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NFL Best - All Time Greatest Football Names

Updated on January 23, 2016
The NFL's Greatest Football Players Names
The NFL's Greatest Football Players Names

NFL Nicknames

So what is in a name? Have you ever noticed that a football player with a cool memorable name can be everything to a football fan. Some are fun names, some original and fit the player as if that truly is his name and then there are some that are just "out there"

All you really need to know is that any league that has a player with a nickname like "Deacon" a "Lawyer" and a "Minister" has to be alright . .read on and you will see what I mean.

Who In the NFL has The Greatest Names and Why?

Have you ever been curious to understand how there have been players with names like the refrigerator or Too Tall Jones.Keep reading and find out who the football Secretary of defense is and who he got the name without holding a government job. The following are some of the greatest nick names that have played on the gridiron.

The Refrigerator

William Perry The Refrigerator - The Chicago Bears
William Perry The Refrigerator - The Chicago Bears

NFL Great Football Names

William Perry

"The Refrigerator"

"The Fridge"

He is best known for his years as a defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears. In reference to his large size, he was popularly known as “The Refrigerator” or, abbreviated, “The Fridge”.

He came onto the gridiron arena in 1985 and played for the Chicago Bears defense. William Perry last played in 1994 for the Philadelphia Eagles. And one look at him and you understand how William Perry got his name.

Here are Some Memorable Moments from the "Fridge"

  • During Super Bowl XLIV, Perry joined other members of the 1985 Chicago Bears in resurrecting the Super Bowl Shuffle in a Boost Mobile commercial.
  • In 2006, he came out with a barbecue sauce.
  • In 2006, he participated in the Lingerie Bowl as the super sub.

I.M Hipp

Isiah Moses Walter Hipp

I.M. Hipp

I.M. Hipp was born on February 15, 1956 in Chapin, South Carolina.  After going to high school at Chapin (SC), Hipp attended the University of Nebraska where he played for University of Nebraska as a running back. He made his professional debut in the NFL in 1980 with the Oakland Raiders. He played for the Oakland Raiders for his entire 1 year career. 

  • 1995 Inductee, Nebraska Football Hall of Fame
  • Fourth-Round Draft Pick, 1980 NFL Draft (Atlanta)

Someone please tell me how could anyone ever forget him if not for his name.

Ed "Too Tall" Jones

Ed Jones Autographed Ed Too Tall Jones Dallas Cowboys 8x10
Ed Jones Autographed Ed Too Tall Jones Dallas Cowboys 8x10

Ed Jones

"Too Tall" Jones

Ed Too Tall Jones was a member of the famed Dallas Cowboys "Doomsday Defense" squad of the 1970s. By the end of his 15 years with the Cowboys, he was officially credited with 57 quarterback sacks.

Jones was given the nickname "Too Tall" because of his height, 6 ft 9 in (206 cm).

He once starred in a GEICO commercial that first aired in late 2009. The commercial rhetorically asks if Jones is indeed "too tall," then confirms it by showing a nurse attempting to measure his height but breaking the machine.

Mean Joe Greene

Charles Edward Greene

“Mean Joe” Greene

Charles Edward Greene was born September 24, 1946. He is a former all-pro American football defensive tackle who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. Throughout the early 1970s he was one of the most dominant defensive player in the NFL. There are many that consider him to be the greatest defensive lineman ever and was the cornerstone of the legendary “Steel Curtain” defense.

He got his NFL nickname when he played for Pittsburgh. It was the fan base who mistakenly assumed that the North Texas team nickname of "Mean Green" was Joe Greene's nickname but it was that Coach Rust's wife wanted to give a nickname to the team's outstanding defense. Since green is the school's main color, she gave the defense the name "Mean Green". In reality as a man and as a player he was really a good guy.

He will be forever remembered from the commercial that he did when he appeared on September 1, 1979 in which a child (Tommy Okon) gives him a Coke, prompting "Mean" Joe to smile and give the kid his team jersey.

He is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a four-time Super Bowl champion.

Reggie White

Photo -
Photo -

Reginald Howard

"Reggie" White

"The Minister of Defense"

Reggie White played defensive end for 15 seasons in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers. He was one of the most decorated players in NFL history.

During his professional career, he became famous not only for his incredible defensive plays, but also for his Christian ministry as an ordained Evangelical minister. This led to his nickname, "the Minister of Defense."

White was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, two years after his death.

