Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Say my Name, Say my Name

‘Nickname Blame’ (Joe Murphy - NBAE/Getty Images)
‘Nickname Blame’ (Joe Murphy - NBAE/Getty Images)

D-Will has definitely got to go. Not the man but the horribly generic nickname that has been thrust upon him like an unsightly goiter. He has been lumped in with the likes of T.O, A-Rod and K-Fed. These are monograms not nicknames. It’s like whatever initials are on the guy’s towels, well then there’s your nickname. I think these so-called nicknames must have been given by those same creative geniuses who wrote all those great WB sitcoms.

If yesterday’s sports stars would be given nicknames today, Babe Ruth would probably be B.R instead of the Sultan of Swat. Ted Williams would cleverly be bestowed with T-Will instead of the Splendid Splinter and we would have had W-Gret in place of the Great One. Instead of Walter Payton’s Sweetness we would have W-Payt and Muhammad Ali, in place of The Greatest, would go down in history known forever as M.A. It would be blandness wrapped in dullness and drowned in mediocrity and it needs to be stopped.

This past summer the website had this to say about Deron Williams…

“He’s already been slapped with the dreaded and generic ‘D-Will.’ As the breakout star of the playoffs, he needs something more suitable for one of the best young players in the game. Give us your suggestions for a worthy nickname for Deron”. They received 566 responses. A few were even worse than D-Will as you will read but there were a few good ones among them. Some were based around his jersey number and others were based on his style of play. Here is just a sample of what their readers chose.

“The Octagon”, “Ill Will”, “The Drone”, “Scrappy (Doo) Williams.”, “The Ocho”, “8-ball”, “Coast to Coast”, “Dizzle”, “The Conductor”, “The Drill”, “The Stockton 3000”, “D-WIZZLE”, “Optimus Prime”, “The Terminator”, “Kingpin”, “D-WIZZLE”, “The Death Star”- “because he’s loaded with weapons, capable of destroying opposing teams, and cannot be stopped!” , “D-Train”, “Hit Man”, ”The Mortician”, ”The Virtuoso”, “The Enigma”,“D-Swag”, “The 8th Wonder”, “D-Rock”, “Dainja”, “The Catalyst”, “The Fifth Element”, “Illy Willy”, “D Wizz”, “The Gladiator”, and “Shakespeare”–because he makes plays”.

A few of these have a nice ring to it. I kind of like the idea of Deron ‘ILL WILL’ Williams breaking down an opponent. I know my 7-year old son would love watching “The Death Star” blow up and I am certain that all Jazz fans would love to get on board the “D-Train” to the Promised Land. I am also sure that C-Booze, R-Brew and P-Mill would love to join J-Slo and L-Mill hoisting up the championship trophy.


jw said...

Nice blog A-to-the-Hinck! Keep up the good work!

I do have a question though, anyone know why “Stock” got such a great nickname? After all he only has the all-time steals and assists. This is unjust, even the Round Mound of Rebound and Chocolate Thunder got one!

AW said...

It’s a toss up for my vote between The Death Star and Shakespeare.

AH said...

Thanks J-to-the-Wheels. Actually John Stockton had one of the best nicknames courtesy of Jim Rome: ‘Pasty Gangsta’. It just wasn’t used much but I think it was almost as good as that other great nickname given to Keith Van Horn who was simply known as ‘Pale Rider’.

bj said...

I blame JLo (Jennifer Lopez) for this whole mess of poor nicknames. That’s who I remember first having the first-initial-of-the-first-name-first-two-letters-of-the-last-name nickname.

The things with nicknames now is that it seems like everyone is rushing to give him one so that they can be given credit. Maybe they’re going after money like the early friend of AI was?

You can’t assign a nickname to someone. But once a good one finally comes out, you’ll know it, because it will just fit and everyone will use it.

There’s no denying the Mailman, Magic, Air Jordan, The Human Highlight Film, and others just stuck because they were just right.

So keep coming up with nicknames, one of them will stick.

mw said...

How about “The Silent Assassin”? The thing I like about him is that he lets his game do the talking. He doesn’t have to be in the face of the other guy all the time. He kills the other team with his stealthy and quiet game.

All in favor?

jrs said...

I think these, like D-Wil are for the most part player induced nicknames, the great ones come from someone outside the team, usually an announcer or sports writer.

If Memo would get back to his pre all-star form of last year, MONEY is a great nickname, when he’s making big 3’s, not so great when he struggles.

Some of the nicknames for opposing players, like The Deathstick, The Rapest, The Shooting Guard, Scotty Peabrain etc all take a physical quality or personality defect and make a derogatory nickname, which, of course all the NON fans of that player/team, love to use.
As noted, the really great nicknames emphasize something unique to that player’s ability. The Mailman always delivers (except in the finals). Air Jordan had a great vertical leap. The Human Highlight Film produced some great replays.