In Defense of the Chris Berman Nicknames

Paul Sharkey is a man of strong opinions, and he is not one to keep them to himself. Last year, the longtime World Team captain decided he had a problem with my then-new Greenspan Chris Berman nicknames — so much of a problem that he twice asked me to remove them from the site lest he be too embarrassed by them to tell anyone of the site’s existence. Rather than completely remove them I buried them on a single post — a suitable compromise by a man (me) always willing to put others’ feelings before his own.

I can almost hear the conversation: BN: I don't like 'Willie' Nelson. PS: Got any better ideas? BN: No.

This year at Bandon, the Berman nickname critics were at it again. This time it was Brad Nelson who took the lead as Chief Popcorn Thrower. Nelson’s feelings no doubt stem at least in part from his own nickname — his Brad “Willie” Nelson is only slightly better than my own Nick”el and Dime” Jenkins. Nevertheless he was after me and after a no-win Saturday, I wasn’t much in the mood to defend my art.

Two weeks removed, however, I am. And while I admit not all my nicknames would make the Swammy proud, some of them certainly would:

Rank Up There With the Best of ’em
– Steve “If the Glove Don’t Fit You Must Ac”Whitaker — Not even the most hardened critic can deny this is greatness.
– Mike “Pink Floyd’s The Wal”dner — Ditto.
– Greg “Leave it to” Cheever — Almost too easy (or maybe that’s just a sign of talent)
– Chris “Stomp Your Feet and Clap Your” Hansen — “I will, I will!” says Nelson.
– Matt “English” Beaton — Even money says Beaton doesn’t know who the English Beat was.

Every Bit as Good as the Always Popular “Julio ‘Won’t You Take Me on a Sea’ Cruz”
– Ed Garth “Vader” — Too easy. I kinda like Ed “Sammy Hagar”th, too.
– Vince Deandre “the Giant” — This could be in the top category, but I must remain modest.
– Mike “Full Sail” Kalian — Slightly better than Mike “I can’t be bothered to hang around for the picture” Kalian
– Stefan Gran “Cracker” — thought about Stefan Gran”imals,” too.
– Leo Madden “About You” — What I said about Deandre.
– Marty “Band” McQuaid — “Foreign” McQuaid would work here, too.
– Nick “Pistol Pete” Perovich — Credit to Paul Ahern for this one.
– Adam “Board” Waalkes — “Under the Board” Waalkes would work, too.
– Jon “Step on the Gas”ton — Particularly fitting until he sped up his play.
– Joel “Handle with C”Aro – Particularly fitting until, uh, still particularly fitting.
– Jeff Haight “Crimes” — Good nickname, but Haight isn’t the guy you think of when you think hate crimes — or hate anything, for that matter.
– John “My Oh” Majewski — Solid (Dave Neihaus, RIP)
– Brad “Captain” Kirkpatrick — He later became a captain his own tournament. “Jeanne” would have worked, too.
– Paul “Great White” Sharkey — So many other possibilities. “Peter, Paul and Mary” Sharkey, etc.
– Jack “Is Always” Laidlaw — See what I said about Aro
– Rob “Rolling” Stonesifer — Obvious, but a little lacking in creativity.
– Randy “That’s a Great!” Price — Gotta love the commercial
– Brad “Who’s the” Bossio — I’m pretty sure Tony Danza did a porn with Marilyn Chambers (see for yourself)
– Joel “Off the” Marcus — see what I said about Aro, Laidlaw.
– Abe “Oh N”Otoupal — see what I said about Aro, Laidlaw, Marcus.

Not Great, But Hardly Worthy of Scorn
– Jason “Haz”mat — Matzat claims no one ever called him Hazmat growing up. Yeah, right.
– Andy “Mira” Kelleher — “Helen”?
– Casey “Prime” Ribera — This could be in the higher category.
– Pat “The Dryer At My” Scoccolo — Fitting — it it isn’t the course that’s against him, it must be the dryer.
– “Tiny” Tim O’Brien — Kinda lacking in the creativity department. Tim O’Brien’s “Song” isn’t bad, but it’s not exactly happy, either. Tim “Saving Private” O’Brien is just okay.
– Norman “Num” Cheuk — I had “Up” here, but not a good visual, that pic from Norman on The Clipper notwithstanding.
– Chris “Elton” Johnson — Chris “You Can Call Me Ray, You Can Call Me Jay, But You Doesn’t Have to Call Me” Johnson (view) was a bit too long.
– Brad “Willie” Nelson — Uninspiring, I admit. “Full,” which Gene has (more), isn’t much better.
– Nick”el and Dime” Jenkins — My own nickname is lacking!
– Jeff “Gentle” Benezra — “Has” would be cruel and inaccurate.
– Mark “Forever” Young — So many possibilities, it’s almost impossible to be satisfied.
– Brian “Cat in the” Patten — Probably should be higher but, again, so many possibilities.
– John “Feathered” Harrison — Maybe “Sister Golden” Harrison would be better.
– Dave “Volcanic” Ashcraft
– Paul “Town” Maier — Ho hum for a ho hum guy.
– Doug Schroth”ello” — A challenge, this one.
– Kent Fisher “Price” (RIP) — Better than “Bobby” or “Amy.” “That’s a big” would work, too.
– Dave Sturtevant “Halen” — I challenge anyone to do any better.
– Simon “Says” Birell — I like Simon Birell “Dorado” here, too.

Needs Improvement
– Rob “Pulled” Thilo — Nelson was right about this one — no one pulls their thigh.
– Tony “Naughty” Secretario — Had to be something about a secretary.
– Bill “Paper” Ream — Reminds me of Office Depot.

I’m open to suggestions for any of the names in the bottom two categories as well as one for Paul Ahern, who remains un-nicknamed.

I’m particularly anxious to hear from Sharkey and Nelson on suggested upgrades. If you’re gonna identify the problem, you better also identify a solution.


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