Let's face it - professional sports don't have a lot of meaning if not for the fans who watch them. And those fan bases can get rather creative when it comes to naming stuff - to say nothing of the many analysts, sportswriters and color commentators, many of whom are essentially professional sports fans. So it's only appropriate that the world of sports has a wide and colorful list of nicknames.
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Marion the Barbarian - Marion Barber, a running back known during his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys for his wild dreadlocks and bruising running style that made him very hard to tackle. Taken to Up to Eleven levels on plays like this.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis is nicknamed The Bus because the 250+-pounder dragged would-be tacklers behind him like bus passengers as he ran.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is often called TFB by the team's fanbase. (His full name is Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr.)
Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback Andy Dalton quickly endeared himself to the fans with his surprisingly effective play (he would lead Cincinnati to the Wild Card Round of the playoffs in what most people believed was a rebuilding year) and by about midseason had earned the nickname "The Red Rifle" for his playing prowess and bright ginger hair. "The Ginger Ninja" is popular as well.
The connection between him and renowned wide receiver AJ Green (drafted the same year) is called "The Christmas Connection" because red and green are colors associated with Christmas.
Similarly, newly drafted Tampa Bay Bucs running back Doug Martin has been called the "Muscle Hamster" in some circles.
Saints running back Darren Sproles has been nicknamed "Tiny Pocket Darren" for the same reason.
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, currently of the Cincinnati Bengals, is called "the Law Firm" because of his several names.
Charles Edward Greene, better known as "Mean Joe" Greene. Defensive Tackle and the cornerstone of the "Steel Curtain" defense that helped establish the Pittsburgh Steelers' dynasty of the 70's.
"Sexy Rexy" for NFL quarterback Rex Grossman. Started out as a nickname given to him by his former coach Steve Spurrier when both were at the University of Florida.
Fans know Grossman better as "Rax Grissman", a simple corruption of his name based on some surprisingly difficult-to-explain Memetic Mutation
The Grossman's Redskins drafted Robert Griffin III, aka RG3, at QB in 2012 — which, because Grossman's real name is Rex Grossman III, means they now have two RG3s at the same position.
Naturally, Redskins fans occasionally refer to Rex as "the other RG3".
Bo "Tecmo-Super-Bowl-Version-So-OP" Jackson's real name is Vincent Edward. He was constantly getting in trouble at a young age and his family called him a "wild boar hog", which got shortened to "Bo".
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was given the handle "Megatron" by teammates. The name caught on in a big way with fans and the media.
Current Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson earned the nickname "CJ 2 K" after his stellar 2009 performance where he rushed for over 2,000 yards. Of course, he hasn't come close to repeating that performance since.
Cornerback Adam Jones, currently with the Cincinnati Bengals, was known as "PacMan" due to his ability to make tight turns quickly. As The Atoner, he's stopped using the nickname due to its association with his troubled past. That hasn't stopped sports media, however.
David "Deacon" Jones, former Defensive End for the Los Angeles Rams during the 60's and early 70's, also known as the Greatest Defensive End of Modern Football, and made famous by his "Head Slap" maneuver, was nicknamed by the fans of the Rams the "Secretary of Defense".
Jack Lambert, another member of the Steel Curtain, was occasionally referred to as Count Dracula in Cleats, due to him missing the front four teeth on his upper jaw, leaving him with only the canines on either side.
Jared Lorenzen, quarterback for the University of Kentucky who attracted a ton of nicknames when he was drafted by the New York Giants. It was really an unholy combination of the NY Media's love of nicknaming things, and the fact that he was about 80 pounds heavier than the average quarterback of his heightnote At 6'4", the majority of quarterbacks weigh in somewhere between 220-235 pounds. Lorenzen tipped the scales at over three hundred, roughly equivalent to your average interior defensive lineman. The best of the lot? J-Load, The Battleship Lorenzen, He 8 (Ate) Me, The Round Mound of Touchdown, The Pillsbury Throwboy and The Hefty Lefty.
And, of course, the Round Mound is a derivative of The Round Mound of Rebound, one of many nicknames for Charles Barkley.
He 8 Me, meanwhile, is a reference to Rod Smart, one of the most visible stars of the short-lived XFL, whose jersey famously read "He Hate Me."
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is known as "Beast Mode", stemming from his once remarking that he'd go into "beast mode" during games.
Denver Broncos (and former University of Georgia) running back Knowshon Moreno is referred to by detractors as "No-Show Moreno", for being both overrated and injury-prone.
Randy Moss, in his younger years, was known as "Super Freak" for his...well, freakish athleticism as well as an uncanny ability to make seemingly impossible catches look easy.
New York Jets QB "Broadway Joe" Namath, so-called because of his jet-setter lifestyle which was highly irregular among professional athletes at the time (Sixties to Seventies).
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has accrued a startling amount of nicknames in the year he's been with the team. Among all his monikers, 2 really stand out, "SuperCam" (known in his rookie year for occasional superhuman plays. Also, his touchdown celebration references Superman.) and "Ace Boogie."
Quarterback Kyle Orton (currently with the Dallas Cowboys) was once known more for his unfortunate facial hair he sported while with Chicago than any of his on-field accomplishments, leading to the nickname "Dread Pirate Neckbeard".
William Perry, a.k.a. "The Fridge" or "The Refrigerator" for his large size. He is a former lineman for the dominant Chicago Bears defense of the eighties and early nineties.
Current Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was known as "AD" (All Day) in college. This quickly reverted to the more sensible "AP" when he reached the pros - but a lot of people inside and outside the Vikings' fanbase also referred to him as "Purple Jesus."
Pittsburgh Steelers QB "Big Ben" Roethlisberger.
Poor Tony Romo (current QB for the Dallas Cowboys) is known to haters as "Tony Homo". It's also hard to imagine he didn't hear that one as a schoolyard taunt when he was a boy.
Tim Tebow was a spiritual predecessor (in more ways than one) to Jeremy Lin during the 2011-2012 sports year, and became known for his uncanny ability to lead improbable game-winning drives and comebacks (mainly with the Denver Broncos) despite utilizing a playing style considered unorthodox and largely ineffective in the NFL.
His nation-sweeping popularity became known as "Tebowmania", which may have been a nod to Hulk Hogan's "Hulkamania." (Not to mention that Tebow has a very All American Face-like air about him.)
"Tebow Time" referred to the fourth quarter and overtime, where Tebow at times inexplicably turned into an unstoppable force despite the fact that his performances through the first three quarters were often mediocre to lackluster.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is J.J. Swat(t) due to his swatted passes total.
