The 100 Best Nicknames in Sports Today

Zack Pumerantz@z_pumerantzAnalyst IIIJune 6, 2012

The 100 Best Nicknames in Sports Today

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    They've defined careers, molded reputations and set the sports world on fire with their creativity. They are the greatest athletic nicknames on Earth.

    Birth names like Shaun White and Brian Wilson can only take a budding star so far before he requires a flipped script. There comes a time when birth certificates just won't cut it anymore.

    Thankfully, the athletic realm has always been stocked with innovative minds who spend countless hours jotting down potential monikers for those athletes in need.

    And the new batch of world-class talents are reaping the benefits.

    After scanning the collection of today's sportspeople with nicknames, we've compiled the 100 best.

    William "The Fridge" Perry would be proud.

100. The Flyin' Hawaiian

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    Wailuku-born Philly Shane Victorino also goes by the name of The Pineapple Express for his tropical heritage and blazing speed.

    From pineapple to cheesesteaks, Victorino has endured one of the more unique transitions.

99. Juggernaut

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    Like his comic-book counterpart, Peyton Hillis possesses superhuman strength and the ability to shatter surrounding mountains.

    All he lacks is parallel durability. Hillis' ultimate weakness.

98. The Big Donkey

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    It's doubtful an actual donkey would strike out as much as slugging first baseman Adam Dunn does on a routine basis.

    Perhaps Number One Dunna (in reference to the Big Tymers song "Number One Stunna") or simply "Will Ferrell part dos" would better suffice.

97. The Bulin Wall

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    The first Russian goalie ever to win the Stanley Cup, Nikolai Khabibulin is an impenetrable force in net.

    The only thing separating the Berlin and the Bulin wall is graffiti.

96. AK-47

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    CSKA Moscow small forward Andrei Kirilenko was once a ferocious defender for the Utah Jazz. How could we forget the automatic weapon himself?

    While he was interestingly born in the city of Izhevsk, where the AK-47 is actually manufactured, it's his number and initials that also sparked this unique moniker.

95. Rip

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    Richard Hamilton's biography states that his father was nicknamed Rip because of his affinity for ripping his own diapers as a toddler, and young Richard inherited the name as what we believe to be tradition.

    But let's be real, this name is far more gaseous. Cut the Cheese Hamilton seems clearer.

94. The Spider

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    Fourteen consecutive wins and nine title defenses (the longest of both streaks in UFC history), MMA legend Anderson Silva's silky web only grows with every victory.

    This air-breathing arthropod can't be talked down.

93. Doc

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    Some believe Cy Young winner Roy Halladay garnered his potent nickname from American Old West gambler and gunfighter Doc Holliday.

    But come on, this name means only one thing. Halladay is a steady surgeon on the pitching mound.

    He might as well have M.D. scripted on his shoulder.

92. Suga

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    Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Shane Mosley.

    Clearly, MMA man Rashad Evans had to take the "R" off of sugar to keep the flow going. Nice try.

91. The Mad Scientist

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    While leading the Texas Tech Red Raiders to winning seasons in every year of his tenure, head coach Mike Leach began garnering attention for both his craziness and his brilliance.

    He's currently mixing varying vats of chemicals and jotting equations down for the Washington State Cougars football team.

90. El Caballo

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    It's only natural that Carlos "The Horse" Lee owns and operates cattle ranches in Panama and Houston and has a loyal fanbase by the name of Los Caballitos (little horses).

    He's clearly a thoroughbred hero.

89. Baby Jet

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    Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan may have made enemies when he missed a penalty kick in the last minute of extra-time in Ghana's quarterfinal defeat by Uruguay at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but he's certainly gaining their trust back with his rapping prowess.

    African Girls feat. Baby Jet is one for the ages.

88. The Sanchize

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    As he continues to creep towards the lower tier of what is considered a franchise player, Mark Sanchez remains The Sanchize.

    If only his first name was somehow Fran, his name would read Fran Sanchize. Just saying.

87. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy

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    From The Huntington Beach Bad Boy to The People's Champ, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz continues to shock the world with his collection of alter egos.

