Legendary Sports Stars "Nicknames"
I was a sports fan from a very early age. Having a “sports hero” back years ago seemed to be more prevalent than it is today. It also seemed to me that many of those greats from yesterday had great nicknames. Here is my list of some of my favorite “Nicknames” of my sports hero’s.
He was, by far, the most prolific running back in the history of the NFL. He as known as “Sweetness” by anyone and everyone who was a fan of the NFL. His style of running and his demeanor on and off the field earned him this name that only seemed appropriate to those who took the time to follow him.
In my opinion is arguably the greatest NCAA Men’s Basketball Coach in history? He has won more games than any division 1 NCAA Basketball coach ever. He has compile 902 wins over a 43-year career.
During his 29 years with the Indiana Hoosiers, he only managed to win THREE NCAA Championships, ONE NIT Championship and ELEVEN Big Ten Conference Championships. He won an Olympic gold medal by leading the 1984 USA men’s team. He was NCAA Coach of the year four times and Big Ten Coach of the year six times.
Although he was possibly the most “controversial” coach of all time, and it was always exciting to watch one of his teams take to the courts. From throwing chairs, to screaming at players and refs, there was never a dull moment with him. He was also very proud have an extremely high rate of his kids to graduate and be successful after college.
The General only seems to be the obvious name for this great.
The Doctor was one of my all-time favorite NBA and ABA players to watch. He is the father of the Slam Dunk. He earned his nickname from his high school days. I can still vividly see him flying through the air, with his bushy afro, soaring from the top of the key, arm stretched high and finishing with a thunderous “slam”.
Was one of my favorite NBA players of all time, and was one of the most amazing offensive players to watch. John Havlicek once said that the Pistol was "the best ball-handler of all time”. He was a prolific scorer and passer. In the NBA, he scored over 40 points in a game 35 times and score 50 or more points six times.
His unique style of shooting, as if he had a 6-shooter on his side, he would grab the ball, and smoothly shoot in one motion as would an old west gunfighter, earning his nickname, Pistol Pete.
He became a house hold name to most of America after scoring a touchdown for the Chicago Bears on a Monday Night telecast. This 6’2”, 395 pounder who played Defensive Tackle, was tabbed the “Refrigerator” for obvious reasons. He was a tremendous athlete considering his size, who often would play offense and throw tremendous blocks for the Great Walter Payton. The “fridge” also managed to score in Super Bowl XX.
Other ones, who I will only mention without going into detail, are:
The Intimidator, Dale Earnhardt (a personal favorite…more to come on him, later)
Magic Johnson – LA Laker
“Tiny” Archibald – Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell - Boston Celtic greats
“Crazy Legs” Hirsch – NFL great running back from the early days.
Ed “Too Tall” Jones – Dallas Cowboy Defensive End
Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini – Boxing Great
“Sugar” Ray Leonard - Olympic Boxer
Kenny “The Snake” Stabler – Oakland Raiders Quarterback
MLB, relief pitchers:
“Catfish” Hunter- and “Goose” Gossage
Earl “The Pearl” Monroe – NBA Great
“Broadway” Joe Nameth – New York Jets QB
Billy “White Shoes” Johnson – NFL showboater and kick returner.
George “Papa Bear” Halas – Long time Chicago Bear Owner, coach and founder of the NFL
George “Sparky” Anderson –Cincinnati Reds Manager
What are some of your favorites?