July 3, 2015 |
THANKS TO a fumble by closed captioning and a tweet that went viral, new Sixers guard Nik Stauskas has had a wonderfully catchy nickname since March. Call him "Sauce Castillo. " Andrew Unterberger was watching the Kings-Sixers game on March 24 when Stauskas hit a seemingly routine three-pointer in the second quarter with Sixers announcer Marc Zumoff at the mic. That's when Unterberger, a Lower Merion native who lives in Queens, made the following observation. "My closed captioning just referred to Nik Stauskas as "Sauce Castillo" and I will never be able to not call him this again," Unterberger tweeted.
December 24, 2014 |
IF YOU SAW La'Trelle Wilson play basketball, the last things to enter your mind would be soft, decorated pieces of orange and yellow felt. The 6-0, 185-pound Southern High guard uses strength, physicality and intensity as a defensive disruptor for the Rams. So, why in the world is his nickname Bert? "My head is shaped like Bert and Ernie of 'Sesame Street,' " Wilson said, laughing, after the Rams ran over host Engineering and Science, 49-37, in a Public League B matchup. The nickname is courtesy of his aunt, Michelle Kemp, who dubbed him thusly just after his birth.
November 10, 2014 |
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was a little busy last week as he prepared to explain to an appeals judge his finger-in-the-wind decision process regarding the suspension and re-suspension of Baltimore running back Ray Rice. Even so, Goodell must have noticed that one of the league's owners, Washington's Daniel Snyder, was suing five Native Americans for the crime of being upset about the "Redskins" team nickname. If he wins the suit, maybe Snyder can take their land and force them to live in a fenced-in section of the FedEx Field parking lot. Not much of a view, but, hey, no income tax. The five activists, perhaps to their own surprise, won a ruling earlier this year from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that canceled six of the team's trademarks that used the word "Redskins," with the ruling board stating it did so because the word was "disparaging to Native Americans.
October 17, 2014
LAST WEEK, an editor showed me a death notice in our paper for John McGee. Such listings are paid for by funeral homes based on information submitted by the family. In this one, the family included the man's nickname - "Jewboy. " That grabbed me, but maybe not for the reason the editor thought. I'm Jewish, but rather than take offense, I was overwhelmed by curiosity. How did this Irish guy get that nickname? When I was a kid, nicknames often focused on physical traits - Shorty, Fatty, Lefty - or personality traits - Tough Tony, Killer.
March 27, 2014 |
LET ME START by acknowledging that what the owner of the NFL team based in Washington is doing is to be admired. No matter how wealthy he is, Daniel Snyder is under no obligation to do anything for anybody but his own family. So the idea that he announced that he has started a foundation to assist Native American communities should be acknowledged as something positive. Any individual who does things to assist other human beings deserves credit. But - and you knew there was going to be one - Snyder again shows he doesn't get the issue concerning the offensive slur the nickname of his team represents.
January 23, 2014
Douse with a tweet I was only half surprised that Philadelphia smoking rates are among the highest, having often been agitated by the smell of smoke in subway stations, school stairwells and bathrooms, and on city streets ("New fronts in tobacco fight," Jan. 10). Stronger measures can be developed by the federal government through taxation and graphic labeling, but it's also important to appeal emotionally to smokers, especially teens. Antismoking campaigns need to show the effects of secondhand smoking, not only statistics.
September 6, 2013 |
A LOT OF EAGLES fans are already preparing for Monday's game against the Redskins. An American Indian tribe is preparing too, but in a much different way. The Oneida Indian Nation said yesterday that it will run spots on Washington-area radio stations before the game, imploring the Redskins to change their nickname. The tribe said it finds the name offensive. The ad begins with a reference to the racial slur used by Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper toward a security guard at a concert this summer.
June 14, 2013 |
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the Washington Redskins nickname is a "unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect. " Goodell was responding to a letter from 10 members of Congress who want the name changed because it is offensive to many Native Americans. He cited the nickname's origins and polls that support its popularity. Goodell wrote that he understands the feelings surrounding it are complex and could change, but he also pointed out fan pride in the team's heritage.
March 19, 2013
Already equipped with a nickname ("Air") and a signature dance, Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore is primed to take over March as the Jayhawks enter the South Regional as the top seeds. McLemore averaged 16.4 points this season and gained the nickname "Air" for his highlight-reel dunks. He is likely to be the No. 1 selection in June's NBA draft, and his locker room dance is a YouTube staple. Kansas' path to Atlanta will be difficult - the Jayhawks could face Michigan in the Sweet 16. The Wolverines' backcourt of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. will create problems, but Michigan's lack of rebounding could be a drawback.