by Jimmy Johnson
And you thought ESPN was just pulling your leg.
Guess what? There really are people out there who are proud to be Nimrods.
If you do not know what I'm talking about, ESPN has been running a set of commercials that show athletes from a high school in Watersmeet, Mich.
It shows students and athletes who are currently enrolled or who have graduated as proud Nimrods.
That's right. They allow Nimrods to graduate in the state of Michigan.
Personally, I toss around the term Nimrod like nothing else. For example, don't tell him I said this, but my little brother is a Nimrod. My roommate, Travis -- he, too, is a Nimrod.
But the definition for these Nimrods in Watersmeet is completely different.
By Biblical accounts, Nimrod was "a mighty hunter before the Lord." The people of Watersmeet chose the nickname back in 1904 because the region was a prime area for hunting.
At first, I thought ESPN made this all up for my entertainment, but after watching the commercial for the 100th time, I began to wonder if there were really Nimrods playing basketball.
After finding out that Nimrods really do exist, I said to myself, "What other nicknames are there that no one on earth would believe?"
Lo and behold! I found a poll from 1986 by ESPN, which had the top ten high school nicknames. Outdated for sure, but also amusing.
The Nimrods were ranked No. 3 on this top 10 list. Ahead of them were the Syrupmakers of Cairo, Ga., and the Beetdiggers of Brush, Colo.
Another team nickname in the top ten was the Squirrels, who hail from Winslow, Ariz. The squirrel is an interesting creature, but you are more likely to find them lying on the side of the road or deep-fried on the plate of a redneck, than on the football field winning a big game.
Other nicknames on the list I felt were worth mentioning were the Flivvers of Kingsford, Mich., and the Atomsmashers of Johnson Prep in Savannah, Ga.
As for the Flivvers, it took a dictionary for me to find out what it is. According to my friend Webster, it's an automobile, especially one that is small and inexpensive -- so, basically, a Kia.
How would you like to be a Kia? I know I hate driving behind them on the road and know I wouldn't want to be in one, for that matter. If you were a Flivver, there would be only one certainty -- you'd easily run over the Squirrels.
The Atomsmashers is a more masculine team name than the Flivvers, but not by much. I mean, they smash atoms. How big are they anyway?
My absolute favorite on this list is the Peglegs of Stuyvesant in New York City. I wish my high school team had played these guys. I would have called out signals like a pirate all day.
All of the names on this list crack me up and force me to ask the question, "Why?" Why would anyone want to be a Nimrod or a Flivver?
I'm used to the traditional names. For example, in high school, I was a quarterback for the Cardinals, and in junior high, I was quarterbacking the Bears.
Now that I've finished laughing, I will give the founding fathers of these nicknames credit. They were original in their ideas, but in their choice of nicknames, they were flat-out Nimrods.