Back when newspapers mattered and the sportswriters were actually good, athlete nicknames were varied and resplendent. Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch. Dick "Night Train" Lane. "The Sultan of Swat." These names were invented by educated writers wearing tweed jackets and guzzling bourbon.
Today, we have Woody Paige. And not a single writer who can pen of a colorful nickname. MJ came along and begat KG, who begat TO. A-Rod came along and begat a flurry of first initial-first syllable bullshit nicknames. F-Rod? K-Rod? B-Jack? Pathetic. This is simply pathetic.
The other development we have is pulling old nicknames out of the dustbin for new athletes. LaDanian Tomlinson is LT? No, we already had an LT. "Terrific" Tom Brady? No, we already had "Terrific" Tom Seaver.
So today! A new quest! Together, we will develop quality, 1930s-style nicknames for modern athletes. It will take cleverness and panache, two qualities sorely missing from modern screaming sports journalism. But we can do it. I know we can, friend.
LaDanian Tomlinson - The Bullet Train. Fast, powerful and he looks sleek with his tinted visor.
Sidney Crosby - The Bulldog. Squat, powerful and ferocious.
Brandon Jacobs - Bowl 'Em Over Brandon. That is what he does.
This is a start. A small start. But together...we can improve the world!