A long, long time ago, we talked about just how to go about giving people nicknames. That particular post was sort of directed at people that you don't like very much, but some of the things contained therein are valid for any nickname. And believe me, I know, because I give a lot of people a lot of nicknames. Like just about everyone that we talk about on this blog. One of the most universal rules of nicknaming, however, is that you never get to pick your own nickname, which is why I am always called Big Dave and not something more imaginative or exciting. I wouldn't pick Big Dave but that's what I have been given so that is what I am stuck with. That is why I am sort of disturbed, no, more like irate, about what a couple of big stars whose egos have grown way too big and think that they are way too important have gone ahead and done.
The first one to pull this stunt was Big Baby. He is also known as Glen Davis, and he is a professional basketball player with the Boston Celtics. Some time ago, when he was in college at the Louisiana State University I think, he was given the unfortunate nickname of Big Baby. Now yes, that is not the most desirable nickname to have, but in all fairness it is not the worst. It is, however, probably more disturbing for a man who has a bunch of tattoos and makes his living trying to physically dominate other men of a similar or larger size, so I guess I understand where he is coming from. But I have so many issues with how he went about his nickname issues. First of all, he didn't so much ask people to stop calling him that as he DEMANDED that they stop. That is not really how it works, Glen. It is okay to ask people to stop nicely; that is totally fine. "Listen, could you please stop calling me Big Baby? Because I really don't like that and I think I've outgrown it." "Sure Glen, no problem. I understand. I will certainly try but I am not going to lie, I might slip up a time or two out of habit before I remember, so please bear with me." That's how I would have responded had he asked me nicely. But no, he had to live up to his unwanted nickname. So if he would have just asked nicely that it be dropped it would have been and could have been and that would have been it.
But that wasn't good enough. He decided that he needed a new nickname, and that his eight or twelve Twitter followers send him some suggestions so he could take his pick. However, it didn't get that far. After Big Baby made his proclamation, Jeff Howe of The Boston Metro, who really needs to get out more, suggested "Uno Uno" to represent Davis' number 11 jersey number, sort of like the Ego Formerly Known As Chad Johnson did with his number 85. Apparently Big Baby liked this idea because it has been reported that he erupted in childish glee, so maybe we should call him Big Adolescent. The reason this makes me so ANGRY is because when you decide that you want to shed your old nickname, you don't get a new one, especially one that you pick. Sorry. That is not how it works. You get the nickname we give you, or you get nothing, especially if you are going to pick an awful nickname to boot. That's just how it works. You big baby.
Well, if that isn't bad enough, shortly after Big Baby made his decision, super snowboarder Shaun White, who mus be super because he has a video game made about him, decided that Davis was on to something and decided he wanted his nickname changed too. But he already had a nickname replacement in mind.
Because of his red hair, White was known as The Flying Tomato, which I think is a cool nickname. It is distinctive. It is appropriate. And it is as cool of a nickname as nicknames can generally be. There are a couple of downsides to it: 1.) It isn't really good for conversation. You can't be like "Flying Tomato, can you help me with this jam in the copier?" That doesn't work too well; and 2.) You have to have a sense of humor to have this nickname. That is where Shaun White apparently falls short. He said "Whoever was on the mic with some dead air to fill - and the name came out of his mouth." I am not sure what you mean by that, Flying Tomato, because I imagine that it went more like this: "Oh man, look at the air Shaun White is getting on this half pipe! He looks like a flying tomato out there!" And that was it.
So Shaun decided he was going to take the same route as Glen Davis, excuse me, Lame-o, Lame-o. Oh wait, I mean Uno Uno, I am sorry. Anyway, Shaun was going to follow the same route that what's his name did and demand that he not be called The Flying Tomato anymore. That is apparently not dignified for someone who has won medals in the X-Games. He has decided that he wants to be called "Animal." He claims that some one "uttered" it because of his supposed resemblance to Animal from the The Muppet Movie, but I think it's just because he is a douchebag and thinks it is cool. And it's not cool because you picked it out yourself. You can't do that. You can't ditch your old nickname and give yourself a new one. I thought we already talked about this.
So I am not going to call Glen Davis "Uno Uno" and I am not going to call Shaun White "Animal." I might be willing to compromise and call them by their regular names - you know, Glen Davis and Shaun White - if they ask nicely or do something cool, but I most likely will just call them whatever I want. Like Frick and Frack. Or maybe Bald Wazoo and The Great White Disappointment. But I think I'd rather just stick with Big Baby and The Flying Tomato.