Kansas City Chiefs: Spider-Man and the 5 Best Nicknames in Franchise History
As diehard fans, we often get caught up in the minutiae of statistics and how they translate into wins and losses, all the while occasionally forgetting how to have fun along the way.
In principle, sports are all about winning. We will never forget the famous quote from Green Bay Packers legendary head coach Vince Lombardi: “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing."
While that may be true, there is something to be said about the connection that fans have with their favorite teams and its players.
Whether that bond is expressed through buying a player’s jersey, owning him on your fantasy team, naming your children after him or even creating a nickname, that relationship is the driving force behind sports.
Sometimes nicknames fit like a glove, catching on throughout an entire fanbase.
In no particular order, here are the five best nicknames in Kansas City Chiefs franchise history (although one does stand head and shoulders above the rest).
Andre 'Bad Moon' Rison and 'Spider-Man'
ESPN personality Chris Berman is best known for the nicknames he has given players over the years.
Long before he became a Kansas City Chief, Berman dubbed NFL wide receiver Andre “Bad Moon” Rison after the popular song written by John Fogerty and performed by the band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR).
Rison joined the Chiefs prior to the 1997 season.
After scoring a touchdown, Rison would mimic shooting a web from his hands similar to the popular comic-book hero Spider-Man. Needless to say, that nickname stuck.
Len Dawson: 'Lenny the Cool'
While not accruing much success before arriving in Dallas, Dawson went on to have a fabulous career.
During his enshrinement speech into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former head coach Hank Stram said that teammates called Dawson “Lenny the Cool” because he never let you see him sweat.
Dante Hall: 'the Human Joystick' and 'the X-Factor'
When thinking of the most dynamic players to ever don a Kansas City Chiefs uniform, Dante Hall is often the first name that comes to mind.
Known for his jaw-dropping ability to miss tackles on kick/punt returns, screen passes and reverse plays, Hall played like something out of a video game; thus, “The Human Joystick” was born.
Hall was also known as the “The X-Factor” for throwing up his arms in the shape of an X after scoring touchdowns. It fit because his epic scores often times made the only difference in a handful of wins for the Chiefs during his time in Kansas City.
Mark McMillian 'Mighty Mouse'
During an interview with Pop Fly Boys, former NFL cornerback Mark McMillian was asked how the nickname “Mighty Mouse” came about and why it stuck. His reply:
"1997 by Derrick Thomas & Andre Rison because of my knack for always coming up with the big plays at crucial times."
Small in stature at only 5’7” and 154 lbs, McMillian always seemed to show up at the right time for the Chiefs defense during his two-year stay in Kansas City, making “Mighty Mouse” a very fitting moniker.
Christian Okoye 'the Nigerian Nightmare'
The pride of Azusa Pacific University, Christian Okoye was given the nickname “The Nigerian Nightmare” because of his Nigerian descent and bruising running style which allowed him to run over would-be tacklers.
Involved in several organizations since retiring from the NFL, Okoye is anything but a nightmare off the field though.
However, Okoye will forever be known for his powerful runs on the field and in the gaming world, as he was virtually unstoppable in Tecmo Super Bowl.