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Our tailback corps needs a nickname.

July 23, 2008

Don’t ask me how I got here, to this train of thought. Maybe it was thinking about the upcoming season, or Heather Dinich’s position ratings she’s been doing. But here we are. I think our trio of running backs needs a nickname.

I’m not talking played-out running back nicknames, either, like “Thunder and Lightning.” That combo’s been beaten to death by nearly every pro and college franchise at some point and therefore gets the LAME stamp. To use The Four Horsemen requires, of course, four running backs worthy of the moniker, and I’m not quite ready to promote our second-string FB into a “Horseman” just yet.

So what, then, shall we call Toney Baker, Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene?

At the start of last season, prior to injuries when it was a two man show of Brown and Baker, the very cool “Shake N’ Bake” moniker looked like it was going to take hold. But by mid-season it was Eugene all by his lonesome, and “Shake N’ Bake” had to be put back in the cupboard.

Now that all three are healthy and vying for playing time, we need something new. “Shake, Bake and that Other Guy” ain’t gonna cut it.

Here are the basic guidelines to a good backfield nickname:

– Must roughly convey attributes of the players (“shake” worked well for the shifty Brown)
– Must be reasonably intimidating (no flowers, small, furry animals or vague emotional concepts)
– Must roll off the tongue (The Most Totally Awesome Backfield in Foreverz doesn’t quite work…try putting that on a T-shirt)

Matters are complicated further with a trio of backs instead of only one or two. When it’s one guy, he’s usually already got a nickname by the time he reaches this level. A duo is easier to dub because both backs typically employ a different rushing strategy. One’s usually a smaller, quick-cuts back and the other is a bruiser. Hence the over-use of the nickname “Thunder and Lighting.”

A trio, though…boy, that’s tough.

“The Holy Trinity?” — Seems a bit sacrilegious.
“Lethal Weapon 3?” — Already been done.
“The Trident” — Kinda lame. Weapons used by Greek Gods tend to wander too far into the nerd category.

You can try using aspects of their names as a launching-off point. Their first names start with the letters J, T, A, which could spell “Taj,” leading to “The Taj Mahal.” Good luck explaining how that one’s intimidating or even relevant to the game of football.

Their last name initials are B, B, E. “Ebb and Flow?” I don’t think a term that embodies inconsistency is what we need portraying any aspect of our offense.

We need something off-the-chart badass. If only there were a way to incorporate a third party into the duo of “Tango and Cash,” we’d be on to something. “Tango and Cash, Feat. John McClane.” Nah. Doesn’t roll off the tongue.

Clearly this is a task for minds far greater and more creative than mine. So this is a call to all engineers, wordsmiths and hungover students: our tailbacks need a nickname.

Get cracking!

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