    The Cali-bred fighter may have a tough time keeping the latter nickname if he loses to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148, allegedly his last fight

86. The Burner Turner

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    Sure, he's 244 pounds of pure muscle, but that didn't stop Michael Turner from tearing through a 4.37 40-yard dash at the 2004 combine.

    The man's got skills.

85. The Dean of Mean

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    Don't be fooled by his rare smile, MMA extraordinaire Keith Jardine will eat you alive with his frustrating style of fighting.

    His intentional lack of rhythm is just mean.

84. The Law Firm

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    Like Sperber Denenberg and Kahan or Davis Polk and Wardwell, BenJarvus Green and Ellis is an established law business that specializes in holding on to the football.

    So maybe he's not a business, but tailback BenJarvus Green-Ellis knows how to secure his cases.

    That's right; he's never fumbled.

83. Tony Plush

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    One of the stranger players perusing MLB diamonds, Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan seems to believe more in his alter ego than he does in himself.

    Allow him to detail his "Plushdamentals."

82. Smoke

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    Legend has it that racing star Tony Stewart wasn't very good about not slipping the right-rear tire when he began racing, eventually earning the nickname Smoke.

    But it only escalated from there, as Stewart entered races as "Smoke Johnson" and "Mikey Fedorcak Jr." so as not to be recognized.

81. The Landlord

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    Duke's all-time leader in blocks and rebounds, NBA journeyman Shelden Williams hasn't quite found the same success on the professional hardwood as he did in college.

    But his aggression and shot-blocking ability force us to continue calling him The Landlord. He always gets the rent on time.

80. The Ice Cream Man

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    He might be the creepiest ice cream man of all-time, but Luis Scola always delivers.

    With every drive to the basket, announcers often scream "One scoop or two?!"

79. The Freak

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    With his wild mane and quirky windup, Giants ace Tim Lincecum garnered this respectful nickname.

    Only in sports would The Freak be considered legendary.

78. Superman

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    Meet Mr. Dwight Howard himself, the most athletically gifted big man in basketball.

    Some believe he's the savior of humanity.

77. Joey Bats

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    For some reason, the name Joey can be used with any baked good. Joey Doughnuts, Joey Cupcakes, you name it and it's brilliant.

    But Joey Bats is an illustrious representation of everything that Jose Bautista is. A pure hitter.

76. Pronk

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    Seen as half-prospect, half-donkey, Travis Hafner was seemingly at a crossroads in spring training during the early 2000s.

    That was until former teammate Bill Selby meshed the terms into "Pronk".

    Awkward, yet fitting.

75. El Nino

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    Meaning "The Kid" in English, El Nino is almost as legendary as Willie Mays being called "The Say Hey Kid."

    Even at 28 years old, Spanish sensation Fernando Torres still looks like an awkward 11-year-old.

74. The Shark

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    The multi-sport talent that is Jeff Samardzija went from highlight-reel receiver at Notre Dame to pitching phenom in Chicago.

    Little did we know, he's also the shark from Finding Nemo.

73. Wild Thing

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    Dennis Rodman without the flair, Ron Artest without the chatter, mustard with extra Heinz.

    Anderson Varejao is as mysterious as they come.

72. Autobahn

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    German-born South Korean footballer Cha Du-Ri is said to be as slick and fast as the dangerous Autobahn itself.

    With no speed limit, this Korean burner is worlds ahead of the competition.

71. Hibachi

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    Once known as Agent Zero in reference to his jersey number (although he's now No. 10), Gilbert Arenas then adopted the nickname Hibachi because of his sizzling shot.

    Add some fried rice and shrimp to your game, and we've got a winner.

70. The Cuban Missile

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    6'2" shortstop Alexei Ramirez inherited his nickname from his lanky frame and combination of speed and power.

    Although with a .224 batting average and one home run last year, Ramirez now seems most destructive to his own club.

69. Boobie

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    Whether Daniel Gibson couldn't get enough of that early-life feeding or he couldn't pronounce boogie is irrelevant.

