Yesterday news broke that running back Doug Martin would become a free agent after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Martin is more affectionately known as ‘Muscle Hamster’, which is an odd yet quite frankly brilliant nickname. Having a nickname is a surefire way to become one of the more popular players in the NFL. Here are some examples of the best nicknames in league history:
Mike Alstott – A-Train
It is debatable which you’d rather be stood in front of at full speed – a train or former Buccaneers full back Mike Alstott. Either way I’m doing what I can to make sure I’m well out of the way.
Jack Tatum – The Assassin
Known as The Assassin for his hard hitting style, Jack Tatum never actually killed anyone (looking at you Ray Lewis).
Marshawn Lynch – Beast Mode
The original and best Beast Mode – sorry Adebayo Akinfenwa. With one of the most famous nicknames in the league at the moment, Marshawn has his own fashion line with the Beast Mode brand and inspired Ludacris to name a song after him.
Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben
His name is Ben. He’s big. Simple and effective. Rumour has it there’s even a large bell in London named after him.
Joe Namath – Broadway Joe
The glitz, the glamour, the fur coats – Joe Namath was made for New York and the nickname fitted his lifestyle perfectly.
Jerome Bettis – The Bus
Try and tackle Jerome Bettis and you’d end up being carried along on his back – hence The Bus nickname. Just don’t try and talk to him while he’s driving.
Carnell Williams – Cadillac
The Cadillac nickname was assigned to Carnell in high school when a commentator compared him to a luxury car. Unfortunately when it came to his NFL career he was about as reliable as a Vauxhall Nova.
William Perry – The Fridge
William Perry was nicknamed The Fridge because, if you hadn’t guessed, he was as big as a fridge. He famously caught a TD in Super Bowl XX against the Patriots.
Greg Zuerlein – The Leg
Kickers don’t get enough love in this league so if one gets a nickname he must have something about him. Greg ‘The Leg’ Zuerlein earned his nickname for his ability to make long field goals, although his wife might tell you a different story.
Tyrann Matthieu – Honey Badger
Honey badgers are known to savagely and fearlessly attack any animals imposing on their territories. This Honey Badger has been known to savagely and fearlessly attack any receiver imposing on his territory.
Dante Hall – The Human Joystick
Dante Hall earned his nickname from coach Dick Vermeil due to his ability in the return game. Unlike literal joysticks there have been no reports of him being thrown against a floor in frustration.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Law Firm
One of my personal favourites. It’s a simple nickname which was given purely because his name looks like that of a law firm. Despite playing for the Bengals he never actually got in any legal troubles.
Calvin Johnson – Megatron
Calvin Johnson earned the Megatron nickname after becoming a master villain and arch nemesis of Optimus Prime on his home planet of Cybertron. Or maybe it was because he’s just badass, you can decide.
Christian Okoye – The Nigerian Nightmare
This is a 5 star nickname. Hailing out of Enugu, Nigeria the Chiefs fullback was a 2 time Pro Bowler and led the league in rushing in 1989.
Deion Sanders – Prime Time
You seriously have to have faith in your own talent if you self anoint a nickname. Luckily for Deion Sanders he did have a lot of talent, just don’t tell him his tackling is subpar.