Problem to access license server. cURL error 6: Could not resolve host: shortcodesdeluxe.comProblem to access license server. cURL error 6: Could not resolve host: The Top 10 Athlete Nicknames | Sports NetworkerSports Networker

Top Menu

The Top 10 Athlete Nicknames

What’s in a name? Nicknames have been around for thousands of years. Without attempting to make a deeply scientific claim about the psychology of nicknames – I assume the tradition of nicknames has a lot to do with possession and intimacy: ‘to name is to claim’ – which would explain why sports fans often come up with names for the players they love – or fear – most (this is why nicknames often reveal as much about the namer(s) as the named).

Some athletes love having one; others really can’t stand theirs. Fact is that only very few world class athletes’ escape getting a nickname. Athlete nicknames often are either a modified version of their given name (such as Becks, A-Rod and Shaq ) or picked for reasons such as physique, style or a particular (athletic) achievement, such as “The Golden Boy” and “The Refrigerator” .

10) “EL D10S”

Diego Armando Maradonna

Diego’s nickname finds its origin in the 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter final, Argentina vs. England June 22, 1986, one of THE most legendary games in the history of the sport. Immediately following the match, Maradonna claimed that a widely disputed goal was scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God”  (“un poco con la cabeza de Maradona y otro poco con la mano de Dios”). Video and photographic evidence clearly demonstrated that Maradonna had struck the ball with his hand. The “Hand of God” became instantaneous soccer history.

For those less familiar with what else happened during this particular match, just four minutes after the “Hand of God” goal, Diego Maradonna scored “The Goal of the Century”,  so called because it is often claimed to be the greatest individual goal of all time. (for a translation of the legendary commentary click here).

Dios means God and the 10 represents Maradonna’s number. Until this day fans worship Diego like a God in theMaradonian Church which was founded in 1998 in the city of Rosaria, Argentina and now counts over 150,000 members from more than 60 countries around the world. Other nicknames for Maradonna include: Pelusa, El Pibe de Oro, Barrilete Cósmico and El Diez (literally “The Ten”, which explains why no 10 is the only possible place on this list for Diego).


Dominique Wilkins

Very few athletes have earned their nickname quite like Dominique Wilkins. “The Human Highlight Film” has got to be one of the coolest nicknames in sport and it was perfect for Dominique Wilkins. Wilkins played 11 seasons of NBA basketball with the Atlanta Hawks and was a nine-time NBA All-Star. During this time he did things you wouldn’t believe until you watch them on film – twice – and than you still won’t believe them. Curious? Click here for a short highlight film of the “Human Highlight Film”.

Dominique Wilkins’ nickname was formed on the model of the “The Human Eraser” the late Marvin Webster, aka “Marvin the Magnificent”. Who played in the ABA and NBA between 1975 and 1987 and also resulted in “The Human Victory Cigar”, used for Stojko Vrankovic and Darko Milicic given to them because, at the time, they only seem to play when their team had a comfortable lead late in the game.


Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders was a showman, he was extremely skilled, and athletic. His touchdown dances were flashy, but so was his mouth on more than one occasion. Watch here as “Prime Time” gets upset about the fact that he was placed #34 on the list of Top 100 NFL players and said that he should at least be in the top 10. I’m not sure if it will be much of a consolation, but at least he’s number 8 on this list.

Sanders will be remembered for being one of the most visible and outspoken football players to ever take the field due to his alter-ego; “I’m a businessman, and the product is me; Prime Time”.

The name Prime Time was given to Sanders by a friend and high school teammate. The two played basketball together during the prime time television hour, and Sanders’ athletic display during those games earned him the name. It summed up his goal: to be a prime time player – a famous, wealthy, and admired athlete. Playing both football and baseball, Sanders clearly achieved this goal and became the only man to play in both a Super Bowl (1995 and 1996) and a World Series (1992).

