Can we get some real Nicknames these days Please?


By Paul M. Banks

From now on we can refer to Demetri McCamey as “Baby Ben”, as in “Baby Ben Gordon.” Or we can simply call him “Cames.” Just don’t for the LOVE OF GOD call him “D. Mac”. There are already plenty of subpar “nicknames” falling into this category, lame abbreviations such as: D. Wade (Dwanye Wade), D. Rose (Derrick Rose), JaBo (Jason Bohannon), A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), I-Rod (Ivan Rodriguez) and D. Will (Deron Williams). These aren’t nicknames, just good references for brevity’s sake; a way to refer to players in text-message friendly form.

Nicknames today need to get closer to the outrageous. Follow the example set by the mafia, fraternity pledge classes and 1920s era baseball teams. Like my friend Big Saj said, “people love it when you give them nicknames, even if they’re really not that applicable, they enjoy the fact that you took the time to create a nickname for them.” SO TRUE!

When I was on Fulbright in Germany, I named the most socially/politically conservative girl in our group “Red State”, because she also happened to have lived in four of the most conservative states in the Union; and she wore red half the time and carted around red luggage. Good nicknames quickly foster social bonds at worst, replace the person’s first name at best. We desperately NEED to get back to the days of Oil Can Boyd, Boo Wade, Spud Webb, Blue Moon Odom and Mugsy Bogues. Also someone, somewhere, needs to be nicknamed “Sidecar” for some reason; any reason.

As the ABC series “Lost” wraps up its final season, I should really thank the character James ‘Sawyer’ Ford (a.k.a. this generation’s Hans Solo) for bringing this phenomenon back to a major network television show.  We all know that hearing characters called “Freckles”, “Chewy”, “Jumbotron”, and “Oliver Twist” had a lot to do with the franchise’s popularity.

 Although I am against the social tour de force that is MTV’s “Jersey Shore” on multiple levels, I REALLY appreciate that they have a “JWow”, “Snooki” and some dude named Mike that can legitimately get away with being referred to as “The Situation.” 

The fictional drama character, and the fictional reality tv character have set great examples for us- the most bizarre nicknames tend to be the stickiest, and the best of the oddities prompt other people to ask “Hey, how did you get that nickname?”  So let’s follow their lead in creating new and better sports nicknames. But remember: you can’t give yourself a nickname…that’s one of the many great Seinfeldian lessons of our time.


  1. Peter Christian says

    Good nicknames of our generation: Baby Jesus, AD, Pac-Man, Peanut, Pronk, The Mayor King Felix, The Sandman, The Matrix, Alien, Ray Murder, Candyman, Black Mamba, The Akron Hammer, Franchise, Leprechaun Fu#@er and of course, Shirts.

    (PMB also failed to mention another fantastic fictional nicknamer from the small screen: Tim Riggins of Friday Night Lights, who’s given us such gems as Six, Seven, Fours, Minds, Becks and Garrity)

  2. We need to trademark “Leprechaun Fu$#er”

  3. Unfortch Pete, all those names are only popular with sports geeks like oursleves, no one outside of the hard cores knows those nicknames. although they are pretty awesome. Right now I hear Peanut Tillman in reference to him about 60-705 of the time, Charles Tillman about 30%. that needs to be 100%

  4. Amen brother Paul. I’m getting on this bandwagon. Who’s “The Akron Hammer”. That’s great.

  5. Agreed! let’s trademark “Leprecaun F—er” for Harangody,
    “Baby Ben” for McCamey, “His Royal Smoothness” for Evan Turner, and anyone who ever says D. Mac or EvTu or ET can get shot in the face by Sawyer 10 times.

    Yes, who is this Akron Hammer?

  6. Peter Christian says

    Akron Hammer??? Just someguy named Lebron

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