Leighton Vander Esch joins the army of jersey misspellings

·4 min read

Things did not get off to a good start for the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC wild-card round against the San Francisco 49ers.

The visitors have scored on each of their first three possessions, and with the Cowboys struggling to get anything going on the offensive side of the football, the 49ers have an early 13-0 lead. Thankfully for the Dallas fans, the Cowboys managed to put a touchdown on the board, and the teams headed to the locker room for halftime with the 49ers leading 16-7.

However, needing a comeback is just one of the problems the Cowboys are dealing with. Another? The nameplate on the back of linebacker Leighton Vander Esch’s jersey:

This is not the first time that a name has been misspelled on a jersey. Let’s look at some other examples.

"Indinia"

When the Indiana Hoosiers took the field to play Iowa this season to start the 2021 campaign, freshman running back David Holloman was not playing for the University of Indiana, but another state entirely:

"Natinals"

Back in April of 2009, the Washington Nationals were still trying to find their way as a relatively new franchise in Major League Baseball.

For an early-season game against the then-Florida Marlins, two Nationals players — Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman — took the field with something missing on the front of their jerseys.

An “O.”

Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals
Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals

"Angees"

During the 2003 baseball season, Anaheim Angels outfielder Adam Riggs took the field for a game against the Detroit Tigers with the team’s name misspelled on the front of his jersey:

Angelswin.com Interviews Former Angel Adam Riggs | The Sports Daily
Angelswin.com Interviews Former Angel Adam Riggs | The Sports Daily

"Nowitkzi"

Dirk Nowitzki reached an NBA milestone during the 2018 season. In a game that year against the Los Angeles Clippers, he became just the sixth NBA player in history to reach 50,000 minutes played.

He also did it wearing a jersey with his name spelled wrong:

"Griffin"

Everson Griffen has gotten to a number of quarterbacks during his NFL career.

Back in the 2016 season he got to Houston Texans passer Brock Osweiler with his name misspelled on the back of his Minnesota Vikings jersey:

Everson-Griffen-misspelled-GRIFFIN.jpg
Everson-Griffen-misspelled-GRIFFIN.jpg

"Smiht"

Some of the mistakes we have seen are almost understandable.

But spelling “Smith” wrong?

It happened. Back in the 2013 NBA season Jason Smith took the court for the New Orleans Hornets but somehow, his name was wrong on the back of his jersey:

Jason-Smith-SMIHT-jersey.jpg
Jason-Smith-SMIHT-jersey.jpg

"Torotno"

Joe Carter was a hero for the Toronto Blue Jays during the 1993 World Series, delivering a walk-off home run to propel the Blue Jays to a win, and the title, in Game 6 of the series.

The following season he took the field, at least for one game, for the “Torotno” Blue Jays:

"West Virgina"

Winning a championship is a monumental event. As Tedy Bruschi of the New England Patriots once referred to it, those moments are “hat and T-shirt” games. You win a game, you get a hat and a T-shirt.

The West Virginia men’s basketball team had one such game back in 2007, when they won the NIT basketball tournament.

There was just one slight problem:

"Kentcuky"

For an issue of Slam Magazine in March of 2010, John Calipari of the University of Kentucky

with three of his players, including star freshman John Wall.

Wall’s jersey had a slight mistake:

"Gretsky"

It is one thing to misspell a player’s name, or even the name of the team or city, during the course of a season. Players get traded, teams move, things happen.

But when you invite a retired legend to your stadium and have weeks to prepare, you might want to get the name right.

Someone forgot to tell Tottenham of the English Premier League when they invited The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, to a match:

"Gretkzy"

Yes, despite being perhaps the greatest hockey player in history, Wayne Gretzky has endured a number of misspelled jerseys.

During the 1997 season, as he was playing for the New York Rangers, The Great One took the ice one night with a new variation of his last name on the back of his sweater:

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