A renowned linguist from Oxford University recently studied the origin of Bears tackle Frank Omiyale’s name, shedding some light on questions many fans have asked throughout the season.

Omiyale, who has been ineffective during his first season as a Bear, actually comes from a long line of athletes who are unable to properly block. The linguist, Dave Mathison, explained the finding as it relates to the lineman’s surname.

“We delved into the roots of the last name Omiyale,” said Mathison. “We were first intrigued by a story discussing an ancestor of Frank Omiyale, who famously died in battle after being unable to use his 5-foot-tall shield to block a large rock hurled at him by a lazy warrior.”

Essentially, Mathison and his team discovered that the name Omiyale is derived from dozens of root languages. The word “Omi” stands for “Oh, I missed” while “Yale” is a slight alteration of a common Latin term for “Missed my block.”

When Omiyale was informed of this translation,  the tackle simply shrugged.

“Yeah, that sounds about right,” said Omiyale. “Sorry.”

From the November 2009 issue by Jeff GoodSmith

Jeff GoodSmith