Football

The Best NFL Player Nicknames  

Ranker NFL
1.3k votes 46 voters 77 items

List Rules Vote based just on the greatness of the nickname.

The best NFL player nicknames evoke everything you need to about the kind of player you're talking about. Whether you're discussing the coolest, slickest old-school players like Red Grange ("Galloping Ghost") and Ed Jones ("Too Tall") or the new-school players with memorable monikers like Travis Kelce ("Zeus") or Russell Wilson ("DangeRuss"), good football nicknames stick in your mind and roll off the tongue.

Some players even became so synonymous with their nicknames that they're better known by the nickname than their real names, athletes like William Perry ("The Fridge") and Carnell Williams ("Cadillac"). Sometimes the nicknames can be funny and weird, like Kirk Cousins' "Captain Kirk" moniker or Jared Lorenzen's somewhat derisive "Pillsbury Throwboy" nickname. Other times, the names are deadly serious, such as Jim Kelly ("Machine Gun Kelly") and Peyton Manning ("The Sheriff").

Either way, great, memorable nicknames become a part of players' stories and of NFL history, with names like Brodway Joe, Beast Mode, and Prime Time immediately bringing to mind some of the best ever to play the game.

So who has the best nickname in NFL history? Which nicknames spring to mind when you think of professional football? Vote below to help decide which famous nicknames belong at the top of the list, then check back to see what other fans thought of these great football names.

list ordered by
1
William Perry is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

The Fridge

2
Ed Jones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Too Tall

3
Joe Namath is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Broadway Joe

4
Red Grange is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Galloping Ghost

5
Elroy Hirsch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Crazy Legs

6
Walter Payton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Sweetness

7
Reggie White is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

The Minister of Defense

8
Dick Lane is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Night Train

9
Gale Sayers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Kansas Comet

10
Mike Ditka is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Iron Mike

11
Calvin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Megatron

12
Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Prime Time

13
Bob Hayes is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Bullet Bob

14
Jack Tatum is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

The Assassin

15
Daryle Lamonica is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

The Mad Bomber

16
Marshawn Lynch is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Beast Mode

17
Ray Nitschke is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Wildman

18
Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

The Sheriff

19
Jerome Bettis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

The Bus

20
Billy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

White Shoes

21
Mike Alstott is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

A-Train

22
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Joe Cool

23
Roger Staubach is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Captain Comeback

24
Steve McNair is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames

Air McNair

25
Lance Alworth is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best NFL Player Nicknames