When German receiver Moritz Böhringer first landed on the scene earlier this year, it became quickly clear that he can significantly help the league market its product to a European audience. And the league has taken full advantage of the marketing potential that comes with having in the employment of one of the NFL’s teams a guy who never has played football in America.
And, yes, those of a more cynical nature are keeping a close eye on everything that happens in relation to Böhringer. For some things that happen, skepticism and cynicism will be warranted. For others, it’s actually no big deal.
As to the latter, enter the umlaut. Some have made a big deal about the NFL granting Böhringer permission to use the double-dot device over the O in his name, and some have suggested he’s the first player in league history to use an umlaut. That would make a potentially compelling story even more compelling, if it were, you know, true.
Actually, former Rams center Tom Nütten had an umlaut. (There may have been more.) So if you buy a Böhringer jersey, you’re not buying the jersey of the first NFL player to ever have an umlaut. You also may not be buying the jersey of a guy who will be on the Vikings in Semptember.
If you think otherwise, ask all the people who bought Rams jerseys with No. 96 and the name “Sam” on the back in 2014.