Every year on the first day of school, I’d have to recite the same script. My teachers, reading down the list, assigning desks to unwieldy little savages. When they got to the Ms, I’d try to preempt them, to save them the mistake.
“Hi, my name on your sheet says Mary, but my name is Mary Kathryn. You can call me MK, though.”
No one calls me Mary. Not my family, my friends, my classmates, or my coworkers. It’s not my name. Well, legally my first name is Mary, but I’ve always been Mary Kathryn. To family, I’m Mary Kathryn or Mary Kath. To friends, mostly MK with the occasional snarky Mary Kathryn when they want to make fun or me. For a select few, it’s Kizzle or MKizzle.
Honestly, every place I’ve lived, I’ve left with a new nickname. Lucky for me, people are so preoccupied with nicknames for “Mary Kathryn” that they ignore my last name ripe for the picking in “McWeeney.”
So, as a nickname aficionado, I’m uniquely qualified to countdown the very best sports nicknames of all time…
Jason Williams’ nickname is one of the first that comes to mind when I think of sports nicknames. Why? Some brilliant mind Sacramento Kings PR department used it to describe his type of play. And if you’ve ever seen Williams’ highlights, you know his handles, assists, and finishes were smooth. Silky. And, yet, still white.
That video is from a rec league in 2015 where White Chocolate proves he’s still got it.
Besides the fact that the use of the Transformers’ evil Decepticon nickname is amazing, Johnson lived up to his Megatron moniker often as he imposed his will on opponents in the NFL.
Johnson is such a superior athlete that it often looked like an unfair battle as he bullied his way down the field, shedding defenders any way he could to get into the end zone.No matter who lined up against him, Megatron made it look easy. If anyone’s watched the Transformers movie series, you know those Decepticons were ten times larger than the Autobots, so Johnson’s nickname fit him like a glove.
When I think playoff baseball, I can’t help but think of “Mr. October.” Reggie Jackson was pretty consistently clutch throughout the season, but somehow found another gear in the postseason. Just how clutch was he? Well, it’s pretty remarkable really:
He helped Oakland win five consecutive American League West divisional pennants, three consecutive American League pennants and three consecutive World Series titles, from 1971 to 1975.
Jackson helped New York win four American League East divisional pennants, three American League pennants and two consecutive World Series titles, from 1977* to 1981.
*And that includes the game where he hit three consecutive home runs at Yankee Stadium to clinch game 6 of the 1977 World Series.
He also helped the California Angels win two AL West divisional pennants in 1982 and 1986.
The man, the myth, the LEGEND, Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson.
Would a list of great sports nicknames be complete if you don’t include the GOAT? Who else can say they turned their nickname into a billion dollar sports brand? (Someone tell LaVar Ball to @ me.) Time stands still when you watch highlights of His Airness soaring through the air towards the basket. And we all know THE photo. 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Jordan takes off from the free throw line and FREEZE.
He’s floating in the air on his way to his second straight NBA Slam Dunk title, AND the title of best sports nickname of all time.