    This dude's got his own flow.

68. The Bison

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    Many have attempted to find the origin of Matt Kemp's sturdy nickname, but like the mammal he is referenced to, Kemp is as bruising as they come.

    Powerful and fast, Kemp is a regal presence on the diamond.

67. Mr. November

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    When the start of the 2001 baseball playoffs was delayed following the September 11 attacks, November was set to take over the usual October time frame.

    Game 4 of the World Series between the Diamondbacks and Yanks on October 31 continued into the 10th inning with the score tied at three.

    The first non-exhibition MLB game played in the month of November would see Derek Jeter hit a game-winning home run off of Byung-Hyun Kim.

    Like Reggie Jackson's Mr. October name, Jeter would inherit the term Mr. November.

66. Captain Canada

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    After Canadian baller Steve Nash was awarded the Order of Canada in 2007, it was clear the feisty point guard had already reached immortality.

    He is the heart and soul of his country.

65. Hebrew Hammer

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    It isn't the first time the Jewish moniker has been used (All-Stars Al Rosen and Hank Greenberg had the same name), but like a fine wine, the name only gets better with age.

    Last year's MVP, Ryan Braun, continues to save Hanukkah one bomb at a time.

64. The Matrix

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    Thanks to TNT broadcaster Kenny Smith, dynamic forward Shawn Marion has repped this classic nickname since his rookie year

    We need more red-pill ballers in this world.

63. Jesus Shuttlesworth

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    A talented Brooklyn-bred baller played by Ray Allen in He Got Game, Jesus Shuttlesworth has shadowed the talented Celtic since the movie's release in 1998.

    But who wouldn't want Denzel Washington as their father?

62. The Big Ticket

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    Da Kid may be more humorous, but The Big Ticket is certainly a better name in reference to Kevin Garnett's effect on the game of basketball.

    If only for his headbanging ways.

61. Big Papi

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    Word has it that Dominican slugger David Ortiz called everyone papi during his early days at Fenway Park, a word commonly used in Latino countries for pal, buddy or, perhaps more recently, bro.

    With a weight of 230 pounds and wrists of gold, Big Papi was the only suggestion necessary.

60. Pocket Hercules

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    At 5'7", Maurice Jones-Drew can certainly fit in most regular-sized pockets. But with a weight of nearly 210 pounds, the muscular Jacksonville tailback can also truck most ferocious defenders.

    End Zone Hercules seems like a better fit.

59. The Answer

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    With one of the greatest crossovers ever seen on the hardwood, Allen Iverson won four scoring titles and cemented himself in basketball record books forever.

    But not only was he the answer, Virginia's own Iverson is now the question as he approaches a comeback

58. Fancy Pants

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    As if this one demands an explanation.

    Mixed martial artist Lyle Beerbohm still has a long way to go.

57. Shogun

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    He may look nothing like the military dictators in Japan from 1192 to 1867, but that hasn't kept Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Mauricio Rua from seemingly embracing the nickname Shogun with open arms.

    Shogun Rua is certainly a commander of force.

56. STAT

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    Sure he stuffs the stat sheet on a regular basis, but that's not what earned Amar'e Stoudemire this prestigious moniker.

    The name, found tattooed on his arm and stitched on his shoes, refers to "standing tall and talented."

55. Lightning Bolt

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    It's only natural that the fastest man on Earth would possess the last name Bolt.

    A stupendous nickname was an easy second step for Usain Bolt.

54. The Arm Collector

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    With California-bred Brazilian mixed martial artist Givanildo Santana securing 13 out of his 17 wins by armbar (10 in a row), he had to see this coming.

    Creepy, yet certainly intimidating.

53. The Mississippi Missile

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    The Jackson-born Monta Ellis possesses arguably the fastest feet in the NBA.

    And as a result, his tongue-twisting name seems cemented for good.

52. Ned Flanders

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    Like the cartoon counterpart he has painted on the back of his helmet, goaltender Peter Budaj is an openly devout Christian who clearly respects the man, the legend Ned Flanders.

