Moritz Boehringer: NFL says yes to the umlaut
By Dan Zinski
Moritz Boehringer will be allowed to spell his name with an umlaut, the NFL uniform police have decreed.
A potential international incident has been averted after the NFL decided Vikings’ wide receiver Moritz Boehringer may spell his name “Moritz Bőhringer” with the umlaut (via ESPN). I would advise all football writers to learn about the compose key.
Or I suppose you could choose to continue spelling his last name “Boehringer” even though it’s technically wrong.
Also keep in mind that you may, if you choose, go through an entire post without referring to Boehringer as “the Vikings’ German wide receiver.” By now I think everyone knows what country Boehringer comes from.
Gosh knows we’ve been told Boehringer’s story enough times by now. Mike Zimmer seems a bit sick of the hype.
Of course there’s more behind the NFL’s decision to allow the umlaut than just making Boehringer’s name a little more metal. They also want to make his jersey more popular overseas. It’s hard to do that if the name on the jersey is technically misspelled.
Imagine if you went down to buy an Adrian Peterson jersey and it was spelled “Poeterson.” That’s about how “Boehringer” probably looks to people in Germany.
The NFL is building bridges all over the place. By allowing umlauts.
This is what the jersey will look like by the way:
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It’s now my duty and obligation to remind everyone that Boehringer/Bőhringer is still a real long-shot to actually make it in the NFL. But even if the raw rookie receiver never becomes a real player, there’s still a chance to move a lot of Bőhringer jerseys in Europe.
And who knows: Maybe some European kid will get a Bőhringer jersey for his birthday and be inspired to take up football. And that kid will grow up to become a good enough player to actually make it in America.
And he’ll get to use an umlaut, if he wants.