Kids can be cruel. Alabama safety and projected first round NFL Draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix knows full well.
One would expect the schoolyard bullies in Orlando, Florida, in the late 1990s to poke fun at the name “Ha Ha.” Instead, Ha Ha’s peers had their way with his last name, “Clinton-Dix.” Keep in mind that during this time period the country was still collectively LOLing from President Bill Clinton’s cigar-smoking session with Monica Lewinsky. So the last name “Clinton” combined with “Dix” was a comedic goldmine for any fifth grader looking to get his buddies to double over.
As for the name “Ha Ha”? It’s a creation of Clinton-Dix’s grandmother. As Ha Ha, whose Christian name is Ha’Sean, said at the NFL Combine:
“See, my first name is pronounced ‘Ha-SEEN’ but some people said “Ha-SHAWN.” so some people got mixed up a lot and my grandmother gave me that name when I was about 3 or 4 years-old, and everyone’s been calling me that since then.”
Here’s a video of Ha Ha telling the story with family present.
Thursday is draft night, and it will likely turn out to be one of the more important nights of Ha Ha’s life. Just please don’t tell him that after over a decade of silence, Lewinsky released a tell-all essay online on the same exact day. I mean, the poor guy.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS