Jun 3, 2008

What's in a Name?

Most star athletes have unforgettable nicknames, whether earned through their play (e.g. "The Big Hurt") or through self-promotion (e.g. "Ocho Cinco"). However, there are far too many athletes who's play has been deserving but are only known by their first (or last) names. Slam magazine has a feature each month, identifying such athletes and hosting a contest to come up with creative monikers for the identified un-nicknamed players. Here are a few I came up with for players without nicknames or whose nicknames don't do them justice:

"The Stork" -- Marshall Faulk
Sort of fitting that Marshall Faulk has had one of the highest-"scoring" careers of any athlete -- both on and off the field. Marshall once held the single-season touchdown record, but also managed to produce (at least) 6 children by 3 different women. Since these children came as a surprise and were delivered without a real father, I think "The Stork" is a fitting nickname.
Close second: "The Fertilizer"

"Little David" -- Barry Sanders
After searching the net, apparently Barry Sanders did have a nickname: "B." Neither do I recall this nickname, nor do I think it does justice to the greatest running back in NFL history. "Little David" (his middle name) suits him better -- making Goliath-sized defenders look stupid game-in and game-out.
Close second: "TNT"

"The Pill" -- Rafael Palmeiro
This nickname would have a double meaning -- referring to his days as a spokesperson for Viagra and for whatever else he put into his aging body in the late-nineties.
Close second: "Fingers" (just watch video of his court appearance)

"Stillframe" Steve -- Steve Nash
I was trying to mimic the "Pistol" Pete thing... I think Nash is similarily crafty with the ball, and it seems like he sees the court in slow-motion (or in stillframes) at times. Okay, kinda lame, but I think it's a travesty that the two-time MVP doesn't have a catchy nickname.
Close second: "The Puppeteer"

"Million Dollar Baby" -- Stephen Jackson
This is probably my favorite nickname that is not already owned by a professional athlete (that I know of). I most certainly would have given this title to Sheed, Iverson, Duncan, Kobe, or Rip if they didn't already have nicknames of their own...
Close second: "Three-to-Five Upstate"

Some other star athletes that need nicknames in the worst way: Derek Jeter, Tom Brady, LaDanian Tomlinson (since he stole the original LT's nickname)

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