Cam Newton, in an absurdly short amount of time, has endeared himself to virtually everyone associated with the Patriots. Coaches, fans and teammates alike all seem to be in love his talent, commitment, energy and effort on the field, his energy, spirit, charisma and style off it. Despite any on-field miscues it’s like he’s pitching a perfect game, or at least a no-hitter. Maybe I’ll start calling him No-No.
And on that subject ...Cam does love him some nicknames.
He’s got nicknames for days, for everyone, this Superman under center. Helps when yours is as epic as his. These nicknames roll effortlessly off the tongue, in any forum, the same way Cam scrambles for a first down when the pocket collapses. It’s another level of intrigue and entertainment Newton has added to the package. Cam himself will tell you, “None of my nicknames ever come from on the field, by the way.” And as for their creation? “ ... it’s just the steez”, a word I’ll admit to gladly looking up, meaning “style with ease”. Call me GoogleFitz, I guess. At first I thought Steez was someone who was helping him come up with the nicknames, but I couldn’t figure out who Steez was. Silly me. Not much Steez over here.
Now that Cam has rattled off close to 20 nicknames, we thought it time to power rank the best we’ve heard to date. Some are clever, some more obvious, and some just plain out there. Nicknames must be earned, and you can’t give them to yourself. That’s a very slippery slope, as Seinfeld taught us ...
It’s always better to have one assigned to you, and for a positive contribution, not something that lives in infamy. Cool thing is you know as players emerge, roles change and the season progresses more are sure to come. Especially when he finally reveals his for Belichick (please let it be Hoodie B).
10. Burkey (Rex Burkhead) - Along the lines of Stiddy this is the classic nickname of abbreviating a last name and adding a -y. Guys like this are ones you consider affable, and dependable. Everyone had a pal nicknamed Jonesy at some point. Burkey sounds like someone who’s always up for a good hang or will give you a lift when you need it, no questions asked. Although Cam might want to consider an upgrade after Rex’s 3 TD performance vs the Raiders. Even Chase Winovich has a more ferocious nickname for Rex.
9. Twin No. 2 (Jason McCourty?) - J-Mac is the guess for Twin No. 2, only for alphabetical reasons. He also joined the Patriots later, but Cam’s played alongside both McCourtys for the same amount of time. For some reason the direct nature of this nickname makes it funnier. Maybe more people should be identified by what role, and in what order they occupy it, in this life; Wonder if Devin and Jason argue over who’s No. 1?
8. Winnie the Pooh (Isaiah Wynn) - The Winnie part is obvious, but I kind of like to think Cam believes Isaiah is a lovable, huggable buddy who will always be there for him. Wynn strikes a fan from afar as a good fella and highly likable. And that’s all any QB could ask of his left tackle is to be loyal and reliable. Friends to the end, right?
7. Crazy Legs (identity unknown) - No idea who this is. The fact that we don’t know who and can only guess (Jake Bailey? JC Jackson? Steve Belichick?) makes it even more intriguing. Also, who wouldn’t want to share their nickname with that of a local competitive eating legend? Maybe it’s for the slowest guy on the team? Or long snapper Joe Cardona? Ol’ Crazy Legs Cardona? I do love a good mystery.
6. Smokin’ Joe (Joe Thuney) - Joe Thuney is about as dependable a player on the Patriots as there is or may ever have been. Your starting center (Dirty Dave) goes down for a few weeks? Smokin’ Joe can cover for ya. Everything he does is executed in a no-frills, dirt-dog manner. A QB and coach’s dream. That Cam has assigned him a sexy nickname like Smokin’ Joe tells you he has an immense level of respect for Thuney. And that maybe the well-compensated yet still underrated O-line stalwart has some game or swag behind the scenes we’re unaware of.
5. Little Bud (Damiere Byrd) - Byrd, who’s also referred to as Bud Light and Byrdman (first multi-nicknamer!), seems to have earned his due to his slighter frame. Newton and Byrd have a history and a level of comfort from their time together in Carolina. Little Bud sounds like a great sidekick, someone you might go way back with. Gotta send someone long for a pass or a punt? Don’t worry, Little Bud will get it. Incidentally he almost was No. 1 on the chart until he corrected a mistake made by MIke Reiss.
4. Small Fry (JJ Taylor) - Just three games into his NFL career, the 5 foot 5 undrafted rookie has made a big impact with his size and speed. He’s so small compared to some of his teammates, like Newton, who has a full foot on Taylor, that you can’t help but think he’s someone’s little brother who stole an outfit and snuck onto the big team. A precocious rascal playing above his head. The name makes his sound more adorable than aggressive, but fear not, Small Fry is all effort all the time. Speaking of small fries ...
3. Mickey-D’s (Josh McDaniels) - This one lands higher on the list as it’s the only coaching nickname we’ve learned (so far). Unless McDaniels is a secret fast food addict this has to be as simple as we see it. Though Mickey-D’s is what you crave, and who does Cam go to for his calls that lead to touchdowns?. Maybe there’s some sort of next level Happy Meal or Super Size me code to crack? Nah. I mean, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.
2. Highway 11 (Julian Edelman) - Only Julian Edelman could have more nicknames (Jet 11, Squirrel, Jules, Bubs, I call him Edelmania) than he does Super Bowl titles. He’s as dependable a component of the Pats offense as he is a character in this team’s storied recent history. And if you’ve been a fan the past decade or more you know so much of the offense runs through Edelman. That if you want to get the win, travel to the postseason, one of the best ways is on Highway 11. It’s also got a little edge to it, some tough, grit, just like Edelman. But no matter the nickname you know Edelman is happily miserable about it, and eventually it’ll end up on a t-shirt in his online store.
1. Doughboy (N’Keal Harry) - Easily the nickname that sparked the most debate, and confusion, among Pats fans...mostly because we couldn’t figure out what this name meant. Be lying if I said I didn’t think this name meant Harry was soft. Not as soft as the iconic little Pilsbury guy, but not as tough as someone of his size and stature should be. Harry’s drawn criticism from fans and media alike for not living up to his draft status to date. So maybe Cam called him this to help toughen him up? They do seem to have a fraternal relationship, after all. Yeah, no, it’s because Harry is as much a player off the field, maybe more so, and is guilty of “caking” quite a bit. And like you I had no idea what that meant, either. Another trip to Urban Dictionary! And now we’ll never think of ready-bake biscuits, adorable advertising characters or the Pats #1 draft choice from 2019 the same way again.