Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Monikers | by Jay

Today's fun feature was sparked by a conversation I had with a friend of mine named Murphy. I call him "Murph", which is a unique and special nickname I coined just for him.

One of the best things about Irish football is the sheer volume of it. Notre Dame's been playing football in one form or another since 1887, playing 1,107 games with 117 different teams and featuring over 2,200 different players. That adds up to a lot of names.

Now major-league baseball is the grand repository of wonderful names (Enos Slaughter, Satchel Paige, Stubby Clapp, Kirby Puckett, Jayhawk Owens, Esix Snead, Covelli Crisp, Scarborough Green, Biff Pocoroba, Minnie Minoso, Ugeuth Urtain Urbina, Garth Iorg -- I could go on and on) and college hoops has a mellifluous medley of magnificent monikers (Baskerville Holmes, God Shammgod, Fennis Dembo, Scientific Mapp, his brother Majestic Mapp, Exree Hipp, Boubacar Aw, Commander King, Shaquille O'Neal).

As for ND football, this past season alone, we had some great ones: Chase Anastasio, Nick Borseti, Mike Goolsby, Carlyle Holiday, Chauncey Incarnato, Chinedum Ndukwe, Rashon Powers-Neal, Abdel Banda.

Of course, this is just one year. ND history is stocked with quite a few good names (including maybe the single greatest coach's name of any sport, anywhere), so we thought we'd break it down into smaller categories. So here goes...

Great tough-guy names. Some guys are just born to play football: Ned Bolcar, Torgus Oaas, Demetrius DuBose, Donn Grimm, Cedric Hilliard, Herm Hooten, Grant Irons, Kinnon Tatum, George Streeter, Darius Walker, Mike Stonebreaker.

Throwbacks. These guys would have fit right in with Red Grange and Doc Holliday: Ray Griggs, Glenn Earl, Jim Flanigan, Chris Zorich, Braxston Banks, Joey Goodspeed.

Warsaw Metro all-stars. Ziggy Czarobski, Len Cyterski, Tom Lopienski, Tom Zbikowski, Pete Chryplewicz, Bronko Nagurski, Scott Kowalkowski, Terry Andrysiak, Steve Toczylowski, Emil Sitko.

Epic names. Hercules Bereolos, Cikai Champion, Achille Magioli, Arnaz Battle, Alton Maiden, Seraphine Bouwens, Garron Bible.

AC Italia. Vito Racanelli, Angelo Bertelli, Rocco Schiralli, Joe Scibelli, Cammille Piccone, Domenic Prinzivalli, Bruno Opela, Cedric Figaro.

Great Melting-Pot Names. The beauty of American names is that you can squish any two together, regardless of ethnic origin, and get something completely original and authentic: Hiawatha Francisco, Ron Israel, Reggie Ho, Lorenzo Rausch, Karmeeleyah McGill, Rashon Powers-Neal, Renaldo Wynn, Carlos Pierre-Antoine, Leroy Keach.

the All--Nickname team. More often than not, these guys went by their informal appellation: Hunk Anderson, Clipper Smith, Rocky Bleier, Fod Cotton, Cy DeGree, Smoush Donovan, Smousherette Bob Donovan, Thunder Flanigan, Moose Krause, Flash Gordon, Speedy Hart, Bunny Larkin, Curly Lambeau, Rocket Ismail, Dinger McCabe, Happy Lonergan, One-Play O'Brien.

the All-Banal team. Bill Cook, John Smith, Mike Favorite, Jimmy Friday, Frank Brew, Art Funk, Mark Green, Lake Dawson, John Law, Russ Nickel, Jack Snow, Jerry Groom, Bernie Meter, Tom Fine.

Department of Redundancy Department. Frank Gaul.

Super Slavs. Mirko Jurkovic, Mike Turkovich, Tom Hecomovich.

Presidential timber. John Adams, John Kennedy, Byron Abraham, Bob Washington, Preston Jackson, Alonzo Jefferson, Pete Buchanan, Tom Carter, Bob Reagan, Jim Bartlett.

Onomatopoetic names. Andy Heck, Vontez Duff, Andy Huff, Jim Hack, Dick Naab, Denis Szot, Kenny Spears, Fred Staab, Al Skat.

Alliterative names. Corwin Clatt, Bert Berry, Demetrius DuBose, Jarious Jackson, Julius Jones, Kevin Kopka, Mugsy McGrath, Ronnie Rodamer.

A good old-fashioned Irish donnybrook.. Would the O's really have a better O than the Mc's?

QB Coley O'Brien
RB Harry O'Boyle
RB Charlie O'Hara
WR Michael O'Hara
TE Dan O'Leary
LT Tom O'Brien
LG Brendan O'Connor
C Hugh O'Donnell
RG Bill O'Connor
RT Tom O'Regan
SE Bill O'Laughlin
QB Kevin McDougal
RB Mike McNair
RB Tom McHugh
WR Rhema McKnight
TE Oscar McBride
LT Bill McCarthy
LG Jim McGoldrick
C Gene McGuire
RG Steve McDaniels
RT Mike McGlinn
SE Fuzzy McGlew

Non-football names. With names like these, they should be in some other profession: Rusty Lisch (auto mechanic), Ray Whipple (insurance salesman), Benny Guilbeaux (New Orleans chef), Ivory Covington (director of British arthouse movies), Lyron Cobbins (character in a Nathaniel Hawthorne short story), Irv Smith (accountant), Basil Stanley (MI-6 operative), Lew Miskovitz and Jacob Rosenthal (rabbis), Menil Mavraides (Greek shipping magnate), Bill Shakespeare (not sure...let me think about this one).

Best pedigreed Notre Dame name. Rockne Morrissey.

The all-time great names. Dezera Cartier, Joe Montana, Vagas Ferguson, Gasper Urban, Arunas Vasys, Noah Van Hook-Drucker, Gus Dorais, LeShane Saddler, George Gipp, Sherrill Sipes, Jarvis Edison, Thaddeus Cassidy.

The best name in ND football history, bar none. Romanus Nadolney, nickname "Peaches". Peaches was a left tackle from Ironwood, Michigan who lettered in 1918.

As we all know, ND fans love to name things after Irish football greats, so feel free to clip and save this handy list for important occasions such as the acquisition of pets, birthing of children, or launching of ships.

Thanks to the UND.com's All-time Roster for help with this research. And if you have any other suggestions on great names, please don't hesitate to pass 'em along.