Baby name story: Gaynell

LSU football player Gaynell "Gus" Kinchen
Gaynell Kinchen

While doing research on Gaynell Tinsley, I came across the following name story:

Jacob Calvin Kinchen had a lot to consider when it came time, on June 7, 1938, to name his first child, starting with the fact that he had never really liked his own first name. […] Perhaps that would have been enough to push any less of a football man toward the choice of a safe name that would always be comfortable for his child. But Jake could not help himself. He had been captain of his high school football team, the Albany Panthers, 1934 district champions in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, and he had become a coach at nearby Live Oak High School. […] Only a man with such passion for sport could possibly look beyond his own discomfort with the seemingly benign name of Jacob and name his son…Gaynell.

Gaynell Kinchen “despised the childhood razzing that came with such an unusual name,” though, so in high school he started going by “Gus” — just like his namesake, Gaynell Tinsley.

Also like Tinsley, Kinchen played football at LSU. And so did two of his own sons, Todd and Brian — both of whom went on to play in the NFL. In fact, Brian Kinchen snapped the game-winning field goal for the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.