My Top 5 NFL Player Nicknames
Here's another nickname top five, this time it's about player nicknames.
There are a lot of great player nicknames, and as this is just my top five, consider that I included any other nickname you would have put on the list in this slide.
5) Broadway Joe
Name: Joseph William "Joe" Namath
Draft: Round 1, Pick 12 (NFL)/ Pick 1 (AFL) (1965)
Team(s): NY Jets (1965 to 1976); LA Rams (1977)
He is known for brashly telling the media that he guaranteed that his team would upset Don Shula's NFL Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969, and then delivering on his promise. While he doesn't have the best statistics, he was the first QB to pass for 4000+ yards in one season (4007 in1967).
Namath's nickname "Broadway Joe" was given to him by Sherman Plunkett, a Jets teammate. He is also sometimes called "Joe Willie Namath," a characterization popularized by sportscaster Howard Cosell.
He also opened several bars using his nickname Broadway Joe's in both New York City and in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (location of the University of Alabama). These continue today with moderate success.
Name: Walter Payton
Draft: Round 1, Pick 4 (1975)
Team(s): Chicago Bears (1975 to 1987)
A great RB, who at one point held most of NFL's rushing records, from which he still holds on to two: 108 games with 100 yards from scrimmage and 46 games with 150 all purpose yards (shared with Barry Sanders).
His motto"Never Die Easy," he refused to deliberately run out of bounds, and would always deliver punishment to his tacklers before going out or down.
His nickname comes from his playing style, with which he would always deliver something sweet to his team and his fans.
In February 1999, Payton announced that he had a rare autoimmune liver disease known as primary sclerosing cholangitis. The disease probably led to his bile duct cancer. After appearing in multiple commercials encouraging people to donate organs, he died November 1st, 1999.
There are two trophys with his name: The NCAA gives the "Walter Payton Award" to the best offensive player from a Division I FCS football team, and the NFL hands out the "Walter Payton Man of the Year" award for player achievements in community service during a particular season.
3) The Bus
Name: Jerome Abram Bettis
Draft: Round 1, Pick 10, (1993)
Team(s): Los Angeles / St. Louis Rams (1993 to 1995); Pittsburgh Steelers (1996 to 2005)
He is one of the best running backs ever, and possibly the best short yardage RB in NFL history.
He was going to retire after the 2004 season, but came back for one more season, in which he won his first and only Super Bowl, in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. The fact that the Super Bowl was there and Bettis was born there led to a rather annoying amount of people in the media pointing it out.
His nickname refers to his ability to continue gaining yards, while carrying defenders.
2) Mean Joe
Name: Charles Edward Greene
Draft: Round 1, Pick 4 (1969)
Team(s): Pittsburgh Steelers (1969 to 1981)
Throughout the early 1970s he was the most dominant defensive player in the NFL, is considered by many to be the greatest defensive lineman ever and was the cornerstone of the legendary “Steel Curtain” defense.
He retired in 1981 after 13 years in the league, 181 games, 78.5 sacks (unofficially, as sacks were not an official statistic until 1982) and 16 fumble recoveries.
He is one of the only four people outside the Rooney family to have a ring for all six of Steelers Super Bowl wins, as he won four as a player, and was a staff member for the other two.
His nickname comes from his aggressive style and hard hitting tackles. Steelers don't officially retire numbers, but his 75 jersey has never been issued again after his retirement.
1) Lights Out
Name: Shawn DeAndre Merriman
Draft: Round 1, Pick 12 (2005)
Team(s): San Diego Chargers (starting 2005, still active)
Merriman won the Defensive Rookie of the year award in his first season and was selected to the Pro Bowl and All Pro teams in his first three seasons (2005, 2006 &2007).
He earned his nickname "Lights Out" at Frederick Douglass High School, where he knocked out four people in the first half of one game.
There isn't much more to say about him, given that he's still young and will continue tackling people in the foreseeable future.
What do you think?
Who has in your opinion the best nickname?
Also if you liked this, check out my other NFL Top 5's: