Pick Six  


Pick Six: Coolest nicknames


Forgive the spoiler alert, but there is little doubt Gabby Douglas is going to be one of the biggest - if not the biggest - breakout star of the 2012 Olympics back here in the states.

And not only should we laud her for winning the gold (sorry, spoiler!) but she's also bringing back the cool nicknames. The "Flying Squirrel" is a throwback nickname to those great nicknames of the past, which featured actual creativity.

The fact she's been dubbed the "Flying Squirrel" instead of some uninspired take off her initials (like G-Doug or Gabby D) is a refreshing change of pace. With that in mind, here's a look at the six coolest nicknames in NFL history.

And to be fair, we went with retired players so we have a full chance to give some of the cool nicknames of this generation like Megatron and Beast Mode to truly stand the test of time (though Calvin Johnson will make this list one day).

Further, don't think I didn't already think of a nickname you want to include. Yes, I know people like "The Refrigerator" or "The Bus" which are good nicknames, just not good enough to crack this list.

And without further ado ...

  • Concrete Charlie

    Philadelphia Eagles linebacker/center Chuck Bednarik actually went by two names, including the "60-minute Man" because he never left the field. But his tough-nosed playing style was fully encapsulated with the nickname Concrete Charlie which fit him so well.

  • The Galloping Ghost

    Harold "Red" Grange is another guy who should get bonus points for carrying multiple nicknames. The Hall of Famer got the "Galloping Ghost" nickname from Chicago sportswriter Warren Brown for the way the Grange moved on the field.

  • Dick "Night Train" Lane

    What a perfect nickname for a guy who wore No. 81 as a defensive back. Lane apparently didn't care for the nickname at first (stemming from a popular song from Jimmy Forest), but he eventually grew to embrace it.

  • Sweetness

    Forget what you know about this nickname, Walter Payton earned the moniker during a practice for a 1975 All-Star when he told Ohio State cornerback Neal Colzie, "Your sweetness is your weakness!' and then blew by him. A note biographer Jeff Pearlman shared on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.

  • Deacon Jones

    You might be surprised but he was born David Jones, but Deacon became legendary. Deacon Jones also played for a defensive line with the coolest nickname ever, too, the "Fearsome Foursome."

  • Crazylegs

    Los Angeles Rams WR Elroy Hirsh earned his nickname at the University of Wisconsin when Chicago Daily News reporter Francis Powers wrote, "His crazy legs were gyrating in six different directions, all at the same time; he looked like a demented duck." That running style made him a very popular sports star in Los Angeles in the 1950s.


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