The late Reggie White, a Hall-of-Fame defensive end with the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles, was known during his tenure in the league as "The Minister of Defense" - in no small part because he was actually an ordained Evangelical minister.
"Rowdy" Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons, inspired by famous pro wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
The three key players of the 90s era Dallas Cowboys team are collectively known as "The Triplets": Troy Aikman (QB), Michael Irvin (WR), and Emmitt Smith (RB). They also won three Super Bowls as well.
The Packers are notable for having had players such as Johnny "Blood" Mc Nally, "Mad Dog" Douglass, and Frankie "Bag O'Donuts" Winters, amongst others.
"Gronknandez" - Used to refer to the tight end duo of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez that broke out during the 2011 season, and completely changed the dynamic of the New England Patriots offense.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is known as "The Hoodie" due to him wearing hooded sweatshirts during games, and sometimes "Darth Hoodie" or "Emperor Belichick" due to his resemblance to Emperor Palpatine. Rival fans call him "Bill Beli-cheat" due to his involvement in the 2007 Spygate scandal, despite him constantly apologizing for it. His previous, and far less sucessful stint as coach of Cleveland left him with the moniker "Beli-choke." (A name Browns fans hang on to.)
Chris Berman - "Boomer"
Berman is the champion of this trope. So much so that fans are pretty much tired of the schtick.
Cris Collinsworth - "Collinsworthless" according to some of the people who don't like him.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones put up over a billion dollars to construct a new Cowboys Stadium (since corporately renamed as AT&T Stadium), which he seems to treat as a favorite child. This has lead the fans and local media to refer to it as: The BossHog Bowl, Jerry World, "Jerry Jones' Penis", and the like.
Les Miles, current head coach of the LSU Tigers, is "The Mad Hatter" for his wearing a hat and doing some rather unorthodox things like tasting the grass on the field before a game.
Legendary coach Bill Parcells got the nickname "The Big Tuna" back in his days as linebackers coach for the New England Patriots.
Teams and other Groups
Rabid Cleveland Browns fans have "The Dawg Pound".
Green Bay Packers fans are often called "Cheeseheads". Including wearing big blocks of cheese on their heads.
The most outlandish and extravagantly dressed Oakland Raiders fans all like to congregate to become "The Black Hole".
"Who Dat Nation" for New Orleans Saints fans, coming to prominence during the team's Super Bowl run in the 2009 season. The name comes from the chant "Who Dat? Who Dat? Who Dat say gonna beat dem Saints?"
Cincinnati Bengals fans have a very similar "Who Dey" chant. The two fanbases argue over who copied whom, as both emerged around the same time in the early 1980's.
Both the Texas A&M Aggies and the Seattle Seahawks use the term "12th Man" to describe the boisterous support the players get from fans (there are eleven players on the field for each team at any time). The two actually got into a legal battle over the term (Texas A&M had the term first); they settled on the Seahawks acknowledging the phrase originating with Texas A&M while the university allows the Seahawks to use the term for themselves.
Arguments erupt between fans of the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys over who has better claim to be "America's Team" (the Cowboys used it first). Sometimes Pittsburgh Steelers fans will jump in as well.
And then back in the Eighties, when a disproportionate number of Cowboys were busted for possessing/using nose candy, they were known as "South America's Team".
Based on the shifting demographics of Texas and growing hatedom of the Cowboys everywhere else, they're coming to be known as "Mexico's Team".
Often times a segment of a football team will earn a nickname due to dominating performances. Some of the more well-known ones (check here for further reference):
The Monsters of the Midway: the Chicago Bears defense, originally those of the 1940's and later revived for the 1980's. The original Monsters of the Midway were the University of Chicago Maroons, back when they played Division I football.
The Doomsday Defense: the Dallas Cowboys of the late 1960's and early 1970's.
The No-Name Defense: the defense of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, because Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry couldn't name anyone on it.
The Purple People Eaters: The defensive line of the Minnesota Vikings during the 1970s.
The Steel Curtain: The Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive line, also during the 1970s.
The Fearsome Foursome: the front four defensive linemen of the 70's Los Angeles Rams.
The Power Company: The offensive line of the 1970's Buffalo Bills, because they "turned on The Juice (O.J. Simpson)".
The New York Sack Exchange: The early-1980s defensive line of the New York Jets.
The Big Blue Wrecking Crew: The late-1980s New York Giants defense.
The Hogs: The highly effective, road-grading offensive linemen of the Redskins' Glory Days in the late 80s and early 90s, during which time the team won three Super Bowls.
These in turn spurred "The Hogettes", a group of (male) fans who dress up like old ladies and wear plastic pig snouts on their faces.
The Fun Bunch: The wide receivers and tight ends of the 1980s Redskins, named so because of their choreographed celebrations when they got into the end zone (which was fairly often). They were actually the primary contributors to the original rules against touchdown celebrations.
Within the 'Fun Bunch' there was a smaller sub-group known as the Smurfs - a trio of wide receivers measuring from 5'10" at the tallest to 5'7" at the shortest.
The Greatest Show on Turf: The St. Louis Rams and their high-flying offense of the late-90's and early-00's.
The hard-hitting Seattle Seahawks secondary of the early 2010's is becoming known as the "Legion of Boom".
Other times, teams in the midst of really bad stretches of play get less flattering nicknames. The most well-known is the first dozen or so years of the New Orleans Saints; they were so bad year in and year out fans started wearing paper bags over their heads and they became known to history as "the Ain'ts". Others include the Cincinnati "Bungles" (mid-90's and early 2000's), the New England "Patsies" (pretty much the times before Tom Brady), the Tampa Bay "Yucs/Yuccaneers" (mid-80's through mid-90's when double-digit loss seasons were common).
The New York Jets have occasionally been referred to derisively as the New York Jest ever since some Jets fans were seen at a game holding up cards spelling out the team's name... incorrectly. The New York Mets are sometimes known as the "Mest" in reference to this. This has sparked a whole wave of similar derisive nicknames — one of the most popular is the Atlanta Barves.
In recent years, the NFL has become very protective of the trademarked name of its championship game note a Super game, usually played in a large Bowl-like stadium. As a result, the name has become practically unmentionable on the radio or TV except in official NFL-sponsored ads or programs. Instead, the event is usually referred to as "The Big Game" (which can cause confusion if you're talking to a fan of the California Golden Bears or Stanford Cardinal, as their annual game is known as "The Big Game").
The NFL under current commissioner Roger Goodell is known as the "No Fun League" due to an increase in fines, limitations on celebration, etc. It's been used by current players, analysts, etc.
