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MU football: The Name Game

Friday, September 21, 2007 | 2:13 a.m. CDT; updated 8:04 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

First names are merely suggestions, not unchangeable laws. Just look at famous athletes.

George Herman Ruth became Babe, the Sultan of Swat. Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) became the Greatest.

But what about these guys? Eldrick and Elbert Woods.

You know them as Tiger and Ickey.

The Missouri Tigers have their share of name-changers. Six starters don’t go by their given names. But we won’t tell you. You’ll have to guess them.

Here are the players and their stories. Match them to the six choices. Click here for the answers.

STEP 1: READ THE STORY ABOUT THE REAL NAME

PIG BROWN

Strong safety

Brown calls his given name his government name. He got the nickname, Pig, when he was young and ate a lot. “I was just messy and sloppy,” he said earlier this season. “When I was little, I was kind of on the heavy side.”

CHASE DANIEL

Quarterback

Daniel uses his middle name. To make fun of him, his teammates call him by his dreaded first name. “He doesn’t like it very much,” Lorenzo Williams said. When they golf, Daniel becomes a target if he hits a bad shot. “If he shanks one to the left, we’re like (his first name) Daniel with a great shot,” Williams said.

ZIGGY HOOD

Defensive tackle

“My grandma, she couldn’t say (my first name) right,” Hood said. So his grandmother called him Ziggy, after the cartoon character. “I’ve been going by that ever since,” he said.

STRYKER SULAK

Defensive end

Sulak’s middle name, Stryker, stuck once his kindergarten teacher started using it. “I wasn’t going to tell them to call me (by my first name),” he said. “They can call me whatever they want.” His grandmother gave him his middle name, he said.

SEAN WEATHERSPOON

Weakside linebacker

“It’s just Spoon.” he said. “Everybody in my family has that nickname.” Sean comes from his middle name, DeSean. He thinks his given name isn’t modern, but he’s still proud of it. He got it from his grandfather.

LORENZO WILLIAMS

Nose tackle

Williams goes by his middle name, Lorenzo, because his first name “isn’t a cool name.” While his father goes by Lorenzo, he just goes by Zo. In fact, he has the same three names as his grandfather and father, so he’s officially Williams III.

STEP 2: FIND THE REAL NAME

Cornelius

Evander

Franklin

Joseph

Oliver

William/Bill


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