The Name Game

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

Pretty sure I’ve told this story in the Daily Hustle before but it’s definitely worth revisiting for a multitude of reasons…

In 2000, my minor league teammate Jason Hart and I were driving from spring training in Phoenix to Midland, Texas… Somehow we got a hold of a placemat with all of the Presidents Of The United States on it, and Hart asked me how long it would take me to memorize all the Presidents in order…

As a confident young go hard, I didn’t hesitate with my response…

“1 hour.” 

Not believing it was possible, Hart immediately bet me a Taco Bell lunch (no small price considering we each slaughtered 5 items a piece) at our next stop, which just so happened to be an hour away… 

From there I went to work. I had recently read about how the best way to memorize something is by associating whatever it is with something else… So I decided to play with the numbers (43 Presidents at the time) and names to come up with each answer.

This is basically how the name/number associations went… 

  1. Washington (We all know that)
  2. Adams (Coach Dick Adams SF Football) 
  3. Jefferson (Street in Redwood City) 
  4. Madison (James Madison University) 
  5. Monroe (Marilyn) 
  6. John Quincy Adams (Grandson of John Adams) 
  7. Andrew Jackson (Andrew Johnson is #17) 
  8. Martin Van Buren (Street in SF) 
  9. Harrison (Grandfather of #23 William Harrison) 
  10. Tyler (Linked him with #12 Taylor)
  11. Polk (Street in SF) 
  12. Taylor (See #10)
  13. Millard Fillmore (Millard the Willard) 
  14. Pierce (His dark hair & piercing stare was easily etched in my memory) 
  15. Buchanan (Our only bachelor President) 
  16. Abe (No memory tool needed) 
  17. Johnson (See #7) 
  18. Ulysses S Grant (War Hero) 
  19. Hayes (Though about one of my best friends growing up Ryan Hayes) 
  20. Garfield (The Cat) 
  21. Chester A. Arthur (Loved the name Chester) 
  22. Cleveland (Only President to serve 2 non-consecutive terms) 
  23. Harrison (See #9) 
  24. Cleveland (See #22)
  25. McKinley (assassinated) 
  26. Roosevelt (Speak softly & carry a big stick) 
  27. Taft (Got stuck in White House bathtub because he was 300 pounds) 
  28. Wilson (The volleyball) 
  29. Harding (The park) 
  30. Coolidge (Cool Cal) 
  31. Hoover (Vacuum up)  
  32. FDR (Roosevelt Fam) 
  33. Truman (When Harry Met Sally) 
  34. Eisenhower (Dwight Clark) 
  35. JFK (Like Washington & Lincoln, no association necessary) 
  36. Johnson (Johnson & Johnson) 
  37. Nixon (Watergate & Deep Throat) 
  38. Ford (Michigan Football) 
  39. Carter (Saw him at Alpine Hills) 
  40. Reagan (Trickle down economics) 
  41. Bush (Gulf War) 
  42. Clinton (Monica) 
  43. George W. Bush (One of the nicest & most genuine dudes I’ve ever met)

Right after I rattled off #43 I immediately told Hartsy: 

“Nacho Bell Grande, a chilito, 2 tacos and a F*ING bean burrito please.” 🌯 

Since that day I have been able to use the name association trick to remember all sorts of names of people I otherwise would have had no chance… 

“What’s the big deal if I learn somebody’s name???” 

Well hello Mr. SuperSoft… 

The big deal is that it actually shows somebody that you care enough to be able to be a good listener and that you actually hold a genuine interest in learning more about that other person. Not to mention the fact that if you are able to somehow learn the Presidents and store them in that 2 cent head of yours Stevie, it actually makes for a pretty fun party trick and maybe that’s the thing that puts you over the top and you finally get lucky one night. 🤷‍♂️


P.S. Have you hopped on a Team GoHard Foot Reflexology Board yet?