Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/cerebel6/public_html/knowballs/blog/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76
Of all the titles a person can receive, there is perhaps none greater than a nickname; unlike a knightship or a doctorate, a nickname can only be bestowed by the public. Most great athletes get great nicknames. It was true then, and it’s true now (though not all nicknames are complementary).
But nicknaming goes further than that. Teams get nicknames as well– some are straightforward, while others have complicated stories behind them. Sports moments also nicknames– from the “miracle on ice” to “the shot heard ’round the world.”
Many websites have tried to catalog these sobriquets. ESPN’s Page 2 compiled a list of the best, which includes the fitting Pete “Charlie Hustle” Rose and the sublime “Phi Slamma Jamma” University of Houston basketball teams. But there is one ominous sign, one little-noticed fact that bodes ill for our future:
Only one of those nicknamed (Curtis “CuJo” Joseph) is an active player, and his career is almost over.
Where have all the good nicknames gone? In the old days, when men were men, baseball players slid spikes up, and racial segregation was alive and well (hey, I never said they were the good old days), players had real nicknames– like “the fireplug who walks like a man.” These days, people think “T.O.” is a nickname.
Well, it isn’t. Initials do not a nickname make. Neither does shortening a player’s first name (”Shaq”) or using that moronic first-initial-plus-short-surname combo (”A-Rod,” “C-Webb”).
So…. is there any hope for the future? Please, tell me there is. And tell me: