This past weekend, August 25th through the 27th we saw Major League Baseball take on a new concept called ‘MLB Players Weekend’ in which each of the 30 major league teams dawned retro style, bright colored jerseys with a nickname of their choosing in place of their last names.
Some of the more memorable names we got to see this past weekend was ‘Bat Boy’ worn by Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Zach Davies, ‘The Dude’ worn by Tampa Bay Ray’s firstbasemen Lucas Duda, and Seattle Mariners thirdbasemen Kyle Seager had a little fun at his brother, Los Angeles Dodgers Shortstop, by placing the nickname “Corey’s Brother” on the back of his jersey.
With Major League Baseball taking a step in this direction, in letting it’s players have some creative freedom, it reminds me of the failed experiment by World Wrestling Entertainment’s Chairman, Vince McMahon’s, more aggressive version of professional football, the XFL. Anyone else remember Las Vegas Outlaws Rod Smart, better known as ‘He Hate Me’?
Since the XFL had the idea of letting it’s players have freedom with what was displayed on the name patch of their jerseys, fans have been clamoring for the NFL (National Football League) to do the same, and with the success of MLB’s Player Weekend, I say why not?
Nicknames on jersey don’t have to be held to only the MLB, or even just the NFL. Why not expand it to the ‘Big Four’ of the professional sporting world and throw the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League into the mix as well. Let all the owners pick out a weekend, or even a day in the season where all, or the majority of the teams have a game and allow nicknames on jerseys.
We could see names in the NFL like New Orleans Saint’s running back Adrian Peterson proudly boast his ‘All Day’ nickname. Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu could bring the ‘Honey Badger’ to life. We could also just find out how ‘Terrific’ the reigning Superbowl MVP, Tom Brady is in an NFL Players weekend.
What about ‘Johnny Hockey’ worn on the back of the Calgary Flames Left Wings, Johnny Gaudreau’s jersey of Lebron James, Small Forward of the Cleveland Cavaliers letting everyone know he is still “King James”.
Not only could a players weekend across all four of the main professional sports be a huge attraction, but it could sell jerseys and player shirts with the nicknames like hot-cakes as everyone has a favorite player in the league and dawning their nickname is just one other way to support them. I mean, professional sports is just a big business anyways, the more revenue they can bring in, the better. Let’s not also forget the fun, and freedom it allows the athletes for even just one weekend of a long grueling season.
Featured Photo Credit: ESPN.com