Tanguay: It's a better game when the names aren't lame


What’s in a name?

While the ending of the Open Championship was exciting, I felt it was missing something. And then I realized: It’s all in the name.

The winner and the players in contention all have boring names. Zach Johnson is a great player, a class individual, but . . . Zach Johnson? Jason Day? Jordan Speith? Mark Leishman? No matter how great their games, they all have forgettable handles. Not to mention personalities.

The only contender with a memorable label is Louis Oosthuizen. (Birth name: Lodewicus Theodorus Oosthuizen.) His nickname would have added so much to the color to the playoff. He is known to his buddies as “Shrek”. And if you get a close up on him, there's a resemblance . . . though, of course, Lodewicus is good 500 pounds smaller that the real ogre. But how great would it have been to hear “Shrek makes his way to the tee"?

The only two nicknames we currently hear are Bubba and Tiger. Obviously, Tiger’s real name is Eldrick Tont Woods. Tont is a traditional Thai name given to him by his Taiwanese mother. For the record, Bubba’s real name is  Gerry Lester Watson. Nothing personal, Callahan, but Bubba trumps Gerry.

But that’s it.

The game needs more nicknames like the good old days. Craig “The Walrus” Stadler. Freddie “Boom Boom” Couples. Greg “The Shark” Norman. All well-known and great nicknames.

Jesper Parnevik shared a name with Bill Lee and was called “The Spaceman”. (Parnevik ate Volcanic dust and there is no doubt Lee smoked it . . . or, for those of you old enough to remember, at least sprinkled it on his corn flakes.) There was "Slammin' " Sammy Snead, Jack “The Golden Bear” Nicklaus and Arnie “The King” Palmer. Did you know Jack was called “Ohio Fats” by the Palmer fans of the '60s known as Arnie’s Army? (When Jack hit the scene, he was a tad chubby.) Even the spectators had interesting nicknames back then.

Maybe Zach Johnson could be known as "The Zipper". You know, kind of like "The Zinger" -- Paul Azinger’s nickname.

So let’s go, golf fans. Come up with some cool nicknames. Since Tiger has been declawed, the game needs something.

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