Deion was one of the few professional athletes to make a bid for rap success. Late 1994, Deion Sanders released Prime Time, a rap album on MC Hammer’s label Bust It Records, it featured the minor hit “Must Be The Money”.   A track called “Prime Time Keeps on Tickin” was also released as a single. The recordings didn’t make much impact but his name … is still awesome!


Pete Maravich

Pete Maravich was called “Pistol Pete” as early as during his High School years. He shot faster than his shadow and had developed the habit of shooting the ball from his side, as if he were holding a revolver.

Pete Maravich was one of the greatest point guards in NBA History. He could score, pass and defend. Very few players were able to handle a basketball as good as Pete could. He brought magic to the game – even before “Magic” did.

Here are the Top 10 Plays of “Pistol Pete Maravich”. Want more Pistol? Here’s a great post with 60 Cool Facts about Pete Maravich.

Aged 25 Pete Maravich told Pennsylvania reporter Andy Nuzzo: “I don’t want to play 10 years in the NBA and then die of a heart attack at 40”. Pete Maravich played in the NBA from 1970 until 1980 and died, suffering from a heart attack, on January 5, 1988 at age 40. Pistol Pete is number 7, also in this top 10.


Naim Süleymanoğlu

Nairn Süleymanoğlu, measures only 1.47 meters (approx. 4 feet 10 inches). Despite his size (or because of it) he is arguably the best weightlifter of all-time and the strongest man who has ever lived, pound-for-pound. He was the first weightlifter in history to win gold medals at three Olympics (1988, 1992 and 1996), celebrated seven World Championships and earned 46 world records. He is the second of only seven lifters to clean and jerk three times their bodyweight.

Hercules is a Roman mythological hero famous for his strength. Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek demigod Heracles. Ironically “Pocket Hercules” is also known under more than one name (all of them challenging to pronounce). He was born in Bulgaria as Naim Suleimanov and was of Bulgarian Turkish descent. In 1985 the Communist regime in Bulgaria forced its Turkish minority to adopt Bulgarian names. Naim Suleimanov was changed into Naum Shalamanov (Наум Шаламанов). However after defecting to Turkey in 1986, his name was changed once again – this time by his own choice – into a more Turkish Naim Süleymanoğlu.

“Pocket Hercules” showed the world that you do not need to be tall to be great!


Mike Tyson

In case you think I’m referring to Mr Mike Landrum, or Anthony Edward “Tony” Stark – I’m not! In this article the nickname “Iron” is attributed to the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, the man also known as The Baddest Man on the Planet”; Mr. Michael Gerard “Mike” Tyson.

Iron (Fe) is the most common chemical element in the whole planet Earth, but Tyson – at his prime – was definitely an extraordinary athlete. His nickname “Iron” was as simplistic as his style; black trunks, black shoes, complemented by an extreme overdose of power, aggression and intimidation. Tyson was definitely a remarkable and extra ordinary athlete, winning his first 19 professional fights on knockout (with twelve of them in the first round).

After watching “The Hangover” I’m just happy Tyson never decided to become a singer.

4) “AK-47”

Andrei Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko is a Russian-American professional basketball player currently playing for the Utah Jazz in the NBA. He’s married to Russian pop singer Masha “Marina” Lopatova, whose nickname is “MaLo”. Here’s  AK-47 in a music video his wife eh… shot.

Andrei Kirilenko was born in Russia and wears No. 47. The AK-47 is an assault riffle developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. The number refers to the year 1947 when the riffle was introduced into service with the Soviet Army. The AK-47 is still one of the most widely used and popular assault rifles in the world because of its durability, low cost, and ease of use. Not sure if there’s a one to one match with Andrei’s global popularity, firing power, durability or cost…

Finally, here’s some personalized interior design advice from Philippe Starck especially for Andrei.


