Can You Match the Pro Athlete to Their Nickname?


By: J.P. Naomi

6 Min Quiz

Image: Erik Isakson/Blend Images

About This Quiz

Oh, what's in a name!? Are you ready to take this ultimate nickname quiz? It's time to see how well you know these professional athletes. If you know them well enough, you'll surely know their nicknames!

From The Say Hey Kid and The Littler Professor to the Black Mamba and Megatron, we want to know... have heard of these guys? And don't worry, we've got some ladies, too. Ever had a run in with beach volleyball's Six Feet of Sunshine? If you're up for this challenge, we're bringing it! Think you can answer these questions as fast as the Lightning Bolt can run? Or will you be Too Tall to ace this quiz? Well, no matter how you slice it, these nicknames are all in good fun. 

You see, that's the thing about professional sports. It takes one of two things to earn a nickname that lasts through the ages... first, talent... pure talent. You know who they call the GOAT right? How about The Fridge or the King of Clay? The second would be a humorous situation - like Big Papi, for example. If you go around calling everyone Papi because you can't remember their names, well, you can be sure someone might turn right around and call you the biggest one of all! 

So are you ready to get this nickname party started? Good luck and remember, winning is the name of the game!

Do you remember Michael Jordan's nickname?

Michael Jordan was known as MJ, Air Jordan and His Airness. He ended his career with a whopping 32,292 points!


Can you recall Peyton Manning's nickname on the field?

During a 2009 Monday Night Football game, Peyton Manning was nicknamed "The Sheriff" by commentator Jon Gruden. This was in reference to both Manning's popularity in the league and his frequent audibles prior to the snap.


What was Calvin Johnson's nickname?

Calvin Johnson played for the Detroit Lions from 2007 - 2015. His nickname, "Megatron," was given to him by teammate Roy Williams. Fans liked it and started using it too.


Do you remember Randy Johnson's alternative name?

Known as The Big Unit, Randy Johnson pitched in the MLB for 22 seasons. He had a 303-166 career win-loss record.


Jerome Bettis was known as _______.

Jerome Bettis was nicknamed The Bus for his ability to carry multiple defenders on his back during his carries. After 13 seasons in the NFL, he ended his career with 13,664 rushing yards.


What did fans call Willie Mays?

Before Willie Mays was known as the Say Hey Kid, he was called Buck while playing for the Black Barons, and Cap while serving as captain on the Giants. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.


Some people refer to Rafael Nadal as ______.

Many people refer to Rafael Nadal as The King of Clay because of his success as a clay court player. He has the most clay court titles of all players.


What did Shaquille O'Neal call himself?

Of course, everyone calls him Shaq, but did you know that Shaquille O'Neal gave himself his own nicknames? He called himself Big Aristotle and Hobo Master for his composure and insights during interviews.


What did Reggie White's teammates call him?

Reggie White was a defensive end for 15 seasons in the NFL. During his career, he was also known for his Christian ministry as an ordained Evangelical minister... hence the nickname, The Minister of Defense.


Serena Williams is known as _______ for short!

Serena Williams is considered one of, if not THE, greatest female tennis player of all time. Her career record is 794-133!


Do you remember David Ortiz's nickname?

Did you know that David Ortiz had a habit of calling people "Papi" when he couldn't remember their names? So, in turn, broadcaster Jerry Remy decided to give him the nickname Big Papi.


What was Paul Pierce's nickname?

Paul Pierce was a small forward in the NBA from 1998 - 2017. He was nicknamed "The Truth" by Shaquille O'Neal in 2001.


Think you know Maria Sharapova's nickname?

The Siberian Siren, Maria Sharapova is 6 feet, 2 inches tall. She has 36 career titles in the Women's Tennis Association and her career record is 632-160!


How about Usain Bolt's nickname?

Nicknamed Lightning Bolt, Usain St. Leo Bolt was born on August 21, 1986. He is considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time, currently holding three world records in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4 x 100 meters relay.


Not everyone calls Tom Brady this, but his fans sure do! What is it?

Tom Brady is one of only two players to win five Super Bowls... so far. At the age of 41, Brady is currently entering his 18th season in the league. Fans refer to him as the GOAT... the Greatest Of All Time.


What is LeBron James known as?

Hailing from Akron, Ohio, LeBron James is already considered one of the best basketball players.... in the world... of all time... and he still plays! Recently traded to the LA Lakers, he is known as King James wherever he goes.


What do baseball fans remember Ted Williams as?

