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Sports Column: Athletes receive suitable nicknames

The best part about sports is the stories they create. Every David who beats Goliath gives us chills. Each championship brings tears or jubilation or frustration. But more than anything else, sports are about people.

And people need nicknames.

Nicknames can make a sense or no sense, but they are a term by which we refer to those we love (or hate) most on the gridiron or hardwood. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is Big Ben — as is Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace. Why did Allen Iverson get to be called “The Answer”?

Perhaps he could tell us …

Here are some nicknames that might be fitting for Ohio student-athletes and coaches.

 

MEGAWALT: MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYER WALTER OFFUTT

MegaWalt is a fitting name for Offutt, who is known for drawing charges. Whether he is hitting the hardwood for his team or providing a key drive to the basket, Offutt contributes a ton of energy every time he is on the floor.

Offutt’s peppy play conveniently replaces Adetunji Adedipe, whose aggressive defense meant it was “Tunji Time” whenever he was on the court. Offutt most recently energized the Bobcats with two key baskets near the end of Ohio’s win against Ball State Saturday.

 

AGENT ZERO: SOCCER GOALKEEPER MATTIE LISTON

Not only is zero the number on Liston’s jersey, but it’s also the number of goals she’s allowed in 10 of her 36 games as a Bobcat. That makes her third in Ohio’s record book for career shutouts — and she’s only a sophomore.

Liston’s on-field communication and precise positioning make her a threat for opposing forwards. She posted a 1.03 goals-against average as a freshman and is on pace to break Ohio’s record for games started and minutes played as a goalkeeper.

TENACIOUS 'T': WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYER TENISHIA BENSON

Her teammates already call her “T,” and her tenacity often carries the Bobcats. Benson is Ohio’s most consistent scorer, as she has provided at least 10 points in 16 of the 18 games she has played this year. She frequently leads the Bobcats in rebounding and has led the team in assists, steals and blocks at least four times each.

As the team’s only senior, Benson is an unquestioned leader for the Bobcats. And her tough play at both ends of the floor has proved to be contagious, as Ohio has won 10 games in a season for the first time in three years.

SHIPWRECKER: OHIO FOOTBALL RUNNING BACK BEAU BLANKENSHIP

Blankenship saw his playing time increase as the season progressed, and with good reason. He proved he could protect the football and pick up valuable yardage while senior running back Donte Harden rested up. Blankenship had an especially strong game against Central Michigan, when he iced Ohio’s victory with a 48-yard touchdown run to cap a 129-yard performance.

Now that Harden is gone, Blankenship likely will compete for the starting role next season. Blankenship has the agility and patience to find holes in opposing defensive lines, and when he gets his legs churning, watch out.

Michael Stainbrook is a junior studying journalism and sports editor for The Post. If you think you’re wittier than everyone else who turns his last name into a nickname, send him an email at ms229908@ohiou.edu.


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