Not even stadiums are immune to nicknaming by fans and media:
"The Jungle" - Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati Bengals.
"The Frozen Tundra" - Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers. Thank the 1967 "Ice Bowl" (the NFL Championship Game held at Lambeau between the Packers and visiting Dallas Cowboys) when the game time temperature was −15°F with a wind chill of around −48 °F, as well as NFL Films voiceover Bill Woodson.
The Lambeau Leap - The post-touchdown jump into the stands that had its origins in Lambeau Field.
As listed above, "JerryWorld" - AT&T Stadium, Dallas Cowboys.
"The Linc" - Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia Eagles.
Before the Linc was built, there was "The Vet" for the Eagles' old home of Veterans Stadium. The old 700 Level (the highest and therefore cheapest seats) was notorious for really rowdy behaviornote The Vet had its own judicial court and jail cells built in the basement just to deal with them and is most responsible for the reputation of Philly fans in general of being classless louts.
"The 'Stick" - Candlestick Park, San Francisco 49ers.
Several stadiums in college football have nicknames, usually (though not always) due to their schools' long histories of success in the sport:
"The Big House" - Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor (Michigan)
"Death Valley" - Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge (LSU) or Memorial Stadium, Clemson.
"Happy Valley" - Penn State. This is a case where it applies to the entire town and surrounding region (State College, PA).
"The Horseshoe" - Ohio Stadium, Columbus (Ohio State).
"The Swamp" - Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville (Florida).
"The Blue" – Albertsons Stadium (formerly Bronco Stadium), Boise State. So named because of its distinctive blue playing surface.
Players and other individuals
New York Yankees
Due to their long history of success, many Yankees players have earned nicknames.
George Herman Ruth is better known as "The Babe".
"The Curse of the Bambino" has been used to refer to the Boston Red Sox' inability to win a World Series after trading Babe Ruth (the "Bambino" in question) to the aforementioned Yankees - during that time the Yankees won 26 World Series and the Red Sox none. They finally ended it in 2004.
Babe Ruth's list of nicknames is incredibly long, actually. The Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the King of Crash, and literally dozens more in that fashion.
Longtime Yank great Lou Gehrig was known not just for his stellar play, but his unbelievable durability, garnering the nickname "The Iron Horse."
In a sad twist of fate, the degenerative nervous disease that eventually claimed his life became known colloquially as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." note Its technical name is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Another legendary baseball player, Joe DiMaggio was called "Joltin' Joe" and "The Yankee Clipper".
Amongst Red Sox fans, Russell Early "Bucky" Fucking Dent and Aaron Bleeping Boone. Both seemingly came out of nowhere to hit critical homers against the Red Sox:
Dent hit just 40 homers in his 12-year career, but one of them was a 3-run shot in the 7th inning over the Green Monster in the 1978 AL East one-game playoff, a game the Yankees won 5-4.
Boone had been with the Yankees less than three months, having been traded from the Cincinnati Reds. He entered the deciding Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Red Sox as a pinch-runner and hit an 11th inning walk-off homer to win the game for the Yankees 6-5 and get them to the World Series.
Mariano Rivera, who in all likelihood will go down as the best closer in history, is known as simply "Mo."
Alex Rodriguez, third baseman for the Yankees, has been dubbed "A-Rod"
This extends to other players whose last name is Rodriguez, like Francisco (K-Rod, since he's a pitcher and strikes are represented by the letter K) and Ivan (I-Rod, though "Pudge" is more common.)
Not just people named Rodriguez, but anyone whose last name starts with "Rod." Both Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Tennis pro Andy Roddick are also known as A-Rod (and sometimes "A-Rodg," in the case of the former). There was actually a SportsCenter commercial where Roddick was upset that "A-Rod" wasn't catching on as a nickname for him in light of Rodriguez.
He was also widely known as A-Fraud to Yankee fans (and even his teammates, according to former Yankees manager Joe Torre), due to his tendency to underperform in the postseason. Now that he's finally won a World Series with the Yankees, that nickname fell into disuse (until the steroids thing reared its head again).
After leaving Seattle for $252 million from the Rangers, "Pay-Rod" was frequently used in Seattle.
The St. Louis Cardinals have had quite a few in first half of the 20th century, including: Enos "Country" Slaughter, "Dizzy" Dean, "Red" Schoendienst, and (most famously) Stan "The Man" Musial.
Invoked by the press on Dizzy's younger brother, Paul Dean, who was simply Paul. The press called him "Daffy" to complement his brother's nickname.
Ozzie Smith was sometimes known as "The Wizard."
At his peak, Mark McGwire was known as Big Mac.
In the past couple of years, Albert Pujols has been called "El Hombre," but asked people to stop using it because he claims that only Stan Musial is "The Man." The St. Louis faithful eventually settled on "The Machine", a reference to his at-times superhuman offensive production as well as his ability to uphold said production for long periods of time.
Since he announced at the end of 2011 that he was signing with the Los Angeles Angels, he's been simply known as "Benedict Albert".
The most famous of the 1919 "Black Sox" team was "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, who got his nickname from a minor league game where an equipment mix-up forced him to play barefoot.
"The Say Hey Kid", Willie Mays. No one's sure how he got that nickname.
"Hammerin'" Hank Aaron, who held the career record with 755 homers for 33 years and still holds several others related to his bat.
Ernie Banks is most well-known as "Mr. Cub". His positive demeanor in his daily life also granted him the name "Mr. Sunshine".
Reggie Jackson earned the moniker "Mr. October" for his clutch hitting performances in the postseason with the Oakland A's and New York Yankees.
Pitcher Dwight Gooden got nicknamed "Dr. K" (often shortened to just "Doc") when he was starting out with the New York Mets in 1984, partly as a follow-up on basketball's Julius Erving ("Dr. J").
As mentioned in the football section, Bo Jackson's real given names are Vincent Edward - "Bo" is a shortened version of "wild boar hog".
Vince Coleman's speedy baserunning led to him being called "Vincent van Go."
Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco earned the collective nickname "the Bash Brothers" in 1988, after the celebratory forearm bash they used to congratulate each other after either of them scored a run.
Several decades after Gehrig, the Baltimore Orioles' Cal Ripken Jr. (no slouch of a player himself and one of the few indisputable bright spots in the Orioles' otherwise checkered baseball history) took Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak (of 2,130 games), broke it, and then pushed his own streak to Serial Escalation levels (read: 2,632 games.). He was saddled with the rather uncreative name of Iron Man...presumably because "Iron Horse" was already taken. He's also referred to as the "Iron Bird", obviously playing off his team name.
