For writers, serious fans, and anyone looking to win a trivia competition, Pro Football Reference is a must-bookmark site. This is a website where you can track every player to wear a number and cross-reference it with the absurdly powerful player comparison finder.
There is also a version of the Sports Reference brand for every major sport, including college. This isn’t necessarily relevant to me, as I don’t follow any other sports closely, but you can knock yourselves out.
Something odd that PFRef tracks is nicknames. This was first brought to my attention by APC’s own Paul Noonan, when he asked twitter who on the Green Bay Packers is known as “The Freak”. Since then, I’ve become a bit obsessed with players who have a listed nickname.
The answer to “Who is the Freak?” is Kyler Fackrell. Some research turned up an article claiming a TV announcer called him The Freak while he was in college. I couldn’t believe that was all it took to have a nickname listed and took offense on behalf of other, shall we say, more deserving players.
Recently, Wes Hodkiewicz accidentally referred to Blake Martinez as “boar”. Blake quickly accepted it. Along with this, fans and other players have been referring to Mike Daniels as “Diesel” for years. Neither of these were listed on their respective PFRef page.
So I did what every upset sports fan does in a situation like this: I TOOK MY GRIEVANCE TO THE INTERNET!
I attempted to get a hold of PFRef on twitter, but to no avail. After multiple days with no response, I followed the standard internet rage flowchart...and I posted on Reddit. There is actually a Sports Reference subreddit. I created a post and pleaded my case while citing multiple tweets to prove that both players had accepted their nicknames. This yielded better results as the official account for PFRef responded.
But seriously, I’m just happy that I could have some kind of impact on one of my favorite websites.
What are some of your favorite nicknames for players? Are they listed on PFRef? Let me know down in the comments and maybe I’ll use my inside track to get them added.