Wednesday, April 10, 2013

'The University of Temple' and other nicknames

Temple University owes a debt of gratitude to players who put the uni on the  map
and made the name "Temple University" standard.


Saturday is Football Alumni Day at Temple University.
Matt Rhule and the staff are reaching out to all former players and inviting them to be part of the program, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the $17 million Edberg-Olson Complex. (Ex-players only and Friday is the last day to RSVP with secretary Nadia Harvin.)
I think that's a great gesture.
(If Matt wants a standing ovation, he'd use the occasion to announce that the Owls are going back to the TEMPLE helmets, at least on one side.)
A lot of the guys who will be in attendance were responsible for putting Temple University on the national football map.
Back then, you had respected Pittsburgh-area journalists like Andy Nuzzo (he was at the time, believe me) opening his pre-game story with "The University of Temple."
Ugh.
Sweet Feet greatest nickname
of all-time
Nobody does that anymore in Temple football stories.
I don't know who will be there, but the guys who played football during the Wayne Hardin and Bruce Arians Eras had some colorful nicknames. Those were winning years for Temple football and, despite Arians' losing record, pulling two six-win seasons out of a hat against a top 10 schedule was a trick worthy of Houdini.
The Temple program that was "no match for Pitt" was more than a match for Pitt during the Arians' Era, winning three of five games.
On to the nicknames, though.
Sweet Feet made the All-East 1st team.

I had to smile when I read a story on a girl football player, Sam Gordon, who they call "Sweet Feet."
In my mind, there's only one Sweet Feet and that's Gerald "Sweet Feet" Lucear, who played wide receiver for coach Wayne Hardin's 10-2 team in 1979.
To me, Lucear holds the patent on Sweet Feet.
Sweet Feet could fly and was one of the few Temple guys who could beat any cornerback on sheer speed alone on a fly pattern. The other two I remember were Keith Gloster (Arians) and Travis Sheldon (Al Golden).
So, for its descriptive purposes, Sweet Feet is my choice for best Temple nickname of all time.
I asked some Temple alumni for other great nicknames and got a lot of nicknames like the one I was called (Gibby) as a youngster. I had to throw those out. Some of those were Brett "Stein" Hartenstein, Matt "Matty" Baker and Lance "Stone" Johnstone.
Strong players, but weak nicknames.
Sorry, those were too easy.
Henry "Dynamo Hyno" Hynoski works even though it is a derivative of the last name because of the Dynamo  part. Hyno was a fullback's fullback, a guy who refused to go down and often knocked back the first guy who tried to tackle him. The nickname was given to him by former Temple play-by-play guy Ron Menchine, who would often say "there goes Dynamo Hyno. He looks like Bronco Nagurski out there." As a kid, I didn't know who Bronco Nagurski was but if he ran like Dynamo Hyno I knew he must have been pretty good.
For most of the other names, I was looking for something else entirely, something that set that person apart and was not a derivative of the last or first name. Plus, the player had to be an impact guy who fans in the stands heard about and the name had to be printable.
Paul "Boo Boo" Palmer was another good one.
Derek "Bonecrusher" Dennis was a great one, as was John "Rhino" Rienstra.
Christopher "Cap" Poklemba also fit (but Christopher "Pok" Poklemba would not have).
Other great submissions:
Brian "Shark" Erwin, Ryan "Goo" Wallace, Jon "House" Clark, Phil "Pugsy" Prohaska, Keith "Pooeyhead" Kerrin, Ray "Big Cat" Haynes, Marcus "Gumby" Gibbs, Larry "Jelly Roll" Chester, Roger "Pup" Chanoine.
Still more: James "Big Daddy" Harris and Wiley "Pancake" Pitts. Both great players as well as great nicknames.
Or, if you really wanted to go old school, Frank "Bucko" Kilroy or Dave "Fizzy" Weinraub. (Sorry, Fizz, know you are not as old school as Bucko.)
All good to great players whose contributions helped people stop calling the school "The University of Temple."
If you see Goo, Boo Boo, Bonecrusher, Shark, Pooeyhead, Jelly Roll, Gumby or Pup on Saturday, say hello.
And thank them.

Greatest ']['emple Football Nicknames of All-Time
Name
Nickname
Notable
Gerald Lucear
“Sweet Feet”
Could fly, scored a touchdown in bowl win, first-team All-East WR
John Rienstra
“Rhino”
First-team All-American
Paul Palmer
“Boo Boo”
Name given to him by grandmother, stuck and was runner-up for Heisman in ‘86
Derek Dennis
“Bonecrusher”
Current Chicago Bear once tackled his own QB in game against Army
Frank Kilroy
“Bucko”
Great FB, became all-pro with Eagles
Wiley Pitts
“Pancake”
Great blocking WR
Keith Kerrin
“Pooeyhead”
Love to hear the story behind that one



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