Hideki Matsui's nickname "Godzilla" was originally a jab by Japanese media for his skin problems, but soon came to refer to his hitting prowess. The nickname stuck when Matsui signed with the Yankees in 2003.
During the late 90's, the Houston Astros duo of Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell alomg with Derrick Bell and Lance Berkman gained the named "Killer B's" after their high offense. It's also pulled out whenever the 'Stros have two or people with "B" Names.
Bagwell's weird batting stance gained the name "Invisible Stool".
Perennial All-Star pitcher Randy Johnson was known as 'The Big Unit.' No,it's not that. Simply put, Randy himself was a big guy - he stood 6'10" and for a long time was the tallest known pitcher in league history. note The 'record' has since been broken by the appearance of reliever Jon Rauch, who towers at 6'11".
Red Sox DH David Ortiz, for most of his career, has been known as "Big Papi."
Former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitching ace Roy Halladay was given the nickname "Doc Halladay" by the late Blue Jays announcer Tom Cheek (after the famous Old West gunslinger Doc Holliday).
Daisuke "Dice-K" Matsuzaka; "Dice-K" is more or less how his first name is supposed to be pronounced.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum is nicknamed "The Freak", partly because of his unconventional pitching motion.
Similarly to A-Rod, Colorado Rockies outfielder and 2010 batting title winner Carlos Gonzalez is often referred to as "Cargo."
Pablo Sandoval got the nickname Kung Fu Panda after he leaped over a catcher's tag at home plate, showing amazing agility for a man of his size (and shape). He's also sometimes known as "Fat Ichiro", due to his batting prowess being comparable to prime Ichiro Suzuki.
Teams (whole or part)
Since both teams have "Sox" in their name, the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox sometimes get abbreviated as "BoSox" and "ChiSox", respectively.
For decades, the New York Yankees have been called the "Bronx Bombers".
Or, for detractors, the "Evil Empire". You can thank the Red Sox for starting this one.
The Yankees' batting lineup of the late 1920's was known as "Murderers' Row" because of their batting prowess, especially the first six batters of the 1927 season: Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, and Tony Lazzeri. Combs, Ruth, Gehrig, and Lazzeri are all in the Hall of Fame.
The "Bronx Zoo" refers to the Yankees teams of the late 70's and early 80's who had a colorful cast of players that made things...shall we say, lively in the clubhouse. The moniker comes from a book about the 1978 team co-authored by pitcher Sparky Lyle.
The "Core Four" refers to four Yankees players who all signed with or were drafted by the team in the early 1990's: Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera. They were pivotal in the team's most recent run of success, including four World Series championships in five years ('96, '98, '99, '00) and a fifth in 2009 - more remarkable now given the current free agency era where even one player sticking with one team for so many years is rare.
New York's other team, meanwhile, picked up a couple of their own in their 1969 championship season: the Amazin's and the Miracle Mets. Both refer to the out-of-nowhere campaign of the then-eight-year-old team that to that point had never finished better than second-last in the National League. "The Amazin's" is still sometimes used today, while the "Miracle Mets" refer strictly to the 1969 season.
The dominant Cincinnati Reds teams of the early and mid-1970's are known as the "Big Red Machine".
The Cubs, meanwhile, are known as the "Lovable Losers", having last won a World Series in 1908 and last won a National League pennant in 1945.
The St. Louis Cardinals sometimes gets shortened to "Cards" or "Redbirds".
The Houston Astros' lack of success has led to their nickname the "Lastros".
The (in)famous late-1970's red and orange striped jerseys have gained the names "Rainbow Guts" or "Tequila Sunrise".
Their 2000's red and black era set were known as the "Old West".
The aforementioned World Series has been called the "Fall Classic", because of when it occurs (usually in October...in the fall).
"(The) WFC" enjoyed a short vogue on message boards for the Philadelphia Phillies shortly after their most recent World Series win - the acronym standing for star second baseman Chase Utley's infamous celebration parade yell of "World Fucking Champions!!"
The Chicago White Sox had their own curse, the Curse of the Black Sox which dogged them from their last World Series win in 1917 all the way until they finally managed to win it in 2005, the year after the Red Sox broke their curse.
The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, have the Curse of the Billy Goat. As the story goes, during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series, a bar owner named Billy Sianis brought his pet goat to Wrigley Field (even buying a separate ticket), but was kicked out because the goat's odor was bothering other fans; Sianis was furious and declared, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more." The Cubs lost that game, lost the Series, and haven't played a World Series game since.
Stadiums of renown:
The Astrodome, the Houston Astros' home park until 1999, was called the "8th Wonder of the World" when it first opened in 1965 (it was considered an engineering marvel at the time) and later the "House of Pain" due to it being a very large, windless pitcher's park.
Their current stadium Minute Maid Park (né Enron Field) is known as the "Juice Box".
Fenway Park in Boston is most well-known for the "Green Monster", the 35-foot-high left field wall necessitated by the odd shape of the lot the stadium sits on.
Wrigley Field in Chicago is known as "The Friendly Confines", a nickname bestowed by "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks.
The original Yankee Stadium, opened in 1923 and closed in 2008, is "The House that Ruth Built", as Babe Ruth's rising power and fame is credited with enabling the Yankees to muster up the funds needed to build a separate home for the team (up to that point, they shared Polo Grounds with the New York Giants, with whom they've had a contentious relationship).
The "Bleacher Creatures" are a group of raucous die-hard Yankee fans, known for their roll call of all the Yankees out on the field at the start of the game save for the pitcher and catcher.
Jesus Shuttlesworth is none other than Ray Allen, best known for his years with the Boston Celtics and now with the Miami Heat.note The nickname is the name of the character Allen played in He Got Game.
"Pistol Pete" Maravich, who got his nickname from the peculiar position he could shoot the basketball from...obviously, it was still very effective.
Julius Erving, a.k.a. "Doctor J".
After 2009's NBA playoffs and the hype surrounding it, LeBronze James (James' team didn't make it to the finals). Also LeBrick James, LeBron Lames, etc. He's probably best known as "King James", though. That, or LBJ. Detractors tend to refer to him as "King Crab" after his infamous "crab dribble" incident. Or "Queen James". His "Chosen One" nick has also caused people to call him "the Chokin' One."
Ever since abandoning the Cleveland Cavs to go to Miami, he's been occasionally referred to as "LeFraud Shames." And his new team, the Miami Heat, is also known as the Miami Cheat or Cheats.
