Rather than rounding up the usual suspects for a list of famous NFL nicknames, we decided to take a different approach. Now this is no disrespect to some fantastic nicknames like "Minister of Defense" for Reggie White, "Concrete Charlie" for Chuck Bednarik, "Prime Time" for Deion Sanders or "Beast Mode" for Marshawn Lynch. We wanted to focus on nicknames that are such a part of a player's persona that the real first name is effectively replaced and some fans wouldn't even know what it was.
This is why we passed on guys who simply had a descriptive word added to the front of their first name like "Mean Joe" Greene, "Broadway Joe" Namath, "Iron Mike" Ditka, "Slingin' Sammy" Baugh or "Big Ben" Roethlisberger.
The tougher judgment calls came on deciding whether use of the first name and nickname in tandem was more common than just the nickname alone. That's why someone like "Too Tall" Jones didn't make the cut, because he is called Ed "Too Tall" Jones enough that lots of people are aware of his actual first name. But if you've got a gripe with our not featuring him or the likes of Dick "Night Train" Lane, Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, we hear you. But that's where we drew the line.
Big Daddy Lipscomb