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9/08/2008 03:49:00 PM

Athletes Who Should Wear Their Nicknames

Oakland Arena
Chad Johnson is hoping to wear his Icho Cinco jersey in a game this season.
Photo by AP
The fearsome marketing wing of the NFL rose up this weekend and brought the smack down on the receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson. If you missed it, Johnson legally changed his name to become Chad Ocho Cinco, a jarring collision of English, Spanish and poor grammar, no matter which language you prefer. Naturally, Ocho Cinco wanted to wear a jersey with "Ocho Cinco" on the back, but the League refused, saying Mr. Cinco had a "financial obligation" to Reebok, which probably doesn’t want to be left with a few thousand irrelevant "JOHNSON 85" jerseys sitting around their warehouse.

It's all light and fun, until you consider that Señor Ocho Cinco may no longer even be good enough (he had a whopping 1 catch on Sunday) to warrant a (self-imposed) nickname on his jersey. Here are my top five players who should have been allowed to wear their nickname on their jerseys ...

1. MAGIC -- These days he goes by Mr. Johnson, but a Laker jersey with MAGIC across the back would be a huge seller.

2. TO -- After watching him on Hard Knocks all fall, I fell like we’re seeing a different Terrell Owens than the one who fractured teams and had to have his stomach pumped. Maybe he should celebrate by rocking a nickname on his shirt.

3. HUSTLE -- Pete Rose was commonly known as Charlie Hustle -- imagine the popularity of a jersey with HUSTLE across the back, particularly in hip-hop videos.

4. REFRIGERATOR -- William Perry came along about two decades early.

5. THREE FINGER -- Mordecai Brown was better known as "Three Finger" Brown, one of the coolest and strangest nicknames ever.

Who else deserved their nickname on their jersey? Let us know below ...

Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
posted by SI.com | View comments |


It Ocho Cinco jacka**! Get it right!
Posted: September 8, 2008 4:59 PM   by Anonymous Casey Wagner
Gary "The Glove" Payton
Posted: September 8, 2008 5:19 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'd wear a throwback jets jersey with "Broadway" on the back...
Posted: September 8, 2008 8:40 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about a Bulls jersey with "AIR" in da back?
Posted: September 8, 2008 9:52 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
the great one-99 (gretzky)

the captain-11(messier)
Posted: September 8, 2008 11:07 PM   by Anonymous Donk in Spokane, WA
First one that comes immediately to mind is LEGEND. Larry Bird was exactly that and would better support it on his back since BIRD didn't exactly describe his game. Other great ones might be DR. K, Dwight Gooden and THE BOZ, Brian Bozworth.
How about instead of Biletnikoff put "Stick'um" or Tatum "Assassin" or "Big Ben" Roethlisberger or instead of Olsen put "Merlin"
Posted: September 9, 2008 10:47 AM   by Anonymous kawunder
Just a few...
"Dr. J" Julius Erving
"Primetime" Deion Sanders
"Admiral" David Robinson
"Papi" David Ortiz
How about a Sweetness jersey in Chicago for Mr. Walter Peyton
Posted: September 9, 2008 11:16 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous

Gilbert Brown, former Green Bay Packer

Nickname: Grave Digger
Posted: September 9, 2008 11:37 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
"Frenchy" John Fuqua
"Ironman" Cal Ripken Jr.
"Mean Joe" Joe Greene
"Bus" Jerome Bettis
Posted: September 9, 2008 11:55 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
He Hate Me!
Posted: September 9, 2008 11:57 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: September 9, 2008 12:02 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
triple h 'the game."
ric flair "nature boy."
Posted: September 9, 2008 12:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: September 9, 2008 12:22 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about "He Hate Me". Oh, wait...
Posted: September 9, 2008 12:34 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
#17 Seahawks Jersey of Dave Kreig

Posted: September 9, 2008 1:27 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: September 9, 2008 2:09 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
"The Vaccinator" for Terell Buckley. Back in his days with the Packers we jokingly called him this because he would claim that he would give the opponent "a shot they would never forget". Of course he was always a non-factor on the field.
Posted: September 9, 2008 2:34 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Randy Johnson - "The Big Unit"
Posted: September 9, 2008 3:39 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I have a San Francisco Giants, Barry Bonds jersey #25 with the name "Jackasterisk" on the back.
I'll wear it at Cooperstown for
Bonds' HOF induction........
Posted: September 9, 2008 4:07 PM   by Anonymous JFJ
For Deion Sanders: "Neon" or "Prime Time." Pick a team: Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, or even Washington.

For Ed Jones: "Too Tall."

For Bob Hayes: "Bullet."

For Nolan Ryan: "Express."

For Clyde Drexler: "Glide."
Posted: September 9, 2008 5:28 PM   by Anonymous Heff
A Spurs jersey #44 with "Iceman" on the back
Posted: September 9, 2008 8:55 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Back in da day:
"Pistol" Pete Maravich

"Clyde" Walt Frazier

"Pearl" Earl Monroe

I guess the closest there has been to Ocho Cinco was when World B. Free announced that was his new name...