Detroit Pistons announcer John Mason and fans are the champions of this trope. The starting 5 in the 2004 Championship season alone were:
Chauncey Billups - "Mr. Big Shot"
Richard Hamilton - "Rip" (though that was before his professional career)
Tayshaun Prince - "The Prince of the Palace" (they play in The Palace of Auburn Hills)
Also "The Long Arm of the Law", for his ridiculously awesome blocks and wingspan
Also "The Silent Assassin", for his incredible contributions that go generally unhyped
Rasheed Wallace - "Sheed", "Guaran-Sheed", etc.
Ben Wallace (no relation) - "Big Ben"... hey, he's the center. What do you expect? His gigantic afro probably had something to do with this, too.
And from the same team, Mike "The Amityville Scorer" James (so nicknamed because he's from upstate New York).
As for a negative, the infamous Pacers-Pistons Brawl (mainly Pacers players and Pistons fans) has become known as "The Malice at the Palace", invoking the arena name (The Palace of Auburn Hills) and famous boxing fight names (Detroit has played host to major boxing fights, and now holds "Joe Louis Arena", where the Red Wings play).
Michael Jordan's former Bulls teammate, Dennis Rodman, was known as The Worm for the way he'd wriggle his way into position to get rebounds and was one of the best rebounders in league history.note Although the nickname actually dates to his teenage years, because of the way he wiggled while playing pinball.
Karl Malone was known as the Mailman, because he always delivered (except on Sundays). And he used to be an actual mailman.
Shaquille O'Neal, AKA: "Shaq"
aka: "The Diesel", "Shaq-fu", "The Big Aristotle" - he also nicknamed Tim Duncan "The Big Fundamental"
Shaq's also known as "The Big [Situationally Appropriate Noun]"; for instance, after signing with the Boston Celtics, "The Big Shamrock."
His short tenure as a member of the Miami Heat earned him the short-lived nickname of "The (Big) Jester." note For his sense of humor and playing alongside LeBron "King" James.
Shaq's former Laker teammate Kobe Bryant has been known as "the Black Mamba"; it fell into disuse for years before its current resurgence.
At one point in the 2011-2012 season, Kobe broke his nose and was forced to play in a Rip Hamilton-style mask while it healed. This quickly gave way to him being called "The Masked Mamba"
Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls Ensemble Darkhorse and perpetual bench-rider Brian Scalabrine is known as "The Man. The Myth. The Legend." and "The White Mamba," both of which are Ascended Memes as TV announcers have used them.
The 2011-12 Bulls' reserve players, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson, Taj Gibson, Ömer Aşık and Brian Scalabrine, are popularly known among fans as the "Bench Mob."
Bulls starters or sixth men from around the same era also received individual nicknames. Derrick Rose is simply D-Rose, Luol Deng is Luol Dangerous, Jimmy Butler became Jimmy Buckets, and so on.
After joining Chicago from Utah, and not living up to his then-earned All-Star reputation, Carlos Boozer was prone to receiving "Boos", from home fans. Once his play improved back to its old standard, he began to earn more positive "Booz" (no "Boo-Urns", as well as the nickname for his dunks or other impressive plays, "the Booz Cruise".
Allen Iverson has been nicknamed "the Answer." And when his career became a complete bust, this became "The Not-Answer" or "The Wrong Answer".
Anfernee Hardaway, a former NBA player, was nicknamed "Penny", either because his number was 1, or because his grandmother mangled the nickname "Pretty." Many NBA fans never realized it was a nickname. His article at The Other Wiki uses Penny, not Anfernee.
Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards was well known as "Agent Zero" after his jersey number - which he personally chose to mock the people who predicted that was how many minutes he would play in the NBA. After a suspension following a gun controversy, he changed his number to 9.
Related is Antoine Walker's appellation of "Employee Number 8." Similar in construction, but intended as an insult because Walker played like a nameless sweatshop worker.
Jermaine O'Neal, currently of the Boston Celtics, is well-known among fans as Jermaine "The Drain". For two reasons: one, he's a serious ballhog. Two, he's a drain on any team he plays for.
Tyreke "The Freak" Evans of the Sacramento Kings, because he plays like a man possessed.
Perhaps the single most emblematic example in sports history is Earvin "Magic" Johnson, whose nickname is far better known than his real given name.
Chris "The Birdman" Andersen of the Miami Heat. He sort of propagated this one himself; it's based on a celebratory gesture he does after really good shots, dunks, or blocks. And no, it isn't that bird gesture.
Lamar Odom, alias the Candyman - on account of his childlike obsession with candy.
Blake "Superior" Griffin, a pun on his name and that of Lake Superior. His team, the Los Angeles Clippers, is occasionally called the Los Angeles Blakers, a gag on the LA's other NBA team, the Lakers.
His teammate Chris Paul is "CP3"; though "3" is his jersey number, it actually originated within his family — his father and older brother are both named Charles Paul, thus making him the third "CP."
After the acquisition of Chris Paul, the Clippers themselves came to be known as "Lob City", because of the large number of alley-oops (a lob pass near the hoop to set up a dunk, usually a flashy crowd pleaser) - most of them from Chris Paul to Blake Griffin. In fact, on The Other Wiki, typing in "Lob City" redirects straight to the Clippers' page (more specifically to a section on the "Lob City" era).
Ever since being bought by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, and temporarily ducking out of the Carmelo Anthony trade market, the New Jersey Nets have occasionally been referred to as the New Jersey Nyets. This has been almost too fitting considering their abysmal performance in recent seasons.
Now they're the Brooklyn Nyets. Let's see if the change of venue changes their fortunes.
The Portland Trail Blazers can be called the Fail Blazers. An aura of Fail seems to permeate the franchise, from not drafting Jordan to having frequently injured top draft picks.
That last one has also spawned the Frail Blazers nickname.
During a time the players were controversial and frequently arrested, Jail Blazers.
Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets was occasionally known as Chairman Yao for his dominant presence in the paint (and the fact that he hails from China and has a name that rhymes with "Mao", naturally). In the last years of his career, he was very prone to injury, leading to nicknames like "Yaouch Ming."
Jeremy Lin, now playing for the Rockets, managed to amass dozens of nicknames in the wake of his out-of-nowhere star turn with the New York Knicks after he began substituting for an injured Carmelo Anthony. "Linsanity" is the most popular, and many of them follow that pattern ("Linvincible", for instance). A few of the more creative ones are "Mr. Lincredible" and "Android 17" (after his jersey number)
The Washington Wizards, one of the most consistently awful teams in the NBA for over a decade, are sometimes known as the Washington Generals — after the team that plays the Harlem Globetrotters and loses pitifully every time.
Chris Bosh is "the Boshtrich" due to his height, skinny frame, and bizarrely avian facial features.
