6 Pro Athletes Who Wish Their Nicknames Hadn’t Stuck

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck on April 23, 2012

in Funny

We all have that one friend or family member who always seems to hold everything up.

Come on! Let’s Go!

Whether it’s leaving the office to go to lunch, or wrapping up what was supposed to be a quick shopping trip, that person inevitably elongates the process.

A few years back, I had a coworker who was notorious for making us late for everything, so we nicknamed him ‘The Human Speed Bump”. By nature, a speed bump’s primary objective is to slow you down, unwavering in it’s resolve to impede your progress.

“The Human Speed Bump” came up in a recent conversation and it got me thinking about some great athlete nicknames in the history of sports. Thing is, not all nicknames were flattering. For every “Human Highlight Reel” there is a “Mr. May”.


The Dirty Fuentes

Less a nickname for the player and more of a reference to his unnecessarily dramatic saves, Major League relief pitcher Brian Fuentes has enjoyed some degree of success as a big league closer. Currently pitching for the Oakland Athletics, Fuentes is now a setup man as his best days are likely behind him. Thing is, even the 36 year old’s best days were an adventure.

Noted for shaky appearances and a flair for the dramatic, Fuentes seemed to always take a circuitous route to the save. The hosts of the ESPN Fantasy Focus podcast coined “The Dirty Fuentes” as a reference to any Major League save in which the pitcher arrives at the intended destination, no matter how ugly the ride was.

Another nickname of note originating on the Fantasy Focus Pod: “Big Fat Bartolo Colon”.


The 40 Year Old Virgin

A.C. Green played in more consecutive games than any other player in NBA history and is a 3 time NBA Champion. Born in Portland, Oregon, he was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. You know what he wasn’t inducted into? The Doin’ It Hall of Fame.

Green is a very religious man and has been outspoken regarding the fact that he entered and retired from the NBA as a virgin. His AC Green Youth Foundation promotes abstinence until marriage. A man of his age and stature being a virgin might have flown under the radar a bit more if he wasn’t a semi-high profile player in a league known in the 80s for it’s widespread culture of casual sex between players and their “fans” across the country. It is said that opposing players used to send women to his hotel room in an attempt to disrespect his moral code and throw him off of his game.



See what I mean? Just kinda creepy.

Alex Rodriguez and the general public just can’t seem to connect. Be it the piercing eyes, the chiseled body, the quarter of a billion dollar contract, or the Super Bowl popcorn situation, people are just uncomfortable with A-Rod. He’s been called “The Cooler” in reference to teams going cold shortly after he joins them, but we learned of the nickname “A-Fraud” when former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre’s 2009 book The Yankee Years came out.

According to the book the name was used by teammates and used in front of A-Rod. The nickname has since morphed into “A-Roid” since he’s been surrounded by steroid allegations and perceptions of his involvement with banned substances.


The Human Rain Delay

Defined by Urban Dictionary as a “jackass who believes his time is more important than yours”, this nickname has actually been attached to more than one Major League baseball player over the course of history.

The most notable is manager Mike Hargrove, who in his playing days had an insanely long routine at the plate and between every pitch. These machinations were often commented upon by announcers and his nickname was well known in the sport. Hargrove’s lengthy plate appearances often made it feel like play had come to a complete stop.


Bitch Tits

“I’m so dead inside.”

PGA golfer Phil Mickelson has a lot in common with A-Rod. Be it the affluent upbringing, the trophy wife, the forced smile or the “I’m looking through you, not at you” eyes, many golf fans have never warmed up to Mickelson. While he certainly has legions of adoring fans, Phil seems to be to the PGA as LeBron is to the NBA and Sidney Crosby is to the NHL. Die-hard fans of the sport either love him or hate him.

So what do you get for the man who seemingly has it all? A horrifically offensive and right-to-the-jugular nickname. Phil is by no means out of shape, but placed next to a chiseled specimen such as Tiger Woods (which has been Mickelson’s position for much of his career in the eyes of the casual golf fan) he looks a little doughy. Again, no slight on his physical fitness, but we have to have something on the guy.

On a recent episode of our podcast, Googs made reference to Phil’s “secret” nickname amongst many of his PGA peers: FIGJAM (which stands for Fuck I’m Good, Just Ask Me). Pretty much says it all.


