Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz recently asked Twitter-verse to nickname his souped-up D-line, comprised of Ndamukong Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and now Nick Fairley. Eventually the moniker “Silver Crush” was settled upon out of a flurry of submissions.
The legendary Matthew J Darnell makes the valid point, however, that with all the great offensive and defensive units in the NFL history, like the Hogs or the Purple People Eaters, “they were great first, and then they got the nickname.” In other words, nicknames are earned, not handed out like Halloween candy. These four have yet to play a down together.
But that’s so…old-fashioned. [Hear: sarcasm] If we’ve learned anything from today’s world, it’s that it’s never “too soon” for anything. We’re attuned to a good gun jumping. We’re already discussing Andrew Luck’s position in the 2012 draft. Someday, I fully expect my kids to see Christmas lights go up before Halloween. We’re impatient creatures.
I bet you can’t wait for me to stop explaining the point of this article.
Fine! Without further ado, here are other nicknames for groups that have absolutely not earned the right to a nickname...or maybe they have one already and now I'm coming up with another and you can just relax about it…or maybe I should start the slideshow already....
Sorry, “Silver Crush” is boring. I flash to Coors Light and crappy orange soda—neither brings to mind... Wait a sec, The Rockies...orange... am I the only one that remembers Denver had a fairly remarkable defense that went by "The Orange Crush." Nicknames should never pay homage to an opponent, guys. Blaze a new trail.
And let's not forget Detroit, the city, has had a tough run over the last decade; a direct shoutout out to their soul is needed. These four giants should be a force in years to come. Why not reinforce Detroit’s grit and determination when they’re discussed on SportsCenter?
Nickname: The Muscle Czars
It's not too often that you see both a linebacker and a safety from the same team within the top 25 for tackles, much less having the third (151) and fifth (140) most in the NFL. But that was the case with with Paul Posluszny and Donte Whitner in 2010.
If you’re paying attention, it won’t surprise you that Buffalo was dead—like hit by a bus, dragged behind the bus and dropped out of an airplane dead—last in the NFL in rush defense, giving up 2,714 yards. (Denver was second to last with 2,473) Hopefully Marcell Dareus helps out.
These two basically ran around cleaning up everyone else’s trash.
Nickname: The Cleat Sweepers
These two already get solid recognition, but here was a stat I don’t think they get credit for: they combined to force sixteen fumbles last year. They were number one and number two in the NFL in forced fumbles. Forcing a fumble isn’t as sexy as an interception because a pig pile usually ensues, but they forced a fumble an average of once per game.
This is in addition to their 11.5 sacks each, making them the only teammates within the league’s top ten for fumbles. That is a whole lot of single-handed stops to ignite the offense.
Nickname: The Hammerhead Sparks
(Note: Twin Towers, out of respect, works too. But we’re shooting for new nicknames.)
Imagine the year is 2005. Carson Palmer just threw for 32 touchdown passes, 9 of them to Chad Ochocinco to go along with his 1,432 receiving yards, and Cedric Benson was just drafted with the fourth pick after a monstrous season at Texas. And I say “In five years these three will be playing together, in addition to…Terrell Owens. That’s right. T muthaf-ing O.”
You’d cough up the Super Bowl ring right then.
Yet, they Bungles went 4-12. How times change. I know all these guys won’t be together in 2011 but they needed a nickname.
Nickname: Paper Tigers
I still look at these two names and shake my head that they led a top ten rushing game. Were these guys drafted in any fantasy leagues last year, unless you were in a 32-team league? The Pats acquired Woodhead midseason. The guy looks like a high school pot dealer in his profile picture.
And their names…the comedic possibilities. Danny’s surname is just an open canvas. I grabbed BG&E in one of my leagues last year and used to text my opponent, “Who do you think scores the Pats touchdown this time? Ben, Jarvus, Green or Ellis?”
Chalk up another bullet for Bill Belicheck’s resume. 18 touchdowns and over 2000 yards between these two nobodies.
Nickname: The Maim Game
Suggest any offensive or defensive units that need a good nickname in the comments.
Apologies to anyone that may have already used these nicknames. Two independent thoughts can occur at once!