Ditto "Boshasaurus" for his resemblance to a velociraptor.
His resemblance to a Na'avi from Avatar has not escaped the fans, either.
Leandro Barbosa is the Brazilian Blur due to his speed.
Serge Ibaka's prolific blocking has led to the name "Iblocka" being used even by commentators
Kenyon Martin's nickname is "K-Mart" — it's based on the same naming scheme as "A-Rod" and Tracy McGrady's "T-Mac" nick, but it's obviously much more amusing.
George Gervin was "The Iceman" because he hardly ever broke a sweat while playing.
Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon.
The Houston Rockets championship teams from '94-'95 were known as "Clutch City" (a response to the nickname "Choke City" coined after the Rockets blew leads their first two '94 Final's games as well as the rest of Houston's then-extremely hapless sports teams with situations like Buffalo's "Comeback", "The Dunk" that ended UH's NCAA title hopes and the Astros playoff woes), a name iconic enough that its applied to any Houston team making a playoff run.
The bench of the 2013–14 San Antonio Spurs is known as the "Foreign Legion" due to its diverse national origins. The rundown: Aron Baynes (New Zealand-born Aussie), Marco Belinelli (Italian), Matt Bonner (American who also holds a Canadian passport), Boris Diaw (French), Manu Ginóbili (Argentine), Cory Joseph (Canadian), Pattynote Patrick Mills (Aussie—and indigenous to boot).note The starting lineup also has a distinct international flavor: Tim Duncan was born in the US Virgin Islands, Tony Parker was born in Belgium and raised in France, and Tiago Splitter is Brazilian.
Women's basketball has its own nicknames as well:
Candace Parker is also known as CP3.
Courtney Vandersloot, of the Chicago Sky, has been called "Sloot" at least since her college days at Gonzaga, if not longer.
The Atlanta Dream's Shoni Schimmel is "Showtime", a nickname she picked up in her college days at Louisville.
National teams also have nicknames:
Australia: Boomers (men), Opals (women).note "Boomer" is the standard term for a male kangaroo. The opal is the national gemstone of Australia, which produces almost all of the world's supply.
New Zealand: Tall Blacks (men), Black Ferns (women).note Both nicknames are based on those of the country's national rugby union teams—the men's All Blacks and women's Silver Ferns. The national sporting colors are black and silver, and a fern is one of several national symbols.
Spain men: Now that Spanish players have become common in the NBA, the nickname is La ÑBA.note The traditional nickname was La Roja[ ("The Reds", from their standard jerseys), the same as the national football team.
Maurice "Rocket" Richard.
Wayne Gretzky is known as the Great One.
Dan "Carbomb" Carcillo.
Denis "Savoir Faire" Savard.
Sidney "Sid the Kid" Crosby.
Bobby "the Golden Jet" Hull, which sometimes led to his son Brett being referred to as "the Golden Brett".
Roberto Luongo is nicknamed "LOLuongo" by detractors for his unfortunate habit of choking in high-pressure situations. "Luongoal" is in a similar spirit, because during these chokes he gives up ridiculous amounts of goals. Also, referencing another (former) choker, "LeBrongo\LuBrongo".
Mark Messier has two: "The Moose" for his aggressive style and sheer strength, and (especially in New York) "The Messiah" for his leadership during the Rangers' 1994 Stanley Cup victory that ended a 54-year drought.
Upon becoming the NHL's head disciplinarian, former NHL player Brendan Shanahan earned the nickname "Shanaban" due to his frequent suspensions of players for disciplinary infractions. More frequently, the suspensions themselves are referred to as "Shanabans," and the term even gets used in media discussions of the suspensions.
The "blue-seaters" are the rowdiest New York Rangers fans who usually use the, well, blue-colored seats located up on the 400-level of Madison Square Garden. Generally working- or middle-class diehards, they're the ones who come up with notoroious chants like "Potvin Sucks!", and will often hecklenote the fact that "blue language" refers to profanity is a coincidence, but probably adds to their notoriety anyway not just the opposing team and their fans but also the more well-to-do corporate- and business-type attendees down in the "red seats" on the lower levels. They're roughly analogous to the Bleacher Creatures at Yankee Stadium.
Lines and Teams
Detroit Red Wings - The "Dead Wings"/"Dead Things", during their long stretch of terrible play from 1967-1983, when they only made the playoffs twice (remarkable for a time where as many as 16 out of 21 teams made the playoffs each year).
The Russian Five/Red Army - Igor Larionov, Viacheslav Fetisov, Sergei Fedorov, Vyacheslav Kozlov, and Vladimir Konstantinov. These five were all players on the Soviet national hockey team in the 1980's and were put together after The Great Politics Mess-Up in Detroit by Scotty Bowman. They were dominant in the Red Wings' Cup run in 1997 and were crucial in the team's repeat the next year (in Konstantinov's case, as a rallying cry - just days after the Wings won the Cup in '97 he was involved in a limousine accident that ended his career).
Montreal Canadiens - "Les Habitants" or "The Habs". "Habitants" were settlers of French origin who lived along the shores of the St. Lawrence River in present-day Quebec.
Philadelphia Flyers - The Broad Street Bullies, referring to the team in the 1970's who were known for their rough and physical play. The nickname also refers to the team's specific location—the address of the Flyers' home arena at the time, the Spectrum, was 3601 South Broad Street.
The Legion of Doom - mid-90's line of Eric Lindros, John LeClair, and Mikael Renberg
"The Coliseum": Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, current home of the New York Islanders. During the early 1980's when the Islanders won the Cup four straight seasons, it also acquired "Fort Neverlose".
"The Garden": Either Madison Square Garden in New York (Rangers) or TD Garden in Boston (Bruins). Depends on whom you're talking to.
"Hockeytown": Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings.
"The Igloo": Civic Arena/Mellon Arena, the old Pittsburgh Penguins home before it was demolished. The building itself did resemble an igloo.
"The Madhouse on Madison (Street)": Chicago Stadium, home of the Chicago Blackhawks through 1994. The building was quite cozy inside and held the world's largest pipe organ, so cheers from fans reverberated and echoed quite loudly within. The nickname has since passed on to its successor, the United Center.
"The Pond": Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks. Before Honda bought naming rights, the arena was known as Arrowhead Pond - both, of course, play off ducks.
"The Rock": Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils. The building name's sponsor is an insurance company that uses the Rock of Gibraltar as its logo; both the building and the company's headquarters are in Newark.
"The Shark Tank": SAP Center at San Jose, home of the San Jose Sharks.
