What’s in a name, really? Is it something that inspires greatness, does a name alone make you any better at your chosen profession, or life in general? (behindthename) While it’s not likely the case, sometimes a name is powerful enough to open certain doors and make life easier for some people. When you are from a famous bloodline the mere mention of your lineage could be enough to get you into college, movies, on television, or into a front office job for a major corporation. (chronicle) Sharing a famous last name in Hollywood can be a great thing for someone who is trying to strike out in the industry, it’s not a guarantee, but being the child of Will Smith gives you a bit of an advantage when going in to audition for a role, in some cases being enough to completely bypass the audition process as a whole. (imdb) While sharing a famous last name does come with it’s benefits, it’s also got a downside, chief among them being that people automatically assume you’re going into the “family business,” although you may not be as proficient as your parents were or want to get into their field, like Shane McMahon when he left the WWE umbrella. (wwe)
Another world where being related to a former star can help you get ahead is athletics, from youth sports all the way to the professional level, if you’re the child of a former star you’re automatically expected to live up to their legacy, even if said parent is the greatest to ever do their job. (nfl) After the NFL Draft the Baltimore Ravens reached out to the son of the best man to have ever played the position of wide receiver in the history of the National Football League, Jerry Rice Junior. (espn) While many people are complaining that the name alone is what got Rice not only into college, but also made the Ravens want to offer him a tryout, especially considering he had almost no statistics while in college, hardly even seeing the field, it would seem they have a bit of a point in this instance. (yardbarker) With all of the talk about his name being the only reason Baltimore brought him in to tryout, John Harbaugh spoke out today stating that Rice has been doing well at the rookie minicamp and that there’s a chance he may have the talent to make the final roster, not based on his name, but based on the talent he’s shown on the field. (profootballtalk) If he makes the roster, Rice will get a great education in what it means to be a top receiver in the NFL, Baltimore just signed Steve Smith when he was cut by the Carolina Panthers this offseason, between his father and Smith helping bring him along, Junior may just be able to make a name for himself on the highest level, even if it is the same name as his father.