The Reign Man or The Glove? Beast Mode or The Dawgfather?
We asked readers for nominations for the best nickname in Seattle sports history and you came through. The idea was to come up with a list of the best nicknames for a player or coach with Seattle connections, and let you vote. But I underestimated how many good nicknames Seattle has spawned. I received at least 25 nominations, most of them terrific.
The Sonics nominees alone were outstanding: The Rein Man (Shawn Kemp), The Glove (Gary Payton), Big Smooth (Sam Perkins), X-Man (Xavier McDaniel), Slick (Watts), Downtown (Fred Brown), The Wizard (Gus Williams), The Human Eraser (Marvin Webster), Hawk (Hersey Hawkins) and Big Paper Daddy (Ricky Pierce).
The Seahawks were pretty good, as well: Tez (Cortez Kennedy), Beast Mode (Marshawn Lynch), Mudbone (Dave Krieg), The Boz (Brian Bosworth), Pork Chop (Womack) and Bam Bam (Kam Chancellor).
The Mariners have a long line of great nicknames: The Kid and Junior (Ken Griffey Jr.), Big Unit (Randy Johnson), Bone (Jay Buhner), Sweet Lou (Lou Piniella), A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), AD or Mr. Mariner (Alvin Davis), Roop (Ruppert Jones) and Bye Bye Balboni (Steve Balboni). Just the Mariners’ relievers and closers have some outstanding ones: The Sheriff (Norm Charlton), School’s Out (Mike Schooler), The Bartender (Tom Wilhelmsen) and The Inspector or Cuffs (Bill Caudill).
There are Washington Huskies: The Dawgfather (Don James), Slick Rick (Neuheisel), The King (Hugh McElhenny), Cookie (Ron Jackson), Nate the Great (Nate Williams) and Shag (Lester Williams). There’s even a Washington State Cougar, and since he played high-school football in Seattle, he counts: The Throwin’ Samoan (Jack Thompson).
And there are a few who defy a category: Bill the Beerman (Bill Scott), Rick the Peanut Man (Rick Kaminski), The Lord of All Indoors (indoor soccer star Steve Zungul), and Mutt Haugen (boxer Greg Haugen).
So how did I narrow this down? It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. But I finally settled on unique nicknames that transcended our city and went national, and gave bonus points for creativity and ones that fit like, well, a Glove.
My top 10 included four Sonics (The Glove, The Rein Man, Big Smooth, Downtown), two Mariners (The Kid, Big Unit), two Seahawks (Beast Mode and The Boz), a Husky (Dawgfather) and a Cougar (The Throwin’ Samoan).
Now it’s up to you to settle this. Vote in our poll and we’ll announce the results later in the week.