In 1938, Ted Williams joined the Red Sox at the age of 19. He was nicknamed "The Kid" by then equipment manager Johnny Orlando, and twenty years later, it still stuck!


What Deion Sanders' nickname?

Deion Sanders played cornerback in the NFL from 1989 - 2005. His nickname, Primetime, came from his high school friend, Richard Fain, who came up with it after watching Sanders score 30 points in a basketball game.


Do you remember Kobe Bryant's nickname?

Kobe Bryant gave himself his nickname, Black Mamba. He stated that he wanted to play basketball with the same accuracy a snake has - "striking with 99 percent accuracy at maximum speed in rapid succession."


And what about Brian Scalabrine's nickname?

Brian Scalabrine was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft in 2001. He played for the Nets, Celtics and finally, the Bulls, whose fans nicknamed him White Mamba - a play off of Kobe Bryant's nickname, Black Mamba!


Earl Louis Lambeau was also known as _______.

Halfback and kicker Curly Lambeau was a founder, player and first coach of the Green Bay Packers. He was an inaugural inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.


What is Manny Pacquiao's nickname?

Manny Pacquiao is a Filipino professional boxer and politician. He currently ranks No. 4 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers of all time.


Do you know what they call Phil Mickelson?

Phil Mickelson, known for his left-handed swing, attended Arizona State University and turned pro in 1992. He has won 43 PGA Tours - ranked 9th of all time.


Do you recall Marshawn Lynch's nickname?

Marshawn Lynch was the 12th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He earned the nickname "Beast Mode" for his powerful running style - running all over defenders and breaking tackles with ease.


How about Michael Irvin's nickname?

A career Dallas Cowboy - Michael Irvin played wide received from 1988 - 1999. He was nicknamed The Playmaker for his ability to make big plays during big games - both in college and the NFL.


What is Michael Phelps called?

Michael Phelps has been called both The Baltimore Bullet and the Flying Fish. Born on June 30, 1985, he is the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time - with 28 medals for swimming.


Do you remember Joe Namath's nickname?

Joe Namath's nickname, "Broadway Joe," was given to him by one of his Jets teammates, Sherman Plunkett. Namath played with the Jets from 1965 - 1976.


This was a the nickname for Robert Grove...

Robert Grove was born on March 6, 1900, in Lonaconing, Maryland. He was a star left-handed pitcher from 1925 - 1941, playing for the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox.


Hakeem Olajuwon was also known as _______.

Hakeem Olajuwon was the first overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. He played in the league from 1984 - 2002 - being named The Dream for his effortless dunking.


Do you know Chad Johnson's number and nickname?

Chad Johnson announced in Hispanic Heritage Month of 2006 that he would prefer to be called by the numbers on his jersey ... in Spanish... Ocho Cinco. Two years later, he legally changed his name to Chad Javon Ochocinco so that he could have the word Ochocinco on the back of his jersey, and still be in regulation.


What do they call wide receiver Julian Edelman?

Julian Edelman has been with the New England Patriots since 2009. Quarterback Tom Brady gave him the nickname "Minitron." It was a play on Calvin John's nickname, "Megatron."


If you know about Darrelle Revis, you must also know about ______!

Though it's not a nickname for himself... it is a nickname for a special place on the field. Darrelle Revis trademarked the name "Revis Island" - referring to his ability to shut down the opposing receivers down the field.


What do some people call Shaun White?

Shaun White is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and has won 10 ESPY Awards. He is nicknamed "The Flying Tomato" because of his long, red hair as he soars down the slopes.


Do you remember William Perry's famous nickname?

William Perry, now 55 years old, was a defensive tackle and fullback in the NFL from 1985 - 1994. He was known as The Refrigerator because of his size and power at the goal line.


How about Walter Payton's nickname?

Walter Payton's nickname, "Sweetness," originated in college - some say it was for his kind heart, and others say it is a sarcastic play on his aggressive playing style. He died from a rare liver disease at the young age of 45.


Do you know what they call Kerri Walsh?

Kerri Walsh Jennings is a three-time Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball. Standing 6 feet, 3 inches tall, she is known as Six Feet of Sunshine!


What was Wilt Chamberlain known as?

Do you know why Wilt Chamberlain was nicknamed The Big Dipper? Because he had to dip his head as he walked through doorways! He clocked in at 7 feet, 1 inch tall!


Can you remember Andy Murray's nickname?

Andy Murray was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and turned pro in 2005. He has a career record of 657-186 and is known as Muzza - which is a Scottish nickname for Murray.


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