Franz Beckenbauer

Asking “Who is Der Kaiser?” is like asking “Who is Keyser Soze?”. Franz Beckenbauer is a German soccer coach, manager, official and former player, nicknamed “Der Kaiser” (“The Emperor”) because of his elegant style, charisma and leadership. His first name “Franz” (reminiscent of the Austrian emperors), and his dominance on the pitch did the rest. He is generally regarded as the greatest German footballer of all time and one of the greatest and most decorated soccer players in the history of the game.

There are two versions of how and where the nickname originated. In the first Beckenbauer simply happened to pose for pictures in Vienna, Austria, right next to a bust of the former Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. The association was easily made and stuck.

In the second version Beckenbauer fouled an opponent (Schalke 04’s Reinhard Libuda ) who himself had the nickname “König von Westfalen” (King of Westphalia). After the foul Beckenbauer took the ball into the opposite part of the field and started to juggle the ball, humiliating his opponent and taunting the upset Schalke ’04 crowd. Afterwards the media needed a name that would describe a person “above even a king” and doing so coined “Der Kaiser”.

Fittingly “Der Kaiser” currently resides in Austria in the “Kaisergebirge”(the imperial mountains) on an altitude of 1750 meters in an old house right next t the slopes.


Ozzie Smith

In “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum in 1900, The wizard rules the Land of Oz and his fans believe he is the only man capable of solving their problems. This explains why Ozzie Smith deserves this name more than any other player. Ozzie Smith was elected in the Hall of Fame in 2002 and was arguably the best defensive player in the history of baseball. Solving problems was his specialty.

Smith’s nickname was first mentioned by the Yuma Daily Sun in a March 1981 feature article about “The Wizard of Oz”. After that he was simply known as “The Wizard”. Here’s a great video on with Ozzie Smith talking about his career, including his legendary “Go Crazy Folks” home run and his famous back flip (good call from his PR guy).

Showing his sense of humor Ozzie Smith actually did play the part of Wizard in the 2001 St. Louis Municipal Opera production of “The Wizard of Oz”. This wizard was certainly not a fraud (unlike the one in the novel) and his capital was not called The Emerald City but Busch Stadium.


Reggie White

Reggie White was the greatest Defensive End and most religious athlete of all time. In addition to his football career, White became ordained Evangelical minister for the Inner City Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. This is why he was known as the ”Minister of Defense“.

When White was a free agent, after his seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Mike Holmgren – the Packers Head Coach at the time – left a message on Reggie’s phone: “Reggie, this is God. I want you to play at Green Bay”. Reggie smiled and the rest is history. Holmgren shares their story here. Reggie ‘brought the sack to the pack’ and the team won Super Bowl XXI!

Reggie White retired after the 2000 season with a then NFL record of 198 Sacks, a mark that has since been passed by Bruce Smith. “The Minister of Defense” is a Hall of Famer, Super Bowl champion, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and was voted the No. 2 pass rusher of all time. For more on Reggie click here. Packers QB Brett Favre said that White was “the best football player I ever played with or against.” Reggie White, the Minister of Defense  died December 26, 2004.

* Bonus Nickname – for those that can’t get enough


Pervis Ellison

Pervis Ellison is a former college and professional NBA Basketball player. While he was playing for the University of Louisville Ellison was nicknamed “Never Nervous Pervis“. Ellison was made the first overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. Unfortunately an injury kept him on the sidelines for 48 of 82 games of his rookie year, after which he was traded to the Washington Bullets. A Sacramento team mate, (Danny Ainge) had nicknamed him “Out of Service Pervis”.

, ,

20 Responses to The Top 10 Athlete Nicknames

  1. _nickoswald April 18, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    My favourite sportinbg nick-name belongs to John Eales the Australian rugby captain who led his country to victory in the 1999 Rugby World Cup final.

    His nick name was ‘Nobody’ – as in ‘Nobody is perfect’. Clever, huh?

  2. storage units south milwaukee wi July 26, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    The company offers low cost service and makes shipping process convenient.
    Some companies will make an adjustable crankset for shorter or taller people too.
    Before the health insurance exchanges become fully operational, health insurance payers would need to have their
    business models, market strategies, IT systems and technologies, operational designs etc.