    Let's see which goalie upstages him with a painting of Groundskeeper Willie.

51. The Truth

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    Personal biases as to who truly deserves this nickname aside, Paul Pierce has one of the most epic titles in sports.

    But Kevin Durant may be more deserving.

50. The Pink Panther

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    Word has it that Paula Creamer earned her colorful nickname from professional golfer Casey Wittenberg during their junior golf days.

    As if Creamer's affinity for pink wasn't already obvious.

49. B-Diddy

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    Now that he's out for at least a year with a torn ACL, MCL and (partial) patellar tendon in his right knee, Baron Davis has plenty of time to jot down several new nicknames for himself.

    Nobody wants to be named after a self-absorbed entrepreneur who changes his name every other week and is only famous because of the late, great Notorious B.I.G. 

48. Rampage

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    Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson remains one of the moodiest fighters in the world. This uncontrollable demeanor has led to quite the reputation for the mixed martial artist turned actor.

    Rampant and filled with rage...meet Mr. Jackson.

47. The Magician

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    Like an unsuspecting trickster, Brazilian starchild Ricardo Kaka outruns the competition with a raging ferociousness that few expect.

    He continues to amaze.

46. Kung Fu Panda

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    Like his cartoon counterpart, third baseman Pablo Sandoval is heavy, round and fluffy.

    For all we know, he's a martial arts master as well.

45. Mr. Big Shot

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    Clutch shots during his time in Detroit earned now-aging point guard Chauncey Billups this respected nickname.

    The former NBA champion is never afraid to chuck up the deciding shot.

44. Pacman

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    Among the greatest pound-for-pound boxers/talents on Earth, Manny Pacquiao is packed tight with ability and sprints through the competition with an unmatched ferociousness.

    He doesn't even have time to digest his opponents.

43. Flash

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    There was talk of Dwyane Wade wanting to ditch the superhero nickname, but let's be real. He has no choice in the matter.

    Superhuman reflexes, fastest man alive, fancy nickname. Who wouldn't want the name Flash?

42. Blade Runner

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    All too perfect for such an athletic inspiration.

    South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius has perhaps the most unique story in sports.

41. British Bulldog

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    Captain Fantastic is also a phenomenal choice, but we believe British Bulldog is the most solid representation of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

    The legendary footballer is as reckless as they come.

40. J-Smoove

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    J-Smoove is almost always on the move as he prances up and down the court looking to posterize opponents.

    2005 NBA Dunk Contest champion Josh Smith is too cool for school. Fact.

39. Skip 2 My Lou

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    While he now finds himself clawing for playing time in the D-League, there was a time when point guard Rafer Alston was a pioneer in the creation of the AND1 Mixtape Tour.

    His unorthodox yet lightning-quick style gave defenders nightmares, and his galloping-while-dribbling flow sparked the nickname Skip 2 My Lou.

38. The Toddfather

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    A five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger and three-time Gold Glover, career-long Rockie Todd Helton seems to fashion his game off of Mario Puzo-created Sicilian immigrant Vito Corleone.

    A strict code of honor keeps Helton out of the headlines and headed for the Hall.

37. The Puppet Master

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    The ability to dictate the flow of most games has earned Spanish footballing star Xavi Hernandez this memorable tag.

    Elite vision, pinpoint accuracy and untouchable ball control give this master a slight edge.

36. Mellow Johnny

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    With yellow jersey translated to French becoming "maillot jaune," it's only natural that Mr. Yellow Shirt (also known as Lance Armstrong) himself would garner a similar-sounding nickname.

    Maillot jaune sounds eerily similar to Mellow Johnny. And you can bet the Tour de France legend is ironically not so calm.

35. The Rhino

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    An aggressive, hard-tackling Italian midfielder, Gennaro Gattuso earns this label as much for his epic stare as he does for his ruthless style of play.

    He's been seen slapping, taunting, screaming, head-butting, roaring. A true beast.

34. The Birdman

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    Some know NBA Chris Anderson as Birdman (lacking the addition of "the"), but that name likely comes from his true resemblance to the feathered and winged animal itself.

