When you were growing up, I bet some of your buddies had nicknames something like Dirtface or Blotto or Nerky.
Sammy Sportface ran with some dudes growing up who also had nicknames. For the first time ever, he will be releasing the top 10 list in this blog. But before we get to those, he needs to hit you an eclectic smattering of Honorable Mentions:
- Teeth, who had big front teeth and would knock anybody’s Teeth out who messed with him;
- Tooth, Teeth’s younger brother;
- Athlete, who was not a gifted athlete but decades later dated Katie Couric;
- Dead because he went to a few hundred Grateful Dead concerts in college;
- Meat Head, who didn’t learn concepts quickly nor easily but could stick guys at middle linebacker in high school;
- Muscle Head, who had such big biceps that you were convinced those same size biceps wrapped around inside his skull;
- Walls: we called him Walls because one day in high school he got his hair cut and the barber cut his sideburns so he had “whitewalls” where his sideburns used to be.
But these didn’t make the Top 10. The following did:
Number 10: Glum
I never even knew Glum very well but knew him well enough to wonder and notice that he was always glum. A male version of a Debbie Downer, there was no pleasing Glum.
In high school when the rest of us were having fun and being irresponsible, glum took everything more seriously. Yet we could never figure out why he was so glum and none of us really probed him about it. We just let him be Glum. He was so good at it. He wasn’t seriously studying or serious about anything other than being glum about everything.
Life just wasn’t great as far as he could tell. No matter what it was – homework, the upcoming prom, the lunch food – everything made Glum glum.
It may have been his schtick, his unique value proposition. Maybe he was carving out his niche in our social circles. Maybe he was ahead of his time in creating his personal brand. But Glum was never going to tell you that. He didn’t like to share his thoughts — except glum ones.
Number Nine: Earthdog
When I heard about Earthdog being Earthdog, I didn’t really know the guy. This was in college. I asked why he was called Earthdog and I always got the same answer: “Have you looked at him? His face looks like a dog’s face.”
So I checked out Earthdog. Yep, Earthdog’s face looked like a dog’s face. Lots of different dogs such as bulldogs, golden retrievers, and poodles. His was a mutt face. I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met whose face was more like a dog’s than Earthdog’s. And because Earthdog was on Earth, the name fit.
Number Eight: Rudy/Rudyface
Rudy’s real name was something else more mainstream. But as soon as one of us caught wind that he had some cousins named Rudy when he was 13, we called him Rudy forever after. Never by his real name.
He deserved to be called Rudy and now as a star player on the SS – BBBB (Sammy Sportface – The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog), he’s Rudyface.
Rudyface deserved whatever name we wanted to give him because he dished out mud piles of verbal abuse and perpetuated all sorts of mean nicknames that we didn’t like to be called. He would have called us Rudy if he thought it would have bothered us.
Rudy may not sound like a Top 10 name, but it is. You have to know this guy to know why it’s on the list. But you really don’t want to know Rudy. That’s why he’s called Rudy.
Number Seven: Blockhead
Blockhead was a guy who hung out with my buddies at another college. Every time I saw them, they would tell me Blockhead stories.
Usually Blockhead would be causing mayhem around the campus, being a Blockhead. He liked fisticuffs and bar brawls. He beat up guys. I never heard the fellas discuss what Blockhead liked to study in college. His major was never even mentioned.
Number Six: Mono Man
For the preponderance of his entire freshman, sophomore, and junior years of college, Mono Man had mononucleosis. I don’t remember a time when he didn’t.
This was around the time that “Macho Man” was a hit song so I suppose we gave him the “Mono Man” nickname based on that. But nobody ever told me, and I never asked.
All I knew was that Mono Man was Mono Man, and everybody called him that. Having mono was how Mono Man rolled.
Number Five: Slapman
Easily the wildest and craziest and most difficult to understand dude on his list was The Slapman. He went to a nearby college to ours and we road tripped to see him one weekend at his fraternity house.
In the college frat pictures each year he rocked radically different hairdos, so much so that you couldn’t even tell he was the same guy in different years. When I met him, he had a huge clump of black curly hair that made no sense and was completely unkempt and ridiculous.
Slapman was cooler than anyone else any of us had ever met. Whomever we had ever met whom we thought was the coolest guy ever was no longer the coolest after we met The Slapman. No one — no one — I mean no one — was cooler than The Slapman, not even “The Fonz.”
We also called him “Happy Slappy.”
Number Four: QTip
QTip got his name because of the shape of his body. In the middle he was as thin as a pencil. But his head bobbed like an oblong hot mess of dirty blonde curls. It almost seemed as if he might tip over because of the weight of his head and the inability of his body frame to keep him balanced.
For the Q-Tip analogy to fit perfectly, he would have had to have gigantic, round and fuzzy feet. But I never got around to checking out QTip’s feet because his body and head were such a fascinating contrast and yet disconcerting.
Number Three: Sausage Fingers
This guy’s fingers were as fat, thick, and ugly as a dirty and smelly rhinoceros with the flu on the verge of death. We used to sit around and wonder how Sausage Fingers could have evolved with fingers as he did. He used his Sausage Fingers to grip a bat and rip line drives all over campus for our softball team.
Number Two: Head
Have you never seen a 5-foot 3 guy with a head the size of Texas? Now you have a sense of what Head looks like. Everybody called him Head — girls, guys, parents, teachers, doctors, dentists, cousins, convenience store managers.
The dude was totally a Head. He had a big smile and he often cut his hair short. It was charcoal black. And the Head. Man, that head. It just went and went, this way and that, over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.
If you were with Head, you were with his Head. Everything about Head boiled down to one thing: his Head.
Number One: Bullet
One day during his sophomore year of high school, one of our friends went to the school cafeteria to get a snack. When there, he learned that the cafeteria was being robbed by a guy who came in the door with a pistol. The burglar shot our friend several times in the chest and abdomen. He went to the intensive care unit.
Once he got out and we heard he was going to be OK, we started calling him Bullet. From that day on, Bullet has been Bullet to everyone and anyone. Bullet got shot. Bullet took on bullets.
What are the top 3 nicknames of your buds growing up?
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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