Say what you want about the controversial and charismatic college kid, but you have to acknowledge that Johnny Manziel's nickname, "Johnny Football," ranks among the best in the history of sports.

Johnny Football has a luscious ring to it. It conjures up images in my mind of a triple decker ice cream cone topped with warm chocolate fudge sauce. Johnny Football sounds like a hero's name in the great American novel that has yet to be written. It takes one of the most common American boy's names, Johnny, and blends it with the sports he plays, football. Nothing could
be more pure and simple yet have such pizzazz. Simplicity is the secret to life.

Like you, I've been hearing about Johnny Football pretty much non-stop for the past several months. But his exquisite nickname started consuming even more of my daily thoughts when I heard this past week the name "Donnie Baseball." Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly earned this moniker as a star player with the New York Yankees in the 1980s. It's actually a worthwhile dinner conversation to debate whether Donnie Baseball or Johnny Baseball is the
more perfect nickname for an athlete. Both rock the Heavens. Argue for one or the other and you will be right.

Which got me thinking: Every sport, even the lesser known ones, should have one guy with the perfect nickname that follows the pattern and sounds like Johnny Football and Donnie Baseball. Like Johnny and Donnie, the first name needs to be two syllables ending with a long "e" sound. The last name must be the name of the sport at which that person has become a star. It
could have been yesterday or fifty years ago. Fret not: No need to trouble yourself with this project. I know you're busy so I've done all the thinking for you. Sit back, smoke a cigar, and partake.

  • Larry Basketball (Larry Bird)
  • Andy Tennis (Andy Murray)
  • Mikey Swimming (his name is Michael Phelps and never goes by Mikey, but it's imperative
    that he be the swimming guy on this list because he was the greatest ever)
  • Freddie Golf (Freddie Couples)
  • Ricky Driver (Ricky Rudd)
  • Steffi Tennis (Steffi Graf Agassi)
  • Missy Swimming (Missy Franklin)
  • Mikey Boxing (Mike Tyson)
  • Misty Volleyball (Misty May)
  • Vasiliy Weightlifting (Vasiliy Alexseyev-gold medalist in 1972 Olympics; name is spelled correctly according to spellchecker)
  • Stevie Running (Steve Prefontane-4th place in 500 meters in 1972 Olympics)
  • Brucey Decathlon (Bruce Jenner-Gold in 1972 Olympic Decathlon but not on the
    Kardashians TV show so really should be taken off this list)
  • Bobbie Long Jump (Bob Beamon-Gold in Long Jump in 1968 Olympics in Mexico City)
  • Dorothy Ice-skating (Dorothy Hamill-Gold in iceskating sometimes in the late 20th
  • Valeri Sprinter (Valeri Borzov-winner of 100 yard dash in 1972 Olympics)
  • Yancy Yoga (Yancy Madeupname-not a person and yoga is not a sport; this is just
    filler to see if you're paying attention)
  • Danny Wrestling (Dan Gable-simply the greatest wrestler in the history of the world)
  • Pele Soccer (Pele-didn't have a last name; played in the 70s)
  • Lasse Blood Doper (actually, his name was Lasse Viren, who won four golds in track in
    field in 1972 and 1976 but froze his allegedly refrigerated his blood before
    races to give himself an edge)
  • Frankie Marathon (Frank Shorter-won 1972 Olympic Marathon)
  • Joanie Marathon (Joan Benoit-Gold in 1984 Olympic Marathon)
  • Alternates
  • Ryan Lochte (last name has the Johnny and Donnie sound and he's a good swimmer; also, he would like reading a list like this)
  • Minnesota Fats Pool (doesn't fit the criteria but it's such a cool name it had to be

Send any other submissions within one hour and you win a Johnny Football Bobblehead. Shipping and handling wll cost you $45.



October 17, 2013  06:00 PM ET

Donny Baseball takes a back seat to Teddy Ballgame every time.


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