    The Birdman himself is actually Tony Hawk, the greatest professional skater on the planet. He's painted air-based masterpieces with his athleticism that few could even think to try.

33. The Executioner

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    When he beat Jean Pascal on May 21, 2011 by a unanimous decision at age 46 to become the oldest boxer ever to win a world title, we were convinced that Bernard Hopkins was truly a master of execution.

    All he's missing is a dark hood, sharpened axe and stretched gut.

32. The Beard

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    Giants fireballing closer Brian Wilson may resemble Gerard Butler's King Leonidas, but he certainly doesn't act like him.

    Wilson's epic beard, loyal fanbase and rebellious humor gives us all weird vibes. He's as eccentric as they come.

31. Atomic Flea

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    Small, yet explosive defines Argentine legend Lionel Messi. 

    And while his nickname is far from intimidating, it makes his success that much juicier.

30. Zobi Wan Kenobi

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    After he secured eight RBI on April 28, 2011 in a 15-3 win over the Minnesota Twins, we believed in the powers of Ben Zobrist.

    And like his Star Wars counterpart, the MLB shortstop is always lingering.

29. The Last Emperor

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    Having dominated everything from the World Combat Sambo championship to the Russian national Judo championship, Fedor Emelianenko is considered by many as the greatest mixed martial artist ever.

    He was undefeated for nearly a decade, during which time we'd expect he was certainly treated as royalty.

    Or rather, the last of his kind.

28. Beast Mode

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    One magical 67-yard touchdown run in the 2011 wildcard round against the high-flying Saints gave Marshawn Lynch a permanent spot in sports lore. 

    Not only did he break eight tackles and toss Saints cornerback Tracy Porter to the ground with a violent stiff arm, but Mr. Beast Mode himself sparked an earthquake-esque crowd eruption.

27. Air Canada

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    While Vinsanity is also a brilliant replacement for Vince Carter's birth name, Air Canada just screams explosive. 

    Few could stop the Human Highlight Reel in his Toronto prime.

26. Tiger

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    Rather than the heart of a lion, it's clear by now that Eldrick Woods has the mind of a Tiger.

    Either his father truly did name the legendary golfer after Vietnam Col. Vuong Dang Phong (Tiger Phong), or he was a sucker for Frosted Flakes.

25. Cookie Monster

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    While the always-hungry blue Muppet craves baked goods, NHL pest Matt Cooke salivates over penalty minutes.

    Pucks and more pucks equates to quite the breakfast of champions.

24. Durantula

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    Research has told us that some tarantulas hunt solely in trees, while others hunt near the ground.

    Deadly forward Kevin Durant, however, hunts every species.

23. Lionheart

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    With the heart and mane of a grown lion, FC Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has garnered perhaps the most beloved nickname in all of sports.

    We could just as easily envision him portraying a 13th-century Scottish warrior who opposes King Edward I of England. Or as Tarzan.

22. White Chocolate

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    Considering he's also been called Danny Woodcock by former quarterback and supposed sportscaster Joe Theismann, we'll assume Danny Woodhead is holding on to the name White Chocolate tightly.

    Quick and unexpectedly efficient.

21. Run DMC

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    Like the hip-hop legends he is named after, Darren McFadden is a new breed of talent: fast, powerful, nimble, smart.

    The Raider sensation seems headed for similar greatness as well.

20. Human Victory Cigar

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    Truthfully speaking, we can call any bench-warming scrub who only comes in during fourth-quarter mop-up duty a human victory cigar.

    But when former second-overall pick Darko Milicic gets in there, few can catch their breath.

19. Afflalo Creed

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    After Stephen Jackson was nicknamed Action Jackson, the Carl Weathers references snowballed toward greatness.

    Young Nugget Arron Afflalo was the next to experience the phenomenon, being named Afflalo Creed after the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World in the Rocky films.

    Epic.

18. Epic Swag

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    After his Twitter was hacked recently by a man who renamed the account Epic Swag (and then fixed), NASCAR driver Mark Martin decided to have a little fun and inscribe the name above his driver's window.

