Controversy swirls about the possibility of naming the western span of the new Bay Bridge for former San Francisco Mayor and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. As an admirer of Brown and his political skills, I understand why his fans want it – but wonder if they shouldn’t be wary. Given all the cost overruns and safety issues, having one’s name on that bridge seems like a somewhat dubious honor.

But if the opposition of Gov. Jerry Brown and others keeps Brown’s name off the bridge, the Bay Area – and indeed the state – confront a question. What to name that bridge?  To help out our friends to the north, this Southern Californian would like to offer some suggestions:

7. Brown Bridge. Willie isn’t the only Brown who has been significant in Bay Area history. So why not just call it the Brown Bridge – and let people choose for themselves which Brown they want to honor? It could be Willie Brown, Pat Brown, Jerry Brown, or my personal favorite Ralph M. Brown, of Brown Act fame. Given the problems with the bridge’s construction, a nod to a law ensuring public access to official deliberations would seem very appropriate.

6. Carlos Danger Bridge. The danger piece reminds people to be careful crossing the bridge, and Carlos would be a nod to 49ers defensive back Carlos Rogers. And of course, “Carlos Danger” is a reference to one of the great fictional characters produced by the Internet. Trust me. The folks at Twitter will love it.

5. George W. Bush Bridge. San Francisco contemplated naming a sewage treatment plant for the former president, but missed its chance. The bridge offers an opportunity to right that wrong, and would serve as a fitting tribute to a man who knew about busted budgets and foreign outsourcing, and managed to sell us a bridge called the Iraq War.

4. Joe Montana Bridge. Or Montana-to-Rice bridge. A great pass for a great pass.

3. The “If You’re Worried, Just Take the San Mateo Bridge” Bridge. Transparency triumphs, with the bridge’s name letting drivers know that there are other options if they want to cross the bay safely.

2. Dianne Feinstein Bridge. She’s the oldest member of the U.S. Senate. And she’s older than the original Bay Bridge. Maybe the naming might nudge her to consider retirement, and finally open up an opportunity for the next generation of California leaders.

1. “Beat LA” Bridge. When I visit your ballparks, that’s all anyone can say to me. And wouldn’t it be nice for Bay Area residents to be able to say “Beat LA” every day, as they cross the bridge? Because let’s face it, L.A. doesn’t lose that often.