"The Red Mile": the several-block stretch of 17th Avenue (International Avenue) S.W. in Calgary that was filled with tens of thousands of red-clad Calgary Flames fans during the team's bid for the Stanley Cup in 2004.
Soccer / Association Football
Duncan Disorderly, Drunken Ferguson - Scottish soccer player Duncan Ferguson.
"The Irons": West Ham United FC
Also known as "The Academy of Football", partly because many well-known players start off at West Ham (which has a good coaching regime) and then go elsewhere. An official nickname now.
Recent Nigerian soccer players in Europe tend to be known more by name rearrangements:
John Michael Obi's name got mangled by his Swedish club to "Jon Mikel Obi", and now at Chelsea he is "Jon Obi Mikel", with "Mikel" on his jersey, and the name by which commentators and fans refer to him.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni is "Yakubu" on his Everton shirt. Also "The Yak", which inspired the meme, 'feed the Yak and he will score'.
Obinna Nsofor is "Obinna" at West Ham.
Other Nigerian soccer nicknames:
Austin Okocha: "Jay Jay Okocha", or just "Jay Jay".
Nwankwo Kanu: "Papillo". At one point when in bad form at Arsenal, "Wanker Kanu".
Goalie Vincent Enyeama: "Enyeamagnet"
Daniel Amokachi: "The Bull".
Stephen Keshi: "Big Boss".
Mutiu Adepoju: "The Headmaster", for his tendency to score via headers.
Another soccer example is the Brazilian Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima. In Brazil, his most common nickname is "Phenomenon", and at first "Ronaldinho" ("Little Ronaldo"), which was reduced to just Ronaldo due to both him getting older and the appearance of another Ronaldinho (Ronaldo Assis Moreira, also known in Brazil as "Ronaldinho Gaúcho"note Ronaldinho from the state of Rio Grande do Sul to put the difference further). And due to both weight gain and the appearance of another famous Ronaldo (Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo), he got the name "Fat Ronaldo".
All also earned nicknames based on their jersey numbers: R9 for Ronaldo (the name of his company as well), R10 for Ronaldinho (in 2012, as the 9 in his new team was taken he went by another number and alias, R49), CR 7 for Cristiano Ronaldo. Others followed suit, such as K9 (Keirrison), and LF 9 (Luis Fabiano), .
Likewise, Rafael Moura's hair◊ earned him the moniker He-Man.
This is VERY common with the Football/Soccer World with teams, cups and players all usually having some sort of nickname. A few examples include:
Manchester United - The Red Devils
Arsenal - The Gunners or "The Arse" (sometimes by fans, hence "Up the Arse!")
Newcastle - The Magpies/The Toon Army
Everton - The Toffees / The School of Science (after Steve Bloomer called Everton's style of play 'scientific')
UEFA Cup which is now known as the Europa League - Mickey Mouse Cup
Paul Gascoigne - Gazza
Noberto Solano - Nobby
Kenny Daglish - King Kenny
Chelsea is often derisively referred to as "Chelski," a reference to Chelsea's wealthy Russian owner, Roman Abramovich. Liverpool fans refer to Everton as 'Neverton' or 'the People-Less Club' (a response to David Moyes calling Everton 'the people's club').
Almost every EPL club has a similarly derisive nickname; after "Chelski", the least profane one is probably "Liverpoo" for Liverpool.
In Brazil, many are known by their mascot (Atlético-MG is "rooster", Santos is "fish" - although the mascot is a whale), and a few by its color (Internacional is "Colorado", "red" in Spanishnote [[The Capital Of Brazil Is Buenos Aires not the country's official language, mind you). Corinthians is "Timão" (ship's wheel) after a wheel in its logo.
Italian side Lazio is sometimes referred to as "Nazio," which is a reference to a sizable chunk of their fanbase that is known to have fascist affiliations.
After the Luis Suarez racism row, Anfield, Liverpool's home ground, got the unfortunate nickname of 'Klanfield'.
Everton and Manchester United fans also call it 'Analfield'.
Watford has "One Size" Fitz Hall
The Houston Dynamo have been nicknamed the "Orange Crush" and their stadium the "(Dutch) Oven".
Fernando Torres is infamous for his scoreless streak, leading to the nickname "Fernandon't Scorres"
Manuel Neuer is affectionately known as "Manu".
Similarly, Zlatan Ibrahimović is often called "Ibra".
'Robin van Pussy' for the injury-prone Robin van Persie.
US national team and LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan is derisively referred to as "Landycakes" for alleged softness on and off the field.
Liverpool supporters' nickname for Chelsea fans is 'plazzy flag wavers', due to the plastic flags left on seats for Chelsea supporters to wave (as opposed to homemade banners brought to matches).
To Manchester United supporters, Liverpool supporters are 'bin dippers' ('dippers' for short). To Everton supporters, they're 'kopites' or, more derisively, 'red shite'.
Iker Casillas, the Spanish national team's main goalkeeper, was nicknamed "El Santo" (The Saint) after he stopped two penalty kicks in the round-of-16 match against Ireland in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Many national teams have a nickname.
The Spanish national team is called "La Roja" (The Red, after the shirt's color), "La Furia Española" (The Spanish Fury, created during the 1920 Olympic Games) or a combination of the two.
The German national team is called "Die Mannschaft" (The Team) by the non-German fans.
The US men's and women's national teams are very commonly referred to as the USMNT and USWNT, respectively.
Nigeria national team: "Super Eagles" (men), "Super Falcons" (women).note Based on the presence of a bird of prey on the crest of the national federation.
Jamaica national team: "Reggae Boyz" and "Reggae Girlz".
The Spanish Davis Cup team is nicknamed The Invincible Armada and The Spanish Armada, the name has caught on so much that the players themselves can be seen wearing caps with the name on them. It's also more widely used to refer to the top tier Spanish Tennis players.
Aussie this page on up with the grand list of AFL nicknames:
When he's not having 'you beauty!' attached to the end of his name, Alex Jesaulenko is abbreviated to a fairly standard Jezza.
Brendan 'Fev' Fevola
During his time at Carlton, 'Fevalenko' also saw some usage (Fev and Jezza both wore number 25 for Carlton).
Peter 'Macca' McConville
Alex 'Marcel' Marcou
Phil 'Shark' Marlin
Ken 'Bomber' Sheldon
Ken's son Sam has the nickname SOKS, Son of Ken Sheldon.
Anthony 'Kouta' Koutoufides
Ricky 'Chicken Legs' Nixon
Stephen 'SOS' Silvagni
Stephen 'Sticks' Kernahan
Twin brothers Brad and Chris Scott aka "The Kray Brothers"
Men's Tennis star Novak Djokovic is sometimes called "Djoker", owed in part to his propensity to crack jokes with other players on and off the court.