    It was evidently a blessing in disguise, as Epic Swag became the ultimate term for a 53-year-old racer who enjoys rap music and a good laugh.

17. One Size

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    English footballer Fitz Hall has one of those names we'd expect to see in Austin Powers.

    Felicity Shagwell, Random Task, Number 2 and now One Size Fitz Hall. Perfection.

16. Purple Jesus

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    All-Day Adrian Peterson is another often-uttered nickname for arguably the most thrifty pair of feet in the NFL.

    We'd like to believe the talented tailback can turn water into grape soda.

15. Fat Elvis

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    He's been called Big Puma, but we prefer the moniker Fat Elvis to describe aging MLB slugger Lance Berkman.

    Although he doesn't quite possess the same overly-moused head of hair.

14. Megatron

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    With a height of 6'5" and a 40-yard dash time that gives defensive backs nightmares, Calvin Johnson is an anomaly in an already talented league.

    But he isn't villainous as his name would suggest. He's more of a gentle giant.

13. The Amish Rifle

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    Obviously fitting in regards to Ryan Fitzpatrick's endless beard and gunslinging nature, The Amish Rifle pales in comparison to our own new creation.

    You can bet the Bills star would fit in nicely as the fourth member of ZZ Top.

12. Ghostface Przybilla

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    Sure, he's been called "The Thrilla," "Vanilla Gorilla," "White Kong" and "Joel Daddy," but Joel Przybilla must enjoy this Wu-Tang reference the most. 

    Like Ghostface Killah, Przybilla has a mysterious, yet rhythmic style.

11. The Black Mamba

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    Like the highly venomous, fast-paced land dwellers his moniker represents, Kobe Bryant is feared by all who share the court with him.

    Stealthy, ruthless, deadly.

10. Napalm

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    Like the highly flammable jelly used in incendiary bombs, Minnesota Wild winger Nick Palmieri is not to be messed with.

    Dealing with napalm may be a safer alternative to colliding with the legend known as Napalm.

9. The Jambulance

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    High Griffinition is another spectacular sobriquet for the new Los Angeles hardwood sensation known as Blake Griffin.

    But Jambulance takes precedence in that most defenders seem eager to call the Wambulance whenever they get slammed on. Which is quite often.

8. The White Mamba

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    Despite a paltry 13 minutes per game in his career and far fewer points, Brian Scalabrine has become a hardwood fan favorite.

    He is Kobe Bryant's Caucasian counterpart, and an inspiration to us all.

7. Tough Juice

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    Passion and aggression headline this former Huskie's ferocious game.

    Juicing up a lineup isn't enough anymore. That juice better be made from tough fruit.

6. The Flying Tomato

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    Whether it's because of his fiery strands of hair or his probable rosacea, snowboarding legend Shaun White is certainly a soaring tomato.

    But he's a rare breed, as normal tomatoes don't do too well in snowy terrain.

5. Raw Dog

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    During his time with the Atlanta Braves, utility infielder Brooks Conrad was known for not using batting gloves.

    Larry Jones was quick to chip in with a naughty suggestion.

4. Nose Face Killah

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    Another classic Wu-Tang Clan reference. Bravo.

    Bruins winger Brad Marchand is known to his teammates as Honey Badger, but to fans, he is recognized as the Nose-inator...rather, Nose Face Killah.

3. Jon Bones Jones

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    Immediate intimidation from the youngest UFC title holder in history.

    The names Jon, Bones and Jones were made for each other.

2. Da White Howard

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    A double-double machine, hustling-and-bustling (thanks Clyde) forward David Lee is the obvious counterpart to the superstar center he is humorously named after.

    While Dwight Howard slams it down with fury on a regular basis, Da White Howard does the little things to get the job done.

1. Satan's Wallpaper

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    He may be chipping around the corners, but Martin Brodeur has cemented himself as the greatest wallpaper New Jersey has ever purchased in his 21 years with the fiery Devils.

    Soon, it'll be time for the sandpaper and paint.