Quite excited about my latest Q&A, featuring NFL player Tank Carder. It’s my first with a NFL player, and I really appreciate Tank taking the time to respond.
Tank’s back-story is fascinating (the New York Times has a great profile): he was a world BMX champion at age 9, but quit a couple of years later essentially due to burn-out. He was then nearly killed in a car crash. After all that, he still has made it through to the NFL. Tank, indeed.
1) Your birth name is Ricky but for all intents and purposes it looks like you’re Tank. (Even your Wikipedia entry just has ‘Tank’ in the heading.) Do you think of yourself as Ricky or Tank? Does anyone call you Ricky anymore?
My name is Tank, I have been Tank since I was 18 months old. I got Ricky from my dad, I am actually a Jr. so my dad is Ricky (but) I’m Tank.
2) Do you actually like Tank? What’s the story behind where it comes from?
All I have ever known is Tank as my name, so I don’t know any different. I got it when I was 18 months old from a family friend, he started calling me Tank because I was like 33 pounds when I was 18 months old, and I started responding to it and it just stuck.
3) What does your name mean to you? Do YOU think you have a great name?
It means a lot to me, it is a good football name and the best part is I didn’t change it to that because of football, it has always been my name.
4) Is it good or bad – or perhaps a bit of both – to have a distinctive name?
I think it is good and bad. The upside is that is is a cool name that people can always remember, and the down side prolly is I always have to explain why my name is Tank.
5) Do you care what others think of your name? What reactions from others have you encountered over the years?
I don’t care what people think. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But some reactions are that they don’t believe that it is my name and ask for my real name. Depending on the person, I tell them it is my real name. I am legally changing it to Tank in July so now I can really say it and mean it.
6) Do you have a favourite name you’ve come across over the years?
This guy’s name is Rusty and his last name is Rifle and his parents gave him a pretty unique middle name. “Rusty Remington Rifle”. True story.
7) Ever been in (or on) a tank?
I have been on a tank, but it was at a paintball park and didn’t run or anything.
8) Hypothetical: you’re on a bad team. The worse the team plays, the better draft pick it gets for next season. Do you, Tank Carder, play to win or do you … tank harder?
I play to win as a team, personal gains aren’t as rewarding as when we win.