Maybe there’s a grammatical term for it, but nobody seems to know what it is.
Maybe that’s because it’s so rare: two notable people in the same profession whose names are the reverse of each other.
As the referee might say before the coin toss, “Cameron Jordan, Jordan Cameron. Jordan Cameron, Cameron Jordan.”
The two will get a chance to get acquainted Sunday when Jordan’s Saints face Cameron’s Cleveland Browns.
It won’t be the first time they’ve met. Both were in last year’s Pro Bowl, the first for both Jordan and Cameron, who both came out of the same college conference (Pac-12) in the same year (2011). But, to Jordan’s memory, they never spoke when Jordan was playing at Cal and Cameron at USC.
Two weeks ago, FXX’s “The League” took advantage of the likely confusion (their Wikipedia entries note the possibility) by having one of the characters mistakenly taking Jordan instead of the Browns tight end in his fantasy draft.
The two even did a cameo to straighten things out.
“I don’t know how many fantasy points I’m worth offensively,” the Saints defensive end said. “Hopefully I can get some on defense. Apparently NFL Network has had me scoring a touchdown before.”
Earlier this week, NFL Mobile listed a story on Cameron being questionable for Sunday due to a shoulder injury ... but displayed Jordan’s picture. It wasn’t the first time they’d been mistaken for each other.
On draft day in 2011, a Cleveland assistant called Jordan to inform him that the Browns were about to take him in the fourth round ... except the Saints had already nabbed Jordan in the first.
“I told him I was pretty sure I’d already been taken and they had the wrong one,” Jordan recalled. “For a minute, I was afraid the Saints had traded me or something.”
Or it could have been that the Browns thought they were drafting Steve Jordan, Jordan’s father who was a six-time Pro Bowl tight end with the Minnesota Vikings.
No wonder folks get them mixed up.
But for folks who do, here’s a quick guide:
Jordan’s middle name is Tyler. Cameron’s is Cravens.
Although Jordan was a two-time All-Pac 12 player and Cameron had only 16 receptions in his college career, USC was 3-0 against Cal in their head-to-head meetings by a combined 95-20. Sorry, Cam.
Cameron has a signature touchdown move: a T for his son, Tristan. Jordan said he’s still working on his sack move.
Cameron has Hollywood looks; a teammate called him “GQ Man of the Year.” Jordan might have to do something about his hair before starting his movie career.
Cameron grew up in Los Angeles and is a self-described beach bum. Jordan’s from Chandler, Arizona, where there’s plenty of sand but little water.
Jordan’s father had a 13-year career in the NFL. Cameron’s father, Jack, played basketball and baseball at BYU, and his younger brother, Colby, was a quarterback at Louisiana Tech, where he set an NCAA record for most passes without an interception (379).
Cameron once dated supermodel Erin Heatherton. Jordan said he has one at home — his mom. (Awww.)
The Saints weren’t in the market for a tight end in 2011, having taken Jimmy Graham the year before. But even if they had been, Sean Payton isn’t sure they would have taken Cameron just to avoid the confusion.
“I think that would have been a little bit of a challenge to have them both on our team,” Payton said.
But Jordan, as ever with a twinkle in his eye, said he wouldn’t mind.
“Maybe it would be OK,” he said. “Actually, it might be fun.”