Pick 6: Best players known by their initials
- Published: Oct. 24, 2011 at 06:32 p.m.
- Updated: Oct. 24, 2011 at 07:36 p.m.
Happy birthday to legendary quarterback Y.A. Tittle, who celebrated his 85th birthday on Monday. In his honor, we will celebrate the six best players best known by their initials.
And without further ado …
Honorable mention: CJ2K
Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson nearly made the cut, but the name CJ2K is a little bit misleading considering that his 2,000 rushing yard season came in 2009. Fantasy enthusiasts are being mocked by the nickname considering that Johnson has yet to regain that 2K form after a lengthy holdout this offseason.
Honorable mention: D.T.
Derrick Thomas was one of the best linebackers in NFL history. His career and life were tragically cut short following complications from a car accident. Thomas was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
Honorable mention: L.J.
Larry Johnson had a brief but outstanding career as a running back with the Chiefs. What hurts him, however, is that he's not even the best Larry Johnson -- or L.J., for that matter -- to play professional sports. That honor belongs to former UNLV and NBA star, Larry Johnson.
Mention Terrell Owens' initials and you are bound to get a strong reaction. But love him or hate him -- and there are many of you who fall into the latter category -- there is no denying that Owens is one of the best receivers to ever play the game.
Maurice Jones-Drew actually has many nicknames -- MoJo or Pocket Hercules -- but to most people, he is known simply as MJD. I knew him as Maurice Drew when I covered his college career at UCLA, but he changed his name to the more well-known Maurice Jones-Drew to honor his grandfather.
4. Y.A. Tittle
This photo of Yelberton Abraham Tittle, Jr. might be the most iconic image in NFL history. My favorite story about Y.A. Tittle came from Lou Cordileone, who upon learning that he was traded from the Giants to 49ers for Tittle said, "What? Me straight up for Y.A. Tittle? You're kidding." Tittle would lead the Giants to three title games during his time in New York.
Some mistakenly refer to Adrian Peterson as "A.P.," but his nickname is actually "A.D." as in "All Day." The most amazing thing about Peterson is that he continues to put up exceptional numbers no matter who is the Vikings starting quarterback. Look no further than his 175 rushing yards and a touchdown in Christian Ponder's debut for proof.
The L.T. nickname was so great, two guys shared it: Lawrence Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson. And, wait ... that's not right. We won't stand for this. You can't have two Rodger the Dodgers, Galloping Ghosts or Night Trains. Let's do this one over.
The most dominant linebacker to ever play, it's also conceivable to say that Lawrence Taylor is the greatest defensive player in NFL history. Taylor finished third on the NFL Network's Top 100 players of all time countdown.
O.J. Simpson never receives the credit he deserves for his football playing skills, thanks in no small part to his post-NFL career. But when you are counting down the list of top running backs of all-time Simpson is easily in the top three, and I would even hear a case for him being the best ever. (Though, that would be wrong because Jim Brown was the best ever, but he never went by J.B.).