17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is sometimes called "FedEx", a reference to his speedy and efficient way of sending his opponents on an express trip out of the match. His customary seat even has the FedEx logo on it.
Mixed Martial Arts: Many fighters adopt a nickname that is coined by friends, family, and trainers, but sometimes the fans themselves coin them. Examples include Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk, and Kazushi "The Gracie Hunter" Sakuraba. Examples that are not officially adopted are often mocking names or simple abbreviations of the fighter's name. Sometimes a fighter's signature move receives a fan nickname.
Brock Lesnar is often called "Cock Chesnar" to mock the extremely phallic tattoo he sports on his chest.
"Cup" Chieck Kongo is so called due to the number of times he "cup checked" his opponent Mirko Cro Cop with illegal groin strikes.
Georges "Rush" St-Pierre is almost always referred to as GSP rather than by any part of his name or even his original nickname.
Mirko Cro Cop's infamous left high kicks are often abbreviated "LHK," which in turn has migrated onto others' use of the same technique.
His real name is Mirko Filipovic; the name "Cro-Cop" comes from his career as a police officer in Croatia.
James Thompson's tradition of charging at his opponent at the instant of the first bell is called "Gong and Dash."
Yoshihiro Akiyama, known for his modeling and fashionable lifestyle, is called "Sexyama" by fans. Akiyama stated that the name embarrassed him at first, but he now likes it and it has been used during pre-fight UFC introductions.
PRIDE English announcer Lenne Hardt was dubbed "PRIDE Crazy Lady" by Japanese fans for her outrageous announcing style.
StrikeForce women's bantamweight fighter Miesha "Takedown" Tate gained her nickname from her wrestling-based style. However, her... impressively muscular posterior has led some fans (mostly on the Sherdog message boards) to dub her Miesha "Dat Ass" Tate.
Anderson Silva is "Spider" for his fandom of Spider-Man.
Horse racing: Churchill Downs gets referred to simply as "The Twin Spires".
The Kentucky Derby is "The Run For The Roses", a reference to the winner's blanket of roses, and the Belmont Stakes is "The Test of Champions", since it's a mile and a half, one of the longest thoroughbred races out there.
"Cuddles", or the current world cycling road race champion Cadel Evans
Mike Tyson was known as "Kid Dynamite" when he was an up-and-comer, due to his extreme youth (turned pro at 19) and incredible punching power (won most of his fights by first round knockout). By the time he became champion, he was mostly referred to as "Iron Mike" — because of his astonishing perfect record and the fact that he seemed impossible to hurt.
Boxer Eric "Butterbean" Esch received his nickname after the crash diet he went on to make weight for a local tough man competition — because he couldn't enter if he weighed more than 400 pounds. Despite the fact that he has clearly never dieted again since, he's now mostly known by that name.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Look at him, you'll figure it out.
Beach volleyball has three-time Olympic champion team Misty "The Turtle" May-Treanor and her partner Kerri "Six Feet of Sunshine" Walsh Jennings.
The English rugby player Billy Twelvetrees is sometimes abbreviated to "36" ("twelve threes") in online discussions. In similar vein is "1/2p", "0.5p" and similar for the Welsh back Leigh Halfpenny.
Artistic gymnastics has its fair share:
"The Shush" for Elena Shushunova (URS)
"The Painted Bird of Odesa" for Tatiana Gutsu (URS)
"Awesome Dawesome" for Dominique Dawes (USA)
"The Belarussian Swan" and "The Goddess of Gymnastics" for Svetlana Boguinskaia (URS/BLR)
"Queen Khorky" for Svetlana Khorkina (RUS)
"The Queen" for Ludmilla Tourischeva (URS)
"Mama Chuso" for Oksana Chusovitina (URS/UZB/GER)
"The Trickster" for Amy Chow (USA)
"LilyPod" for Lilia Podkopayeva (UKR)
"Mighty Mouse" for Kyla Ross (USA)
"Conqueror of the Podium" for Aliya Mustafina (RUS)
"Songsong" for Shang Chunsong (CHN)
"K-Rod" for Kristen Maloney (USA)
"Pocket Rocket" for Claudia Fragapane (GBR/ENG)
"Air Maroney" for McKayla Maroney (USA)note as in "Air Canada", so named because of the jaw-droppingly unbelievable flight she gets on her favorite event, the vault
"The Flying Dutchman" for Epke Zonderland (NED)
"United States of Amanar" for Team USA from 2012 on, because most of its internationally competitive senior elites can throw the incredibly difficult Amanarnote a round-off entry onto the board, followed by a 2.5-twisting layout vault
"The Magnificent Seven" for the seven-woman team that won gold in Atlanta (Jaycie Phelps, Amanda Borden, Dominique Dawes, Dominique Moceanu, Amy Chow, Kerri Strug, and Shannon Miller, USA)
The "Fierce Five" for the USA team that won gold in London (Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas)
"A-Train" is a popular fan-nickname in sports as well, given the level of forces involved when you have 200-300 pounds worth of almost pure muscle running around the field.
The King - Not Elvis Presley, but rather legendary NASCAR driver Richard Petty.
Golf legend Arnold Palmer was also called The King.
His fanbase had a fan nickname themselves, Arnie's Army.
"Super" Mario West of the NBA's Boston Celtics and "Super" Mario Lemieux formerly of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. Really, if there's a guy named Mario, people are going to call him "Super" sooner or later.
After Mario Götze scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup Final, Ian Darke, who did the commentary for ESPN's broadcast of the game, was quick to use this terminology.
This is also the nickname of soccer player Mario Balotelli who plays for Manchester City. It actually fits well since he's Italian.
Another auto racing one is the tendency to refer to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. simply as "Junior"
The same thing happened with MLB All-Star Ken Griffey, Jr.
Oh please, Dale Jr. wouldn't even be a thing if it weren't for his daddy, Dale "The Intimidator" Earnhardt. His nickname was so famous, the minor-league baseball team he partially bought is called the Kannapolis Intimidators.
You'd frequently get "Big E" and "Little E" to refer to Dale and Dale Jr. respectively.
The University of Virginia sports teams are officially known as the Cavaliers. They're unofficially often known as the "Wahoos" or the "Hoos" for short. The name is based on the "Wahoo-wah" chant Virginia "borrowed" from Dartmouth in the 1890s. "Wahoo" is also sometimes jokingly said to come from the wahoo fish that supposedly drinks twice its own body weight every day.