Phil Kessel is a legitimate star in the city of Toronto. Â Per sporting tradition, he now needs a nickname which is catchy, instantly recognizable, and also describes him as a player.
In the course of chatting with a source earlier in the week, the topic of Phil Kessel’s impact in Toronto naturally arose. Â At which point the source mentioned, “it’s not every day a team can acquire a bonafide star, but the Leafs have found one in Phlair.”
Wait, what? Phlair?
“Yeah,” the source replied, somewhat sheepishly. “I don’t know where [the players] come up with these nicknames, but that’s what they’re calling him.”
Seriously. Â Phlair?
Now, you’ve got to give the team marks for creativity on this one, but still. Â The best they can do is an “Air Jordan” rip using an allusion to the word “flair”?
I don’t know about you, but I when I hear that nickname, all I can think of is the movie Office Space.
(Jennifer Aniston needs more Phlair.)
Although I suppose it is a step up from the dreadfully dull “-ie” or “-er” variations you see with most nicknames these days.
For instance: “Phillie” would only work in Philadelphia, but even then the cheesieness scale would register off the charts. “Philler” has the net-filling connotation … but also the “he’s just filler” connotation which, frankly, could be applied to several of his teammates. That and it sounds pretty stupid to begin with.
Similarly “Kessie” is rank amateur in the nickname department, and “Kesser” is far too close to Kesler, which could lead to some serious confusion among broadcasters during Toronto-Vancouver matchups.
It’s a real shame that Phil isn’t an overly physical player. Â “Kesstosterone” has a nice ring to it, especially considering GM Brian Burke’s over-quoted adjectives to describe his moves in the offseason (not to mention Phil’s epic beat-down of Kris Russell last night!).
Then again, his prior battle against testicular cancer might make that one a tad uncomfortable for some.
So that’s out. Hmm. Â What else?
“The Madison Flash”? Nah, people would try to cash in on the far too overdone phonetic-switch naming trend, and turn it into “The Madison Phlash.” That would take stupid to a whole new level.
You could try to cash in on geek-chic by making an allusion to the “Kessel Run” from Star Wars, but you just know that someone, somewhere would have to ruin the vibe by pointing out that George Lucas had no idea that a parsec is a measure of distance, not time … but that’s a whole other story. (Why yes, I am a geek.)
Man, this nickname business is tough. Â Maybe “Phlair” isn’t so bad after all.
Then again …
What do you think? Â Kessel is a legitimate star in this town, and like any star deserves a catchy nickname. Â Got any ideas for a nickname we can give to our favorite team’s favorite son? Â Or is “Phlair” destined to be the one that sticks?
Looking forward to your thoughts as always,