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What’s in a name?
Plenty if you’re an NFL player.
ESPN asked writers around the league to pick the best nickname on each team.
For the Detroit Lions it was “Swagnew,” the nickname belonging to cornerback and return specialist Jamal Agnew.
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein says Agnew was given the nickname while playing at the University of San Diego, “when he said (teammate) Devyn Bryant told him he had ‘the most swagger on the field and my last name, it comes with it.’”
If you’ve followed the career of Houston Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu, you probably already know that his nickname is “Honey Badger,” which he earned at LSU.
ESPN’s Sarah Barshop explains: On one of LSU's flights home after Mathieu had a big game, defensive coordinator John Chavis played a video for the team of a honey badger hunting snakes. In the video, the narrator says the honey badger ‘is pretty badass and runs all over the place.’”
Among the other notable nicknames:
♦ "El Tractorcito" (Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Harvey): “Henry's nickname was coined by ESPN anchor Pablo Viruega while watching the Alabama back run wild against Oklahoma in the 2014 Sugar Bowl,” writes ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe. “The Spanish nickname translates to ‘the little tractor.’”
♦ “Beast Mode” (Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch)
♦ “Big Cat” (New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams)
♦ “Rhodes Closed” (Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes)