Is Coach Wink Martindale Related to Wink Martindale? The Truth Behind the Nickname

If you are a fan of American football or game shows, you might have wondered if there is any connection between Don “Wink” Martindale, the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, and Winston “Wink” Martindale, the legendary host of shows like Tic-Tac-Dough and Gambit. Are they brothers, cousins, or just share a common surname and nickname? In this article, we will reveal the truth behind the nickname and the relationship between the two Martindales.

How Don Martindale Got His Nickname

Don Martindale was born on May 19, 1963, in Dayton, Ohio. He attended Trotwood-Madison High School, where he played linebacker for the Rams and was an All-State selection his senior year. He then went to Defiance College, where he also played on the football team. It was during his freshman year that he got his nickname “Wink” from one of his teammates, who called him that after the famous TV game show host, Wink Martindale. According to Wikipedia, Don Martindale liked the nickname and decided to keep it.

How Wink Martindale Became a Game Show Host

Wink Martindale was born on December 4, 1933, in Jackson, Tennessee. He started his career as a disc jockey at age 17 at WPLI in Jackson, earning $25 a week. He later moved to Memphis, where he graduated from Memphis State University and became a popular radio personality. He also recorded some songs, including his hit “Deck of Cards”, which sold over a million copies in 1959. He moved to Los Angeles in 1959, where he continued his radio career and also ventured into television. He hosted his first game show, What’s This Song?, in 1964. He then went on to host many other game shows, such as Gambit, Tic-Tac-Dough, High Rollers, and Debt. He is considered one of the most prolific and successful game show hosts of all time. According to IMDb, he has hosted over 20 different game shows in his six-decade career.

The answer is no. Don Martindale and Wink Martindale are not related by blood or marriage. They just happen to share a common surname and nickname. However, they do have some things in common besides their names. They both have a passion for their respective fields of football and game shows. They both have won awards for their achievements. And they both have been involved in charitable causes and organizations.


Don Martindale and Wink Martindale are two successful and respected figures in American culture. They have made their marks in football and game shows, respectively. They also share a common surname and nickname, but that is where the similarity ends. They are not related in any way, except by coincidence. However, they do have a mutual admiration for each other’s work and accomplishments. According to Baltimore Ravens, Don Martindale once said that he would love to meet Wink Martindale someday and thank him for giving him his nickname. And according to, Wink Martindale once sent Don Martindale a signed photo with a message that read: “To Wink from Wink…keep up the good work!”

Doms Desk

Leave a Comment