Lawyer Milloy

Lawyer Milloy photo
Lawyer Milloy photo

Lawyer Milloy

A Pro-Bowl defensive back, with a great name. You have to think that every time you see him cross over to the sidelines to consult with any of the coaches, you really could refer to this as a 'sidebar'.

He played for the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL. Milloy was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Washington.

Milloy has also played for the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons. He was a member of the Patriots Super Bowl XXXVI championship team.

Roster status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Joe Namath

on Broadway, New York
on Broadway, New York

Broadway Joe Video Panthose Commercial

Joseph William "Joe" Namath

Broadway Joe

Joe Willie

An American football quarterback with enough nicknames to fill an entire roster. Willie Joe played college football for the University of Alabama under coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and his assistant, Howard Schnellenberger, from 1962–1964, and professional football in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) during the 1960s and 1970s.

He is and always will be an icon for the game of football. He played for the New York Jets for most of his professional career but finished his career with the Los Angeles Rams.

He was elected to the football Hall of Fame in 1985.

My favorite commercial of Joe's was with someone by the name of Farrah Fawcett and this was way before she became one of Charlies Angels. It was all about 'taking it off, taking it all off'

The Deacon

Minister of Defense - Deacon Jones
Minister of Defense - Deacon Jones

David Jones

David D. "Deacon" Jones

Secretary of Defense

Was born December 9, 1938 in Eatonville, Florida. He was a defensive end in the NFL and he played for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

Jones was known for his quarterback sacks, and a term that was attributed to him when he was nicknamed the "Secretary of Defense", Jones is considered one of the greatest defensive players ever.

The Los Angeles Times called Jones, "Most Valuable Ram of All Time," and former Rams head coach George Allen called him the "Greatest Defensive End of Modern Football".

NFL's best current-player nicknames

2012 - 2013

Now that we have looked at the past greatest names of football players, its time to look at the present and add these gridiron stars to the fold. Lets start with my favorite, Calvin Johnson aka "Megatron" .

Calvin "Megatron" Johnson

Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson


Roy Williams is credited for giving Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson the nick name of Megatron. It comes from a robot from the "Transformers" series, and Johnson and the NFL have totally embraced the moniker.

All you have to do is see Calvin Johnson as he stars in ESPN's 'This Is SportsCenter' Commercial where Megatron uses his abilities to get out of work around the office.

All Day Every Day

Minnesota Viking "All day" Adrian Perterson.
Minnesota Viking "All day" Adrian Perterson. | Source

AD (All Day)

Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been known as AD since childhood, when people said he could run "all day." He has also been called "Purple Jesus."

The Iceman

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has embraces his Matty Ice moniker.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has embraces his Matty Ice moniker.

Matty Ice

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan earned this nickname from other players because he came into the league as a rookie starting quarterback with ice in his veins, an uncanny poise in the pocket and he is just one of the coolest under pressure demeanor. Frequently he is also called "Iceman," once Ryan in an interview revealed that "Matty Ice" began in William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia (high school) and just stuck with him.

Revis Island

New York Jets #24 Cornerback Darrelle Revis
New York Jets #24 Cornerback Darrelle Revis

On An Island All His Own

Former NYJ Darrelle Revis brings star power and immense talent to the slumping Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Former NYJ Darrelle Revis brings star power and immense talent to the slumping Tampa Bay Buccaneers. | Source

Darrelle Revis

Revis Island

Ask Rex Ryan about the “Revis Rules” and he will tell you simpley, don’t throw his way. "Revis Island” was real.And as a Jets fan I loved every minute of reading about it. Its hard to try to name a cornerback in football who did a better job isolating receivers than Revis did in his prime playing for the Jets. Not often will you find this NFL player challenged by quarterbacks on Sunday as moost wide receivers who found themselves covered by Revis usually had a tough week.

The name is believed to have originated from a comment from Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who said receivers facing Revis "were on an island out there." Mayor Bloomberg even renamed NYC "Revis Island"

Playing for Tampa Bay now they are trying to say that there is a "Treasure Island" on the gridiron map. Time will tell. One thing is for sure, I miss Darrelle big time and always will.

NFL's Top Current Player Nicknames

Currently what is the best player nickname in the NFL today?

See results


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    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      Chip - you are right and I may need to edit and add the Night Train to this list of the greatest nfl names!

    • chip22 profile image


      8 years ago

      Really enjoyable hub, wave girl!

      Another really great NFL nickname.... Dick "Night Train" Lane of the Detroit Lions.

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      ~ Oh Sab Oh ~ Oh so very nice to see you:)

    • Sab Oh profile image

      Sab Oh 

      8 years ago

      A very fun hub!

