Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Death of the Nickname

Tonight the Toronto Raptors are playing the Los Angeles Lakers. The game features some of the best players in the NBA, Kobe Bryan, Pau Gasol, and Chris Bosh. It also features some of the worst nicknames in the NBA. Chris Bosh is referred to as CB4. How embarrassing is that? His nickname is just his initials and his numbers. There is no creativity there at all.

That isn't even the worst of it though. Kobe Bryant, arguably one of the best basketball players on the planet, doesn't even have a nickname (I don't count "Black Mamba" because he gave it to himself and no one calls him that). How is it that Kobe hasn't been dubbed something cool that is memorable and clever?

Sadly this is a trend that is developing in sports. People have seemingly stopped trying to come up with awesome nicknames for the best athletes and have instead opted for the easy way out often using an abbreviation of the athletes name or just their initials.

In some cases the best athletes aren't even given any sort of nickname. Guys like Albert Pujols and Peyton Manning have no nickname whatsoever (if anyone comments and says Manning's nickname is "the Sheriff" I will find where you live and kick you in the testicles).

How did this happen? The generation of superstar athletes before this current one all had sweet nicknames. There was "Air Jordan" and "Basketball Jesus" in the NBA. "The Blond Bomber" "Juice" and "Sweetness" in the NFL and "the Bash Brothers" and "the Big Hurt" in MLB.

These are nicknames that are not only well earned but are also clever and memorable. When people use these nicknames they do so almost in a reverent manner as if talking about some greater being. For instance Wayne Gretzky became "the Great One" and Babe Ruth became "the Sultan of Swat." How much cooler is "the Sultan of Swat" than "A-rod?"

The nicknames of today just don't have the same cool feeling about them. Plus nicknames today are frequently stolen from older players. How is Dwight Howard referred to as "Superman?" That is Shaq's nickname. You can't just steal someone in the leagues nickname just because you like it? How many championships has Dwight Howard won? How many MVP trophies does he have? Go win some more dunk contests pal and leave the "Superman" title to its rightful owner.

Here are some more example of stolen nicknames:

"Pudge" - Carlton Fisk (original) Ivan Rodriguez (thief)
"M&M Boys" Mantle and Maris (originals) Morneau and Mauer (thieves)
"the Kid" Ted Williams (original) Griffey Jr. (thief)
"Big Mac" Willie McCovey (original) Mark McGwire (thief)
"Big Game James" Worthy (original) Posey (thief)
"LT" Taylor (original) Tomlinson (thief)
"Alexander the Great" Mogilny (original) Ovechkin (thief)

Those are some pretty blatant ripoffs and the crimes are being perpetrated against some of the best athletes to ever play the game. Posey stealing Worthy`s nickname is a joke as is Tomlinson trying to take "LT." The fact broadcasters and journalists allow this to occur is brutal.

So here is what I am proposing. With your help I want to come up with some solid nicknames for some of the better athletes currently wandering the sports world without a solid alias. Let`s see if we can do better than Sid "the Kid" Crosby and "King" James.

I already have a few ideas for Bosh. How about "Ru Paul?" Shaq called Bosh the "Ru Paul of big men" so why not go with that. Or since he looks like a giant dinosaur why not some clever play on that like "Dino" or "Little Foot" or even "Earl Sneed" or "Sneed" for short. That took me all of 10 seconds to think of and I think all those names are better than "CB4."

So get brainstorming and hit me some clever nicknames for these guys. And if you don`t think this is a problem then I have one thing to say to you: Chris Paul who is the best point guard in the NBA shares the same nickname as Candice Parker who is a player in the WNBA. That`s right. They both go by "CP3." If that isn`t a cause for change I don`t know what is.

Random YouTube Video


liberty said...

I'm sure Chris Paul doesn't mind sharing his nickname with Candace Parker.She is one of the top players in the WNBA,and one of the best women's basketball players in the world.She won two NCAA championships with the Tennessee Lady Vols,Olympic gold with Team USA in Beijing,and ROY and MVP in her rookie season in the WNBA.

Anonymous said...

Chris "the Deadbeat" Bosh

James Choleras said...

Jamario Moon > Every female basketball player ever