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Friday, June 30, 2006

Say Hey, was Tom Terrific?

So where have all those good sports nicknames of the past gone? Dave Anderson raised the issue in a New York Times column today. You know, The Babe, Shoeless Joe and The Yankee Clipper in baseball, The Galloping Ghost and Sweetness in football, Magic, Clyde and Doctor J in basketball. They brought a colorful flair to their sports. And there was never a need for a first or last name.

I'm afraid the answer reflects on how seriously we take names -- especially first names -- today and the cultural diversity of our athletes today. A bit of political correctness also lurks. Few people attach diminutives like Pee Wee or nicknames like Bud to their children anymore. You can't upset anyone by latching onto a first name like Derek or Pedro or Mariano. And with the rising number of Latino baseball players and foreign-born basketball players, any nickname just might strike the wrong cultural chord.

But all is not lost. Tiger is still Tiger. And thanks to two Latino players with style, we can cheer or boo El Duque and Big Papi. Too bad there aren't more of them.


Blogger Honest Abe said...

How about some nicknames for politicians?

8:41 AM, July 06, 2006  

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