The Human Victory Cigar

Sweet frosted tips, dude.

Darko Milicic was drafted #2 overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. Who went #1? LeBron James. Hey, no worries – surely if Detroit was selecting #1 overall they would have taken James as well, so whiffing on Darko at #2 is no big deal, right?

That would be the case if Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh weren’t selected after Milicic.

Perhaps it was Darko’s position amongst 4 players who would go on to be perennial All-Stars and faces of the game, or maybe it was just that he really sucked – regardless, Darko never caught on in Detroit and was vilified as a waste of a draft pick and millions of dollars. Relegated to the end of the bench, the only playing time Darko saw was when his team had already basically won and was just salting away the final moments of the game.

If you saw Darko on the floor, the game was already won, hence the “Human Victory Cigar” and in my opinion the best derogatory sports nickname of all-time.

Good thing they had already won the game.

Honorary Mention:

Brian Scalabrine – “The White Mamba”

Former Eastern Illinois linebacker Lucious Pusey. Oh wait, that’s his real name? Yikes.


Howie Decker is the co-creator and editor of UnderScoopFIRE.com. He likes fantasy baseball & taco night. His family & friends’ support for & contributions to his personal blog The Upper Deck were his inspiration to assemble this site. You can read his “Letter from the Editor” here.

Dex (@Dex1138) April 23, 2012 at 9:20 am

Now, I’m no sports guy but it looks like there should be some kinda foul called in that last image. Too many white guys on the court at the same time.

Howie Decker April 23, 2012 at 10:26 am

Good point!

Classick Material April 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm

That’s raycess… we black folk picked up Steve Nash in the racial draft years ago anyway. Have fun with the black guy who plays “Toofer” from 30 Rock in return.

Howie Decker April 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Lopsided trade. We’ll get you back somehow. When you least expect it..

MzKayotic April 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

AWESOME! FABULOUS! CLASSIC! You take your pic because this was the best laugh I’ve had in days! I especially love the A-Fraud one for the simple reasons of he is A. Yankee and I adore and love everything Yankee except him… *grumbling* fucking up the 3rd baseman position, 2. He truly takes his “fame” if you want to call it that to heights that no one wants to see him in… Bitch was at Wrestlemania with Torrie Wilson!!! Ewww just creepy. And F. He just fails miserably being that famous hence the reason people were able to catch his ass sticking a needle in his butt!

Howard Decker June 14, 2013 at 11:07 am

I miss when Mz Kayotic used to leave comments and tweet with us!

Classick Material April 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Great list, guys!

I remember a time when A-Rod was once called “Gay-Rod”, which is terrible but I’m sure it won’t fly now in the era of GLAAD.

Reggie Miller, the most hated NBA player in Knicks history, was consistently called “Cheryl’s little brother” instead of by his name.

And who can forget the Sports Guy referring to “Theo Ratliff’s expiring contract” over the player himself.

Howie Decker April 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Yes! I miss watching NBA games with an amped up Reggie Miller vs John Starks and the Knicks almost as much as I miss watching Jordan. Almost.

Brian Morin April 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Another great article. I love sports but have to admit that most of this was new to me. I think I got the bigget laugh from Lucious Pusey. What an unfortunate name. He had to be wishing someone would call him Needle Dick or Crap Bag instead of his real name.

Howie Decker April 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Crap Bag would be in improvement, you’re right.

Kobie April 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Former boxer Andrew Golota, a native of Warsaw who had a penchant for hitting people below the belt, was often referred to as “The Polish Princess.”

My personal favorite, however, was former NBA center Joe Barry Carroll, who was regarded as one of the most detached, lackadaisical players in league history. His nickname, of course, was Joe Barely Cares.

Kobie April 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Former Canadiens goalie Andre Racicot was known by the nickname “Red Light.” You can guess why.

Kobie April 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Also, “Out of Service Pervis” Ellison, and Colin Montgomerie a.k.a. “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

Howie Decker April 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Both were on the rough list before final cuts were made – I wanted to keep it to one golfer, although Colin’s nickname is great

Howie Decker April 25, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Yep! There are a ton of great hockey ones. Could have made a whole list just based on one sport.

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