  3. social media marketing university August 10, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    Or, those who are trying to sell their homes may need help
    with home staging, a service most interior decorators offer.
    If you are able to examine and master new trends, it will be easy
    to keep your target audience informed and glued to your site.
    This one is not so important, just reinforces to the search engines about what
    your page content is based on.

  4. Keep yourself going strong through training sessions or on race working day, whether rain or
    shine teeth whitening with New Balance’s Lightning Dry liner.
    The search for that ideal men yoga pants is really in demand on this subject.
    Better still: you won’t need any fancy home gym equipment to make this workout happen.

  5. self storage companies in singapore August 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    Bekins Moving Company is prepared to offer a host of moving services
    for any need that you might have. The first thing that you will want to look for in moving and storage companies
    in Atlanta is how their staff is trained. Here comes the necessity to contract close-by movers after they are experts and powerful.

  6. moving companies in mesa az September 14, 2014 at 2:31 am #

    If you are going to repair your vehicle then firstly you have to change the brakes.
    Expert removal companies have their great emphasize on careful packing of belongings.
    He was also a creative director, choreographer and
    actor. * Some of the storehouses can also help you host
    your belongings during your sale period. Whether the engagement is as simple as an assessment to identify deficiencies and potential improvements or as complicated as a complete outsourcing model,
    Cross – Realms, Inc’s engineers will help identify the deliverables and risks, navigate the obstacles, assign the necessary resources, and deliver end-to-end.
    Properly planning for the move will help you to refrain from last minute disarray and dismay.
    If not you will know how frustrating it can be to have the desire to do
    something different ‘ only to find you would have to study to get
    new qualifications before moving on. You have to also ask the Alabama DUI lawyer about their
    success rate. The data does not leave the premises
    until it is completely shredded. She is just milking the attention as much as possible.

  7. piano movers charlotte nc September 25, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    Buses are the main source of connecting rural to the urban area.

    Apple Macbook, Dell XPS 15, HP Pavillion dv7, Lenovo G560, Sony Vaio.
    There are many affordable solutions for data storage for
    small and home-based businesses. This is to indicate all kinds of defects regardless
    of how simple or complex they are; way before the
    defects result into serious problem. It’s tough for a property that has a cultural or time style that peaked 30 to 40
    years earlier to be competitive with its contemporaries.
    Dehradun based movers and packers have wide range of goods transporters and important resources for trouble-free shipping of belongings.
    When you are in search of a new work place for you company it is important to
    view a couple of different office spaces so that you have lots of selection. Ceiling bags
    in conjunction with storage boxes will help you to store as much toys as
    possible. It has diverse cosmopolitan lifestyles offering different
    kinds of foods, entertainment, night life, and festivals.
    They bring along with themselves quality containers, cartons
    or boxes of various sizes to pack each and every item safely.

  8. Styrofoam is generally white no matter where you go, although some aircrafts do use shipping boxes that have been constructed out of Styrofoam
    and they are green. They help clients with their expert services on different relocation needs and situations.

    You would also get flexibility in terms of partial
    and full packing service. New York City, major
    center of finance, insurance, media, and real estate, sis one of the world’s financial capitals.
    Another point to be considered here is that the local businesses
    know the target customers better than multi national companies, as they have their roots here in this county of Florida
    and thereby know the people and the tourists of this place better.
    It also comes with an array of hi-tech standard features,
    including a rearview camera, Expanded View Driver’s Mirror,
    Bluetooth Hands – Free – Link phone interface, SMS text messaging function,
    Multi-Information Display (i-MID) and Pandora Internet Radio
    interface. Middle East region is hugely popular
    among expatriates as a career destination as people from all nationalities and religions come together
    to earn attractive salaries in return for their expert services.
    Managing expenses is one of the reasons most organizations are shifting to
    digital archiving. The other mesmerizing peculiarity
    is that the relationships amongst fdi inbound outbound.
    There are more safety precautions you can include in your
    warehouse storage shelving such as shims, wall ties, footplates, extra struts, pallet supports and wire
    decking, and more.

