In a way, nicknames are like verbal tattoos. They always have a story behind them; most of the time you got them in college; and you almost always regret them by the time you’re 30. (Signed, @bucketcullen).
But the big thing about nicknames is that they’re very rarely self-assigned. Otherwise everyone would be “The Mysterious Stranger” or “The Eagle of Steel” or some other vaguely sexual-sounding moniker. That’s what makes these nicknames so intriguing. How did these grown men and women get these bizarre names assigned to them?
Who cares? Let’s make fun of them.
Day-Day and the T.U.B. are not dirty south rappers, but rather a drunk LSU fan and his nicknamed bus, which honestly doesn’t sound that much more plausible. While no reason is given for Day-Day’s nickname, leading U.S. scientists believe he’s so named for his two favorite times to drink. And the “T.U.B.”? That stands for “The Unsupervised Bus” — “Unsupervised” of course being the name of his gang of ne’er-do-wells that dress like 80’s hair metal band Stryper and play volleyball and set things on fire. No, for realsies, guys!
I give these guys a spot on the list mostly because I love the relative insanity of Bengals fans. They’re not scary-crazy like Raiders fans. They’re like… Andrew WK crazy (…Andrew WKrazy?). Case in point, here’s Lil WhoDey. She looks very nice, and I’m sure she’s a home health aide whose real name is Karen or something. Now here’s who I think is her beau, WhoDeyBaby. There he is screaming with two bottles of Jager after dropping a baby. Now, without having researched it, I can almost guarantee that WhoDeyBaby is the name of his Twitter feed (I’m not looking it up). And there’s even a good chance that he’s fit his nickname into his actual name, like “Gene ‘WhoDeyBaby’ Dinglefarts” or something. Know what’s messed up though? What if this dude has always been WhoDeyBaby, and “Lil WhoDey” happens to be whoever he’s dating at the time? What if this is the fifth or sixth Lil WhoDey? And have police ever found the others?
Yep. Spelled just like that. Chris Hunter, a “BET” member of Houston’s Bulls Eye Tailgaters, didn’t get the dignity of someone like Ray “Ray Ray” Castillo. No, someone who’s last name is already pretty cool (seriously. Hunter. It means at some point one of your ancestors hunted for a living.) has been designated with C/Roc? Not Hunter? What about “The Most Dangerous Game”? And why on earth do we need the forward slash? Not a colon or a hyphen, but one of the more seldom-used grammatical marks here? I have to imagine when they’re composing team emails, it’s like, “Ok, C…dammit, where’s the…”\”? Nope. No. Wrong one. Can’t we just use a tilde?”
Now, you might think Ranger Rocket is a Pokemon antagonist or PBS character that makes learning fun and also with rockets! But no, Ranger Rocket is the nickname of Pat Ryan, a man who is so enthusiastic about the Toledo Rockets that he’s meticulously constructed a fanbulance (called the “Jambulance”) in order to watch Toledo win yet another BCS championship. But here’s the thing: Pat Ryan is a retired Army Ranger (hence: “Ranger Rocket”). And the rule is: if you’ve served your country, and know how to kill me in 200 different ways, you’re allowed to root for whoever the hell you want to.
And that Jambulance does look pretty cool.
I can’t fully confirm that “Beer Goddess” is an official nickname of this member of the Indy Blue Crew, which tailgates before Colts games. But it is in quotes in this article, and according to my Journalism 101 book Bonjournalism!, that means it’s legit. “So you can just throw anything in quotes and it’s real?” asks founding father James Madison. You sure can, ol’ buddy. You sure can.
Anyway, the awesomeness of having lady deity (“ladeity”) be in charge of beer is pretty cool. In fact, Germany’s economy has been based on this single notion since around the 13th century or so. But come on. Every good cicerone knows her name should have been Ninkasi, after the Sumerian goddess of beer. (The preceding sentence should’ve been read in Dennis Miller’s voice.)
I love Kingsford Kirk for so many reasons. First of all, Kingsford Kirk is one of the Bad Boyz (with a ‘z’) of Barbeque, so you know he’s a complete badass. I hope he’s the guy intently pointing the cooking utensil at the camera here. But even better is on that page when someone accidentally calls him “Kirkland Kirk” (assuming, one would suppose, that he was somehow involved with Costco). What followed was Kirk doing the whole “correcting them without making a scene” deal like when you’re trying to remind your boss that your name is Brian, not Ryan without directly confronting him. If this all seems harsh, it’s because they’re charging $25 per person at a BYOB event. What’s the money for, website maintenance?
The Bengal Thing is a co-founder of the Bengal Bomb Squad. Now, some of you might justifiably wonder why The Bengal Thing gets a spot in the nicknames list, but not the best costumes list. First of all, I was drunk when I was looking for costumes, so lay off me, Father. Secondly, I guarantee you that everyone at this tailgate actually calls him “The Bengal Thing.” It’s not like, “oh, have you seen Craig, who doesn’t have any defining characteristics?” “I sure did. He’s over there trying to manipulate a bratwurst into his latex orange mouth hole.”
Pinto Ron’s real name is Ken Johnson. Now, I’ve mentioned him in two articles before this because everything about him is utterly fascinating. He’s attended every Bills game since 1994; he serves up cherry liqueur out of bowling ball; he’s been featured as himself in a Jon Voight movie (not the one about the snake, but how cool would that be?); and he cooks meals on the hood of his car, which — appropriately enough — is a beat up old Ford Pinto. So where did he get the “Ron” part from? “I’m a Bills fan,” says Pinto Ron. “Who the hell cares?”
Joe Cahn “The Commissioner of Tailgating” himself earns a spot on our list, if for no other reason than probably no single name is more recognizable in the tailgating world. For those of you who don’t know who he is, Cahn quit his job several years ago, and since has been grilling his way across America. As someone who has annually tried to achieve fame through eating and being drunk, I assure you this is no easy feat. So kudos to “The Commish.” Let me know if you need an intern.
Yeah. Yeah. You read that correctly. Robbie Dobyanski’s nickname is “Douche.” I’d understand it if his name kind of had a shorthand version of “Douche” somewhere in there, like “Lauducci” or something. But no. That’s a standalone. I just… do you know how hard you have to work to be the only guy nicknamed “Douche” in Houston? That’s like meeting someone in Green Bay named “Craig the Packers Fan.”
Anyway. I’m going to assume he just got caught wearing Crocs one day, and this is his bro-tastic punishment.
Now, this is in no way, shape or form an exhaustive list. So whaddya think, comments section? Do you have any better tailgating nicknames that I don’t have here? Hit me up!
An an actual list of Brian Cullen’s nicknames include: Bucket, Viper, Peaches, Stretch, Knoxville and Captain America. Jesus, what a humiliating sentence to type. You can follow him on Twitter @bucketcullen or on Tumblr at briancullendotgeocitiesdotfart.tumblr.com.