Harmon Killebrew had one of the coolest names in sports history. Maybe the world. As the sporting world mourns his passing, I cannot help but remember the dog-eared Killebrew card I kept (worth about $0.06 because of a crease) as a kid.
Mostly because I was enamored with the name that was part bad guy from Road House and the kind of guy you could have a beer with on a Saturday afternoon.
How could you not love the guy?
What's funny, though, is that Killebrew sounds like a great name for a middle linebacker. Just the kind of tough-guy name that just jumped out at you. With that in mind, here is my list of the six coolest tough-guy names in the NFL. And these are real names, so those fancy nicknames like John (Blood) McNally, Bronislau (Bronko) Nagurski and Roderick (Rock) Cartwright will not be included -- even though you will mention them in the comments section.
Also considered: Tom Fears, Cedric Killings, Richard Dent, Otis Sistrunk, Hugh Jackman, Kevin Mack, Murder Killingfield and Joe Montana (because anybody with the last name of a state sounds like a tough guy).
And without further ado ...
6. Cliff Battles
Not only is Battles a tough-guy game, "the Gip" grew up in Akron, Ohio, the son of a salt worker for the Goodrich and Firestone tire companies. Oh, and his name is Battles!
5. Pat Angerer
Every time they mention Angerer's name during a telecast, I get the image of him turning green and transforming into the Incredible Hulk. Like don't make Pat angerer.
4. Frank Gore
Gore's running style fits his name, as that of a rhino repeatedly charging his prey. This also sounds like it would be a cool finishing move for a professional wrestler. (Yeah, I know.)
3. Mack Strong
Conjures up the image of a mack truck and of course, there is strong in the name. Only rivaled by Homer Simpsons' "Max Power" name on The Simpsons.
2. Jack Youngblood
Youngblood is a great name, but what makes it truly great is that he went by Jack. Jack Youngblood makes the name tougher. Compare him to former teammate Jim Youngblood. Which seems more imposing? That's what I thought.
1. Steve Stonebreaker
Is this the name of an actual NFL player or Jon Favreau's character in The Replacements? Yup, this is a real player. Favreau's character was Daniel Batemen. Probably because Stonebreaker seemed too unreal. Yet, there have been two Stonebreakers to play in the NFL, as Steve's son Mike played briefly in the league.