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The Great Nickname Revival


Courtesy of ztil301 on Flickr




Once upon a time athletes and stadiums were known by such great nicknames as The Met, The Babe, Crazy Legs, The Galloping Ghost and The Whizzer. This tradition continued through the ’80s with epic monikers such as The Big Unit, The Stick, Doc, The Golden Boy, Bam, and The Nigerian Nightmare.  Nowadays people think nicknames such as Matty Ice, Skittles, Megatron and Sports Authority Field at Mile High mean something, and in this Twitter-fueled world they fan out and somehow stick. That’s a shame and needs to be fixed. 

There are still some good nicknames, like The Truth and Johnny Football. And, because of the tireless efforts of Chris Berman, The Drum and The Razor are used increasingly in reference to a couple of NFL Stadiums. Still, nicknaming is a dying art, so I thought I’d try to come up with a few for some of my favorite athletes and groups. 

Vince Wilfork: The Route 1 Rampage

See the Jets game? The man is a front loader in cleats. Because Route 1 is the road to Gillette Stadium, it makes sense that his nickname refer to that fine stretch of asphalt, from which he’s had to peel many running backs after home games. 

The Patriots’ Secondary: The Leaky Cauldron

A Harry Potter reference might be out of place in the NFL, but this fits perfectly. It’s hard to tell sometimes if there are more being taken in the stadium bathroom than in the unit, which has allowed some pitiful touchdowns against mediocre quarterbacks. With Aquib Talib joining the fray this one might be short-lived. 

Tom Brady: The Naked Falcon

This just sounds cool—am I wrong?

Kevin “Silence” Garnett

I can’t believe no one’s come up with a good nickname for this guy yet. His passive-aggressive intensity is unlike anything else in sports and he looks like an assassin out there before games with his backboard punching routine. Because Dale Earnhardt already took “The Intimidator,” this will have to do. 

Pierre Garcon: The Waiter

He’s got a French name and he serves up touchdowns. If you don’t like it I can’t help you.

NHL: The Injustice League

If the Israelis and Palestinians can agree to a ceasefire, then these guys should be able to agree on a CBA. You may not care now, but when football’s over, you’ll miss hockey and these fat cats are holding out for more cash. This is a mockery of hockey fans all over the world and they should be punished.

Ryan “Brains” Lochte

He doesn’t have any. Get it? It’s ironic.

There are many great old nicknames that we left out, but if we were to list them all then there wouldn’t be room in the section for anything else. If you can think of good new nicknames for current athletes or venues, email them to [email protected] and we’ll put a list of them together.