Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Best DC Sports Nicknames

With Trent "Silverback" Williams joining the Skins and generating a lot of buzz about his nickname, I thought it was high time to rank the top nicknames amongst all DC sports figures. This list is completely arbitrary, but I think the key factors of a good nickname are:

-Widespread usage

Please note that I do not think deservedness of the nickname should be taken into account, and that each nickname is considered on its own, so one player could have more than one nickname on the list.

10) Smokin' (Al Koken): I say sportscasters count, and this is a classic. My favorite thing about it is that he now just says 'Smokin' Al', without the part that rhymes. That's when you know you've made it....

9) Silverback (Trent Williams): Solid, likeable, and will likely be widespread very soon. A black man choosing a nickname related to a gorilla though could lead to some awkward situations, so I can't put this one any higher. That and he hasn't played an NFL snap yet.

8) Young Sushi (Nick Young): Not widespread, but original and funny. You also don't know me very well if you didn't think I would promote the nickname we first publicized.

7) Jizz (Alexander Semin): Umm, hysterical? For an extensive list of Caps nicknames, visit Japers Rink.

6) Agent Zero/Six Shooter (Gilbert Arenas): Agent Zero is one of the most widespread real nicknames (not fake ones like KG or D-Wade) and is original. However, he has changed to #6 for this season so the nickname may fade from prominence. I think Six Shooter has a lot of potential though.

5) The Predator (Chris Horton): Badass, but undeserved, although maybe he can 're-earn' the nickname when he inevitably plays his trade in the CFL.

4) Mr. Nasty (Jeff Schultz): Great, but not entirely original (remember the Nasty Boys with the Cincinnati Reds?).

3) Game Over (Mike Green): This one is undeserved, but is original and badass. Although this will continue to make me angry until next April.

2) Captain Chaos (Chris Cooley): I actually met Cooley after a game and asked about the nickname and he said he hates it, which is probably why it lost some of its popularity.

1) The Russian Machine (Alexander Ovechkin): Perfect, just perfect.

Honorable Mention:
  • Baseball Jesus (Matt Wieters): Not widespread and Jesus would probably slug over .400.
  • The Professor (Matt Bradley): Cool, but not quite as good as those of some of his teammates.
  • Wookie/Chewy (Stephon Heyer): Courtesy of his Redskin teammates.
  • Real American Hero (John Carlson): This one is great, but too long and not widespread.
  • Pudge (Ivan Rodriguez): A classic nickname, but Pudge does not feel like a true DC athlete given that he will likely only be here 1 year.
  • Hibachi (Gilbert Arenas): This would have made the list a year ago.......
  • Mean Lars (Nicklas Backstrom): Solid nickname, but not as cool or exciting as others.
  • Magnum Z.I. (Ryan Zimmerman): Interesting, but not widely used. "Pete Franchise" is another one of his, but he needs something better.
  • Coach Kevlar (Mike Shanahan): Coach nicknames aren't exciting.
  • The Undertaker (George McPhee): GM nicknames are even less exciting.
  • Double-Move (Carlos Rogers): I kid, I kid.
The list suffers from the recent losses of Tuff Juice (Caron Butler) and Cybertawn (Antawn Jamison), but is still pretty awesome. The Skins have a lot of untapped potential, but the Caps are picking up the slack. Let me know your thoughts, is anyone missing from the list?

(Image courtesy of


  1. I am not ready to have this conversation. The picture of Ovie at the top really kills me.

  2. I'm sure this is a great article but...too soon dude.

  3. I always thought "Hip Hip Huet" and "ZornStar" were pretty good, albeit short-lived.

  4. Game Over Greenie is nice, as in, "Green's in, the other team is gonna score, Game Over."

    I hate myself.


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