  9. bodycon dress bigcartel September 28, 2014 at 3:44 am #

    In the past A-list celebrities like Courtney Cox, Jennifer Anniston, Eva Longoria, Andi
    Mc – Dowell, Liz Hurley and even Katherine Hepburn have all had
    their images and persona associated with an international skin care brand – with big bucks in advertising it.
    The average person, however, does not have this luxury.
    It should not be a surprise that if some is more
    than interested in going for online shopping besides looking
    forward to gain the upper limit benefit by buying unique clothes, then it needs less mention that the is the thing
    that can help you realize the dream of buying clothes.

  10. lasercap low level laser therapy research October 1, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    The basis for a diagnosis will start with a thorough examination by your veterinarian.
    When too much pressure is put on the hair over time it can speed up the hair shedding process, resulting in the loss of hairs already in the telogen phase.
    Remember, the foaming action of regular shampoos and detergents
    is for looks only.

  11. tan October 8, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    s darkened, so be sure to be safe rather than sorry, and don. Third tip for removing self tanner is by using lemon juice mixed with kosher salt.
    Why bother to spend tens of thousands of dollars, after all, on something you may only need to use for
    a limited time.

  12. Adult Video January 16, 2016 at 2:27 am #

    In order to achieve this FPS improve/latency reduce, our objective
    is to move the reading of frames from a webcam or USB device to an entirely unique thread, totally separate from our major Python script.

  13. Adeline January 18, 2016 at 6:47 am #

    Nevertheless, when dealing wwith this kind of agency, modet and
    huge business will be the concentration. For example, it
    can give you advice on the maintenannce of inventories of corporate mergers and acquisitions, and expansion of the
    business. The skills you acquire in your training to become
    a CPA will give yyou confidence inn yokurself andd
    your newfound abilities.

  14. seo raleigh April 6, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    Sustain the awesome job !! Lovin’ it!

  15. Aarzira January 11, 2018 at 10:43 pm #

    Glad to know about their Nicknames.

  16. Allen-Holloway May 14, 2020 at 3:35 pm #

    The more your articles I read, the more the higher
    the material gets. Reading it had been a joy. I will definitely
    return to this article how I really do with The speech is top-notch.
    Thankyou for covering such intriguing topics and doing
    it professionally. You are really a wonderful writer.

  17. Lambert Daniel July 7, 2020 at 1:27 am #

    Могу поделиться совими впечетлениями о партнерке Сейчас небольшая предистория.
    Работаю исключительно и студенчиским трафиком, лью
    трафик со ваших сайтов и реклама
    в соц. сетях. Раньше лил трафик на другие партнерки,
    но результат тарандг печальный, время же затраты неоправдали
    себе, чуть ли только решил бросить только и искать другую нишу для заработанного.
    И здесь, и этом сервисе увидел EssayPro, зарегался и решил почитать отзыва клиентов о лендингах этой
    партнерки, отзыва были отличные, сравнил с отзывами
    таких парнерок, с ними раньше работал, отзыва были ужасные.

    Начал лить трафик, же сразу же и
    плюс пошел.

  18. BAM KoMneHcaцuя Tyt July 7, 2020 at 9:59 am #

    Baм Компенсация тyт

  19. Deposit pulsa tanpa potongan September 19, 2023 at 1:10 pm #

    That is a really good tip particularly to those new to
    the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information… Thanks
    for sharing this one. A must read article!


  1. Friday Best of the Web | the official blog of PRO Sports Communications - April 22, 2011

    […] The Top 10 Athlete Nicknames from: Sportsnetworker What’s in a name? Nicknames have been around for thousands of years. Without […]

Leave a Reply

Website Managed by T3 CONNECT