|Warmack's named after a movie but doesn't know which one. (USATSI)|
INDIANAPOLIS -- There aren't a lot of people in the world named Chance. But Alabama guard Chance Warmack, one of the top prospects here for the 2013 NFL Combine, is one of them.
How he got his name, however, is much more interesting. Warmack told the media he was named after a movie character.
“It came from a movie," Warmack said Friday. "My mom and my dad went to see a movie and the main character was named Chance."
Well that's pretty fascinating, right? And the obvious follow-up question came: What movie is it?
"I don't know. I wasn't there," Warmack deadpanned. "I wasn't born yet."
The response cracked the assembled media up, certainly. But it bugged me a little, if only because had I been named after a character in a movie, I'd have spent my entire adult life searching for the name of said movie.
In fact, I even spent a little bit of time trying to figure out who Warmack might be named after. There are limited fictional characters named Chance, fortunately, and a little logical deduction can help us figure out who his namesake is.
I held out hope it would be ...
Chance, the bulldog from Homeward Bound. Alas, Homeward Bound came out in 1993 and Warmack was born in 1991. While that should make everyone feel exceptionally old, it doesn't do much to peg his parents in a Homeward movie theatre before Warmack was born.
The next best option?
Jean Claude Van Damme's rattlesnake-eating character Chance Boudreaux from Hard Target. Sadly, Hard Target also came out in 1993, putting it outside of our needed range for naming Warmack. It does beg a few questions, though. Like, how weird is it that two relatively big movies debuted in 1993 with characters named Chance? Also, who actually gave a better acting performance, Van Damme or the dog? I'd lean toward the dog.
It's also possible he's named after Chance Wayne, the lead character in Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth, who was played by Paul Newman in a film adaption in 1962. That's a long time to squat on a name, but it does explain the spike in babies named Chance shortly after the film came out.
We could also throw out To Live and Die in L.A.'s Richard Chance (1985), but does the last name really work for this? I think not.
The most likely explanation is Being There's Chance the Gardener played by Peter Sellers.
The movie debuted in 1979 and the quick gist of it is this: Chance has lived with a wealthy employer as a butler type his whole life and never left the estate. When his boss dies he ventures out into the world and heart-wrenching shenanigans occur. (Or something like that.)
Dustin Hoffman won the Academy Award that year and said, "I refuse to believe that I beat Jack Lemmon, that I beat Al Pacino, that I beat Peter Sellers." (He also pointed out in his speech, which is fascinatingly online, that his trophy "has no genetalia and is holding a sword" before thanking his parents for "not practicing birth control.")
Anyway, my ultimate guess for Warmack's namesake goes to Being There. It's got the timing, it's got a quality character and it's a famous enough movie that his parents likely went and saw it.
And, yes, having Warmack ask his mom or dad probably would've been the easier option here.
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