My (mostly forced) attempt at doling out nicknames

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

When I first took this job I had two goals.

The first was to be the best local newspaper sports editor that has ever done the job (though I suppose there is no way to measure this).

The second, and most important, was to dispense a series of ridiculous nicknames for local athletes and hope that some of them catch on.

Nicknames are awesome, but they don't really happen anymore. I think part of this is the ethical standards of newspapers these days, with everyone trying to be formal and official.

In the past, athletes were commonly referred to only by their nickname. Earvin Johnson became "Magic" when he was in high school. Old-timey baseball players almost all had outrageous nicknames that the sports writers gave them.

This format probably isn't quite as organic as the nicknames of the past, and some of the players almost certainly already have nicknames that I'm not aware of.

Regardless, here we go:

Jameson "Bondsman" Brewer

I toyed with a number of other ideas (something about how all of North Putnam's forwards' first names start with a J; an allusion to an obscure, mostly-hilarious Canadian comedy from 1983; an alliteration that plays on his surname and his ability to dunk), but those all seemed cliché. Also kind of dumb.

Bondsman, which I decided is slightly less dumb than my other choices, was what I settled for.

A bondsman controls who gets bailed out and facilitates the legal process.

(Note: I am not calling North Putnam students criminals. They seem just as law-abiding as all the other students in the county. NOT calling anyone a criminal.)

Brewer controls the game for North Putnam. When he is rolling, the Cougars usually are, too. He occasionally makes big weak-side blocks to "bail" out his team's defense.

Jordan "Northern Lights" Nauert

This came to me quickly. Northern, as in North Putnam, and lights as in, "I'm a lights-out three-point shooter." Plus there is some sort of astrological circumstance called "the Northern Lights" up in Canada so it's not totally unfamiliar terminology. I have high hopes for this one.

Lane "Down-low" Winslow

I like things that either rhyme or are alliterative. I always feel like that's a big key to having a nickname stick, because rhyming is fun. Winslow is a post player, thus he spends most of his time "down low" by the basket. He also has a number of herky-jerky moves that his opponents might very well consider to be down-low, unfair and rotten.

Ryan "Sling" Coble

No rhyming or alliteration (the Cobbler seemed too easy and didn't really make sense. Unless Ryan repairs shoes in his free time. Which he might. I'm not aware of his hobbies, and I guess that seems like it would be fun.) Instead, I'm going with Sling. Coble isn't an especially tall player, and his accurate three-point shooting could, I suppose, be viewed as him slinging the ball at the basket.

I have high hopes for this as well. Wouldn't it be fun if all his friends started calling him Sling? Hopefully he doesn't dislocate his shoulder and actually need a sling, although then I suppose I could write, "Sling was in a sling ..." Moving on.

Trey Moore

Trey is a sweet name already. He needs no nickname. He gets no nickname. Though I suppose his name would make more sense if he shot More Treys. He does not shoot any threes, which is totally reasonable since he shot 55 percent from the field this year. Keep doing what you're doing, Trey.

Sawyer "Gunner" Arnold

I don't condone gun violence, but this rhymes. Plus he shoots threes (exceptionally well) and he's a quarterback, so this can apply to multiple sports. "Gunner Arnold with the touchdown pass," I might write. Or, "Gunner Arnold from downtown," which I probably wouldn't write because there isn't really any downtown near South Putnam High School and it wouldn't make sense.

Zach "Doorman"


Not really a nickname, you say? Sure it is. The Doorman gets to choose who comes and goes from a fancy big-city building, just like Zach chooses who comes and goes from the paint. Plus it rhymes AND alliterates.

Kedrick "Left-open" Collett

He's left-handed, you see, plus he's an accurate shooter. Accurate shooters often think they're always open. Left plus open equals Left-open. (This was probably not my best effort. I tried.)

So there's my first attempt. Let's see if anything can catch on. When Northern Lights and Sling get in a scoring battle next year, I'll be all over it.

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