I wouldn't mind seeing:

"CP3" Chris Paul jerseys
Posted: September 9, 2008 9:03 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
what about Billy "White Shoes" Johnson or O.J. Simpson "Juice"
Posted: September 9, 2008 9:10 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Fred Dryer "Hunter"
that would make a good list players with there tv or movie character name Alex Karras with Papadouplas or Mongo on the back of a Lions jersey Bubba Smith with Hightower

Karl Malone "Mailman"
Posted: September 10, 2008 1:43 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about Antonion "El Pulpo" Alfonseca?

(Alfonseca has 6 fingers on one hand..."Pulpo" means "octopus" in spanish.
Posted: September 10, 2008 3:26 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'm going to have to second Miami Mike's "Sweetness", it should hve made the top 5. Mudbone was close...
Posted: September 10, 2008 5:54 AM   by Anonymous Bill West
On the Robin Ventura jersey..."Nuggy"
Posted: September 10, 2008 9:26 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
"Deacon" Jones, Willie "Bear" Lanier, Lenny "The Cool" Dawson...
Posted: September 10, 2008 12:03 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Chris Collinsworth
Posted: September 10, 2008 12:18 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
"The Bus" for Bettis!!! Just awesome.
Posted: September 10, 2008 12:58 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Chris "Captain Chaos" Cooley
Posted: September 10, 2008 1:13 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
One came to mind right away.

Would anyone be interested in wearing a StL Cardinals #6 that said "the Man"?
Posted: September 10, 2008 1:15 PM   by Anonymous Andy
Two comments:
1. Why would someone suggest names for wrestlers? For starters, the last i checked, a)Wrestling isnt a sport, it's a glorified soap opera. b) wrestlers dont wear team jerseys. c) Last i checked, Triple H is not a person's real name, so that would make it a nickname, making "The Game" a nickname of a nickname, which is just ridiculous.

2. Ichiro is not a nickname, it is the guy's actual first name. Plus, it is already on his jersey, making it completely pointless to mention it in this section.

Other than that, i like a lot of the people's suggestions in this post.
Posted: September 10, 2008 1:17 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Just to correct an earlier comment.

In hockey, "The Captain" is Steve Yzerman.

Back on track: "Mr. Hockey", "The Rocket" (Maurice Richard, not the juiced baseball player), "The Pocket Rocket", and my fav "Little Ball of Hate" - Pat Verbeek.
Posted: September 10, 2008 2:24 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'd say "Pacman" would be a good one too. If the NFL doesn't allow that then "Criminal" would suffice.
Posted: September 10, 2008 2:42 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Matt "I suck" Leinart
Posted: September 10, 2008 3:28 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The Doctor - Julius "Dr J" Erving
Posted: September 10, 2008 8:58 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Chris Collinsworth
Posted: September 10, 2008 9:28 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about for Kobe "Godlike"
Posted: September 10, 2008 10:31 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: September 11, 2008 8:44 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Gervin - Iceman
Testaverde - Green Balls
Rafer Alston - Skip To My Lou
Barkley - Round Mound
Maravich - Pistol Pete
Rodman - The Worm
Vinny Johnson - The Microwave

And of course, the best seller of them all......
Posted: September 11, 2008 9:06 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
am still waiting for my Ron Mexico jersey
Posted: September 11, 2008 9:27 AM   by Anonymous Steve P
Dallas Cowboys Randy White
1/2 man 1/2 monster
Posted: September 11, 2008 12:23 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
While Chad Ocho Cinco may be interesting for awhile, let's remember Dolphins receiver Mark "Super" Duper, who changed his name so that Super was his legal middle name. Did you remember him? No? That's what will happen with COC. He'll get tired of it or get traded and change back to Johnson.

I second "Pistol" Pete Maravich and Walter "Sweetness" Payton
Posted: September 11, 2008 12:56 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Cocktail Collins is my personal favorite
Can't forget The Big Hurt(Frank Thomas) or Crime Dog(Fred McGriff)
Posted: September 11, 2008 1:10 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Fred Mcgriff(crime dog)
Frank Thomas(big hurt)
Or my personal favorite cocktail collins
Posted: September 11, 2008 1:56 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Fernando "El Nino" Torres
Liverpool #9
Posted: September 11, 2008 1:57 PM   by Anonymous Your mom
Purple Jesus - Adrian Peterson
Posted: September 11, 2008 2:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
wasnt there a jersey that Maravich wore that said Pistol on the back at some point in the nba
I would buy a Ron Mexico Jersey, totally. Didn't NFL ban that from even being customly made?
Posted: September 11, 2008 4:24 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Warren Sapp- Jackazz
Posted: September 11, 2008 4:45 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
"Candyman" for Ray Allen because his shot is so sweet.
We miss u in Wisconsin Ray!
Posted: September 11, 2008 4:50 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
"All Day" It's great for defensive players to see, as they watch Adrian Peterson rip off another 60 yard run, knowing he's going to be doing that to them ALL DAY!
Posted: September 11, 2008 4:54 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
roger "rocket" clemens
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