Great nicknames in sports

By March 17, 2013June 18th, 2018No Comments

sports-nicknamesWhile learning about some NFL free agents that changed teams this week, it came to my attention that the Bears’ new tight end, Martellus Bennett, goes by the name “Black Unicorn”.  Apparently, it goes back to last season when he said his offseason program made him feel fast and strong – like a unicorn, a unicorn that is black.

That got me thinking about other great nicknames in sports.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

Muscle Hamster – Doug Martin (NFL)

The diminutive running back got this nickname for defending his college girlfriend (after SHE was called muscle hamster).  Still, it seems to fit the little guy.  Also, he really hates it, which always makes a nickname better.

Papa Grande – José Valverde (MLB)

Closers are odd people.  And if not for Brian Wilson, Valverde would probably be the weirdest of these weirdos.  There is no better proof of this than his nickname “Big Potato” (or maybe “Big Daddy”, but I prefer to believe it’s “Big Potato”).

Gatsby – Steve Nash (NBA)

Nash started being called Gatsby this season, in reference to his awesome I-Just-Moved-to-LA hair cut.  I would kill for hair like that.

Dorito – Steve Collis (English Footballer [that means soccer])

He’s a soccer player with the nickname Dorito.  That’s pretty much good enough for me.

The Big AARP – Shaquille O’Neal (NBA)

There was no way I could do this list and not include something from the Big Aristotle.  The problem is, when the Shaqtus retired, he retired all of his nicknames too.  All except the Big AARP.  So, I’ll go with that.

Juice – Jason Giambi (MLB)


Grandmama – Larry Johnson (NBA)

Larry Johnson is one of my all time favorite NBA players, and I don’t remember a second of him playing.  If you did not have the good fortune to see the Grandmama commercials, stop what you’re doing, go on Youtube and watch them.

Wait, finish reading this, then go on Youtube, and watch them.

Chester The Molester – Chester Taylor (NFL)

This nickname was a bad idea.

The Big Handsome – Cody Zeller (NCAA Basketball)

Well, they got this one half right.  The Indiana center is big.  Unfortunately, he’s a pretty ugly dude.  On the plus side, the nickname inspired a rap.  I haven’t heard it, but I have to believe any rap that comes out of central Indiana has to be good.

Big Puma – Lance Berkman (MLB)

Pumas are slender agile cats that stalk their prey.  Berkman is none of these things.  But it’s still a sweet nickname.

Tough Juice – Caron Butler (NBA)

A coach nicknamed Butler Tough Juice because of his aggressive play.  I don’t get it.

Nancy Drew – J. D. Drew (MLB)

I hate J.D.  I don’t know why, but I really hate him.  This nickname makes me happy.

White Mamba – Brian Scalabrine (NBA)

Scal was a fan favorite in both Chicago and Boston despite never getting off of the bench other than to high-five teammates during stoppages in play.  Despite this, his adoring fans felt the need to compare him to Kobe Bryant.  He could have taken it as an insult, but Scal totally embraced the name – making a video to explain the difference between black mambas and white mambas, and including a white snake in the intro to his show where he tools on unsuspecting Bostonians in games of one-on-one.

The Greek God of Walks – Kevin Youkilis (MLB)

Youk is not even Greek.  His family is Jewish and from Romania.  He does walk a lot though.

Honorable Mention:

The Little Ball of Hate – Pat Verbeek

Death To All Flying Things – Bob Ferguson

The Pounding Pontiff – Marquez Pope

The Speeding White Sausage – Georg Hackl

The Chicoutimi Cucumber – Georges Vézina,

The Big Perogie – Sebastian Janikowski