Some players carry a tag every week

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WHAT does the Bible have in common with Dracula? Well, they may have played in the same football team. GEOFF POULTER reports:

JUST about everyone loves a nickname. Particularly the clever, quirky ones that bob up in sport. As you might well be aware I have always seemed to have had a penchant for teams, themes, lists and rankings. This week we’re looking a team of typical footy nicknames.

These are more so the tags that players pick up in the more minor leagues, the country, suburban, school old boys competitions. Perhaps some extend to the big leagues.

Most have a cutting edge. Some are quite inventive, often insulting and provocative. Most are humorous.

I have been compiling this list for yonks. Adding and subtracting. Shuffling the names around. Trying to improve it. I’ve arrived with 22 solid starters and the coach. So here goes.

  • BACKLINE: MILO: Because he’s not Quik . POSTMAN: Rarely delivers on weekends. POT-HOLE: He gets in the road.
  • HALF-BACKS: MOTH: Prominent under lights. SILICON: Always filling the gaps. FOG: Sometimes slow to lift.
  • CENTRES: ASTRONAUT: Good in space. TURTLE: Slow to come out of his shell. TIME: So often on the wing.
  • HALF-FORWARDS: AVENUE: They try to go through him. FIDO: Often on a lead. BLISTER: Appears after the hard-work is done.
  • FORWARDS: POPE: Won’t pass the pill. MOTHER: Been carrying the forward pocket for about nine months. NELSON: Has only one foot.
  • RUCK: AUTUMN LEAVES: Falling a lot. WAX: Always in your ear. LANTERN: A bit dim and must be carried at times.
  • INTERCHANGE: CINDERELLA: Runs away from the ball. HAROLD HOLT: Goes missing in the wet. BIBLE: Can be hard to read. DRACULA: Comes on with the blood rule.
  • COACH: SINGLET: Always on your back.
  • AFTER-MATCH ENTERTAINMENT: ARTHRITIS: Seems to be able to get into any joint. And when you successfully gate-crash inside there is always the team’s EXORCIST: He gets rid of the spirits.

Nicknames have always been as prolific in Australia as anywhere. It’s part of the Aussie culture – from Bluey and Curly to Slim and Tiny. All sarcastically the reverse.

There are also the familiar hand-me-downs through generations – such as “Buck” Rogers, “Darby” Munro, “Henry” Lawson, “Flash” Gordon, “Banjo” Patterson, “Spider” Webb, “Ned” Kelly, “Chalky” White, “Smokey” Dawson, “Dutchy” Holland, “Henry” Higgins, “Dusty” Miller, “Polly” Farmer, “Bomber” Wells, “Nobby” Clark, “Dusty” Rhodes and more.

Remarkably, Blake Hardwick, the promising second-year Hawthorn player, has already earned “Dimma” following the 2017 Richmond coach’s well-known tag.

But the nickname of Collingwood’s Alex Fasolo must surely take the prize for originality. Apparently, they call him “Do-re-mi”– you know, the musical scale slotting neatly ahead of Fa-so-la-ti” – and, by extension, “Ti-do”.

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Author: Geoff Poulter

GEOFF POULTER, 69, has spent 51 years in sports media. He was the last Melbourne Herald chief football writer. CV: Sports oracle, author, historian, impersonator, raconteur, poet, quiz whiz, philosopher, song-writer, intellectual scholar – and still employable!

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