game on TiVo and will merely remind the nurses and doctors and various family members not to mention the result until I'm able to get home and watch. And the one upside of labor on a Saturday is plenty of college football to keep both my wife -- and me -- occupied**.)
(** - NOT trying to insinuate that watching college football somehow reduces the pains of labor. But it just might make it go by a little faster and more distractedly. OK: At least for me.)
No, we don't have a name picked out yet. Even now.
Back in the spring of 2006, before the birth of Kid No. 1, there was a running meme in my daily chat on ESPN.com, the Morning Quickie. There was some early discussion that I would name him "Joakim," which -- while awesome -- would make for an awkward bar mitzvah invitation.
Then, there was some discussion that I would pick "Noah" -- same homage to the Gators basketball team, less polarizing. And, in fact, Noah is a fantastic name. It actually made one iteration of our "baby-name short list," until I disqualified it precisely because I didn't want the kid going through life with people THINKING I named him after Joakim Noah.
For Kid No. 1, "Gabe" worked out fine -- and, as an added bonus, there was a modest connection to a notable sports name -- Gabe Kapler (my son Gabe's middle name starts with a "K," so it works out even better). How could I not appreciate the connection to that rarest of men, the major-sport Jewish pro athlete? (And I don't remember the MQ chatters ever guessing it.)
But it's true for this kid, too: Ideas for names came up -- and were discounted (and perhaps even reassured) -- because of a connection to an athlete or name from sports who I happen to dislike (or like). You simply can't help it.
And then there is the mother of all relevant baby-name questions:
Did "Tim" or "Timothy" make the short list?
I cannot possibly name my kid after Tim Tebow, can I? There's no question, as my Deadspin fans like to celebrate: He is my favorite athlete ever. He is a model person. It certainly wouldn't be a terrible choice, and it's actually a fine, normal name (unlike, say, naming your kid "Peyton," as so many in Tennessee did in the mid-1990s.)
But, no, while I won't reveal the top contenders -- though I have received some great suggestions over the past 36 hours, including more than a few guesses it would be "Tim" -- I will reveal that "Timothy" did not make the final cut, either as a first name or a middle name.
(No, "Tebow" did not make the cut for middle name, either. Though I appreciate you thinking it might... and though I'm not quite sure what that says.)
I will, however, offer an open invitation to Tim Tebow to come up for the bris, 8 days after the birth date. (Oh, you know why I want him there: Sure, you could NAME your kid after Tim Tebow, but it's a much better story to have him join the mohel for the circumcision. Tebow might even learn some new tips. Zing!)
Believe me: The Tebow/Shanoff-bris meme will be worked over on the blog between now and the bris itself. I cannot help it. As soon as I heard about Tebow's turn as the missionary mohel (after I knew my wife was pregnant), I knew I was on a collision course with this topic.
Anyway, as much as I would love to update the blog throughout the glorious event -- or via Twitter, or via updated Facebook status (can you imagine: "Dan is...coaching a birth!" Shortly after: "Dan is...facing divorce!"), if you don't see me on the blog in any given moment, that's why.
So: "Tim Shanoff" or "Tebow Shanoff." Ummm, no. But your name suggestions, guesses or advice, via the Comments, are always welcome.
More later (this time uttered with an epic degree of understatement).
UPDATE (Saturday a.m.): No baby yet. Here's another tip on naming your baby, inspired after one commenter suggested "Levi" -- not sure if he was serious or kidding. Here's the tip:
If a potential name is nominated and the first person you can think of who shares that name is a douchebag (ie, Levi Johnston), do NOT give your baby that name.
(Now, in 20 years, we may have forgotten all about Levi Johnston. But for these next few months -- which is the only real time people care about a kid's name, just after they're born -- it's a millstone.)