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      ~ billyaustindillon - Maybe one of the reasons the XFL didnt make it was cause they let their football players like Rod Smart wear "HE HATE ME" on the back of his jersey . .makes me think of how much the NFL penalizes and charges Ochocinco everytime he changes his name .. lol .. another laugh you have given me this evening. .thanks:))

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      All great names but I always come back to that short lived XFL deal remember that guy 'He Hate me' - can't remember much else about that league - it was crappy football - but I think who would name them self that!!! Other than that you got to love The Fridge!

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      Jobs. .what a treat to see you. . oh how I have missed you!! Thanks for the comment and for the visit!!

    • jobister profile image


      8 years ago from Anaheim, California

      I wish people would give names to exceptional players.. I miss that..Great hub!

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      epigramman - keep making me smile and I just might turn the remote over to you !!!

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      you write (for me) the super bowl of hubs!!!

      and your personality and charm is like the ocean which keeps bringing me in your waves of splendor!

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      mti1098- thanks for stoppping by and leaving some interesting info and another great players name! I think I have more than enough to do a part II on this topic! Its a fun one . .Nice to see you!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice job on this...There was a guy in the XFL and I think his name was Yo Play (at list that is what was listed on the jersey)...Go Too Tall

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      Jai- Ha I do believe Ed was was toooo tall but that is what probably made him great! Looks like I probably can do a part II cause there are really so many other great names that could be on this list as you point out:)))) Thanks as always for coming by . .:)

    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 

      8 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      But, is Ed "too tall" Jones too tall? HeHe! :) I've always loved the name Lawyer Milloy and I completely forgot about I.M. Hipp. If you were his friend, would you be a Hippster? Broadway Joe, Mean Joe, Deacon and Fridge are classics. Another good Hub, Shari.

      What about "the Bus", "Crazy Legs","Galloping Ghost", "Kansas Comet" and "Bullet"?

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      ~Drew - so does this mean you liked this Hub . .lol!

      ~Pretty - Hoping your Moms day was just as beautiful as you are! Always love seeing you on my Hubs!!!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      Hey dear, you've got all the names, Like the refrigerator hehe, Happy Moms Day my friend, Take care, Maita

    • Drew Breezzy profile image

      Drew Breezzy 

      8 years ago from somewhere in my mind


    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      sam - too tall . he was the best. . actually the whole decade of the Cowboys when he played was awesome .. curious to know who your top ten all time cowboys are .. lol cause yes that is one of my hubs in the makings. .. gotta love the Boys!!! thanks for your words .. you are the best!!


    • samboiam profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      As a die hard Cowboy fan, Ed "Too Tall" Jones was my favorite. Another great hub.

      Shari, keep up the good work.

    • wavegirl22 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      ~ Mike Lickteig - thanks for the visit. . IM is one name that once I heard it . .one I could never forget. . and it definitely was a name that helped spur the idea of this Hub . glad you noticed it. . kinda a fun one to put together!!

      ~ Tony - wasnt Deacon also big in smack down wrestling!! Thanks for another visit that made me smile:)

      ~ dohn . so so nice to see you . . and glad you had a good time here. .I laughed alot while I was putting it together. . there are a few more I could have added but its got to end somewhere. . then again you could always pick up where I left off. .

      as for LT . .hmmmm sorry about this . .but somehow my gut always told me he .. well had/has a dark side .. he was a monster in his time ..and sometimes these guys forger that they are just like everyone else. . Im starting to think there is a curse or someone . .Plaxico now LT. . and I we need to talk about the upcoming season . . you know I bleed blue. . but I am liking alot of what I am seeing from you know that other team . the one i swore off many years ago . .anyway . I dont want you to be shocked when I may be cheering them big time come sept. . anyway keeping my fingers crossed about LT. .I hope it isnt true.........

    • dohn121 profile image


      8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Oh man...I wish I thought of this hub first! As always, you did a heck of a job on the write up, Shari. These guys are really some of the best that ever suited up in the NFL. There names are of course memorable, but their play was unimaginable. Awesome, awesome...

      On a serious note, I'm really disheartened about LT. Only time will tell where his road will lead him. He's my childhood hero :(


    • tony0724 profile image


      8 years ago from san diego calif

      Shari a spectacular cast of characters here. I grew up with the Rams and after he retired Deacon Jones used to do radio commentary at Rams games after his retirement. No objectivity whatsoever , his bias was so obvious. But I loved it. He made the radio commentary fun ! Nice job Shari !


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