Thursday, August 11, 2011

Forget Kevin Bacon; you're never more than FIVE steps from Darth Vader. (Thursday's Sporting List)

Earlier this week, I watched in semi-fascination ('cause that's a real emotion) as Nick Barnett, the Buffalo Bills' new all-pro linebacker (and a man who managed to go from the whitest city in the NFL to the second-whitest, helping further Packers' fans' dreams of someday fielding an all-white team, so that they won't have to see any more articles like this one be written) started himself a little controversy by deciding his nickname this year would be "50 Cal":
Ok I came up with my name there will be shirts soon!!! Nick "50 Cal" Barnett like!?

Many people didn't like!? and said so in responses ranging from philosophical:
: dude, a nickname should be given not made up. just my thoughts.”---define yourself don't let others define you!!
Which, philosophically speaking, is inconsistent: if you define yourself, you should give yourself a nickname; letting others nickname you is letting them define you. (Take that, Sartre!)

To the not quite as philosophical:
: why is everyone shitting on stop sippin haterade everyone”---tell em homie lol
Nick settled it all with this bit of self-definition:

Mango key-lime cheesecake baby holla!!! Lol

Which I think is what Nick finally settled on for his nickname. So with that, Nick "Mango Key-lime Cheesecake Baby Holla" Barnett got me thinking about what might be other lame nicknames for sports figures, and I've now turned that into this list of

Other Lame Nicknames For Sports Figures:

1. Chester "The Molester" Taylor, running back for the Minnesota Vikings. Seriously, Chester Taylor's nickname as a Vikings RB was "The Molester." He's the only athlete I know to share a nickname with a Hustler comic strip written by an actual child molester. Apparently, the nickname came about because he would "molest" the end zone, but really? There was no better way to say Chester Taylor was good at getting into the end zone?

I'm almost reluctant to go on after that one, because what could be lamer? People had a problem with Nick Barnett being named after a gun, but could openly call someone a molester?

But there are other ones, almost as bad, like:

2. Nate "The Kitchen" Newton, offensive guard for the Cowboys and Panthers. Nate came into the league in 1986, or a year after "The Refrigerator," and I can only assume (because the one article I read didn't explain) that Nate was The Kitchen because (a) he was bigger than William Perry, and (b) sports people are clever like female athletes are hot: only in comparison to others in their sector of life.

3. Peyton "Laser Rocket Arm" Manning. Okay, this one was listed on the Wikipedia page for sports' nicknames, but has anyone ever called Peyton Manning anything other than "Peyton Manning?" (Except for Sweetie, who calls him "Peytie"?) Since I've never heard of this so-called nickname, I went to check it out and so I googled "Laser Rocket Arm" and found this blog, which was moved to Wordpress and deleted, so if you coveted the domain name "" it's all yours.

You know what domain name is not available? Click that link. You won't be disappointed.

Did you click it? Weird, right? And yet, I bet you're not disappointed. I wasn't. I'm mystified. But already thinking up a backstory for that site.

None of the backstory, by the way, involves actually believing that anyone anywhere has ever called Peyton Manning "Laser Rocket Arm", no matter how hard Peyton tried to get them to do that. (Don't define yourself, Peytie!) It doesn't even work as a nickname. "Hey, here comes Laser Rocket Arm!" Lame. It's like the kind of superhero I'd have invented. When I was 7. "I get to be Laser Rocket Arm!"

4. Ted "The Mad Stork" Hendricks, defensive end. Got to be a story behind this nickname, right?

Wrong. It's just because Ted was so tall. Like a stork is tall. So he was tall and they nicknamed him The Mad Stork.

I went looking for a chart of the relative heights of animals to see what animals might be both tall and fearsome and could have thus served as better nicknames, but I got distracted by this:

I don't know what that chart is supposed to represent, but it's measuring, on one column, velocity of something, and the other column the height of something, and it specially mentions the "shark head model" and so I decided to assume that somewhere, scientists had the job of testing a robot shark head jumping out of the water to attack people, and now I... want... that... job.

"What'd you do today, honey?" Sweetie would ask.

"Oh, tested some robot shark heads." I'd answer, and life would be good.

(I went and checked out where that chart came from, after the fact, and the truth is almost as good: Scientists wanted to check on how well sharks feed, and the study includes this actual quote:

We constructed two three-dimensional models [including]...a realistic shark head to determine the additional effect of the head morphology. To test these models, we used digital particle velocimetry (DPIV) to record fluid flow around the mouth of bamboo sharks during suction feeding on the substrate and in the water column.

If I'd known, back in school, that paying attention to Mr Hassemer rambling on about blood grooves would have led me to a job where I made shark-head models, I might well have... no, I wouldn't have, I guess. But a man can dream, can't he?*

* He can. It's in the Constitution.
5. Lester "The Molester" Hayes. Cornerback. I just stumbled across this one on that Wikipedia page. (I'd make fun of Wikipedia, but lists of nicknames is exactly the kind of thing that should be searched on Wikipedia, because it doesn't matter if people wrongly believe that someone was called Laser Rocket Arm when he clearly wasn't, but it does matter if potential presidential candidates are dead wrong on history but then get their followers to try to change Wikipedia so that all you stupid voters out there will continue trashing our economic best interests by electing morons.)

Honestly, I don't even know what to say. How did this nickname slip by twice? Is there some cross-section of NFL fans who are also pedophiles? Because I am never going to a sports bar again, now.

Let's wreck something else, too: Lester The Molester was not only known as The Molester, but he also was known as The Judge, for no reason whatsoever. And Lester The Molester was, it now appears, the progenitor of all Western Society's culture.

Longtime readers know that I've come to the irrefutable conclusion that all of Western culture (such as it is) is now based solely on Star Wars. I've often wondered how that came about, that we were reduced to only ever referencing Star Wars, and now I've found the answer:

Lester Hayes referred to himself, prior to the Super Bowl, as "the one true Jedi" in the NFL
. (Clicking the link will take you to an NFL film referencing Hayes' Jedi status, and also showing this "feared bump-and-run" guy blatantly holding receivers.)

There you have it: Take America's most popular pasttime, and combine it with the greatest movie ever made, and in one comment, Lester The Molester destroyed Western civilization. From here on out, when you see something reduced to Star Wars-this-or-that, it's because of Lester The Molester.

And that's the second most disturbing Star Wars reference you'll be subjected to today. The first is this:


Rogue Mutt said...

Shouldn't Peyton Manning's nickname be "The Commercial" or something along those lines? Or we could call him Mad Manning like Mad Men on AMC about ad execs. Whoa, that one's genius. I'm going to trademark it.

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