Tampa Bay Bucs running back Doug Martin is having a superb rookie season but there may be one fact that he’d like to hide. When Martin exploded for four rushing touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9 of the NFL season he became the darling of fantasy football owners everywhere and the laughingstock of Twitter due to his nickname. It seems that Martin earned the nickname Muscle Hamster during his time at Boise State. Martin claims that his offensive lineman gave him the name for his weight room exploits and diminutive size. Let’s hope so. A Muscle Hamster sounds like something you buy to chase the mice out of your garage or a dance craze sweeping through gay nightclubs. Martin may soon be an All Pro running back but he has the nickname of a Mighty Mouse villain.
Martin may not be thrilled with his nickname but he can at least claim that he earned it through feats of strength. Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson isn’t so lucky. The 6’0”, 190 lb. Nelson was given the nickname Crib Midget by former teammate Dwight Howard. Apparently when Howard wasn’t holding the Magic franchise hostage, or bad mouthing former coach/Ron Jeremy look-alike Stan Van Gundy, he was doing hacky short shtick for his teammates. Nelson would be a big man in any other line of work but on the court he’s dwarfed by the 6’11” 265-lb. Howard. Fittingly, Howard earned himself the moniker Dwightmare as he flip-flopped on contract extension/trade demands for two years, changing his mind more often than a fat kid at Baskin Robbins.
We’ll stay in the NBA for our next terrible nickname: Baby Jordan. Harold Miner, a shooting guard from Southern Cal was drafted by the Miami Heat in the first round of the 1992 draft. Miner was given the nickname during his high school days as a high-flying dunking prodigy in Los Angeles. The name stuck and followed Miner to the NBA where he played four lackluster seasons before being dropped by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Baby Jordan will be remembered for what he wasn’t (the heir to the Jordan throne) rather than what he was (a grown man called Baby). There’s nothing cool about a grown man called Baby, ain’t that right Glen “Big Baby” Davis?
Randy Johnson was an intimidating force that towered over Major League hitters for nearly two decades. He racked up 303 career wins, 4875 strikeouts, five Cy Young Awards, and one of the worst nicknames in big league history. As if the name Randy Johnson wwasn’t suggestive enough 6’10” lefty was known as The Big Unit, as much for his height as for his personality which evoked comparisons to a lengthy rubber marital aid.
Baseball has a long history of colorful (Pork Chop Pough), insulting (Dummy Hoy), insensitive (Rube Waddell), ridiculous (Stubby Clapp), politically incorrect (Chief Bender), and downright hilarious (Russell “Rusty” Kuntz) nicknames. The worst name and nickname in Major League history may belong to the same man. Johnny Dickshot earned the nickname Ugly for obvious reasons and the surname Dickshot because either his great grandfather lost a bet or someone at Ellis Island had a sick sense of humor. I think we can all agree that the only thing worse than a Johnny Dickshot is an Ugly Dickshot.
Dan Soderberg is a freelance writer and blogger. Dan enjoys most all breakfast meats, monkeys in people clothes, bitching about NFL officiating and damn near anything involving Will Ferrell. Dan hates bandwagon fans, rain outs and yellow mustard (spicy mustard is the only choice). Check out Dan’s take on sports, fatherhood, and bacon at Dad’s Timeout. Follow Dan on Twitter @dadstimeout.