Image: Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan (Dave Martin/AP photo)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) reacts after throwing a second half touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during an NFL football game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
What did you just call me? This nickname is a pretty good one for Randy Moss given the way he elevated the offenses of his teams. This is a list of some other NFL nicknames that are truly fitting and very entertaining...
All you need to do is shorten the name of the big, burly, hard-partying Patriots tight end (the latest on his injury?) to find his nickname, which seems to capture his essence perfectly. What is it?
The 49ers running back's nickname may throw you at first — until you realize he shares a last name with environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore. What's his nickname?
The man with multiple nicknames, the Giants defensive end (watch him on the field) has monikers inspired both by his initials and his family's roots. What are his two nicknames?
The diminutive — but certainly muscular — Tampa Bay player (what position does he play?) has a curious nickname that pays tribute to both those characteristics. What does he think of the name?
The Rams kicker, known for his ability to boot lengthy field goals, has a nickname inspired by Transformers — as well as by Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (his nickname?). He's also known by two other names.
The aggressive defensive back earned this nickname in college (where did he go?) for his ferocious style of play that resembles a similarly ferocious creature from the wild. What's his nickname?
The explosive Oakland Raiders' running back (watch clips of him playing) has an alias cleverly derived from his initials. What is it?
LeSean McCoy surely doesn't want his nickname to be descriptive of his playing style for the Philadelphia Eagles. Luckily, he has had the name since childhood. Who gave him the name?
Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin III is a member of the Roman numeral club, but not in the traditional sense. The Washington Redskins' quarterback took a unique approach to his nickname and prefers an unconventional alternative. How does he use numbers in his name?
Descriptive of his moves on the field (watch highlights), Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (strangely enough) nicknamed himself. What does he refer to himself as?
Peyton Manning is leading the Denver Broncos, making his nickname quite fitting. What's he known as?
Chris Johnson's record-breaking rushing season (when was it?) for the Tennessee Titans is documented in his nickname. What's he known as?
Good thing Devin Hester plays in Chicago: The city provides the perfect backdrop for his blustery alias. What's his nickname?
Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner (watch clips of him playing) takes advantage of a rhyme scheme with his nickname. What's he known as?
This defensive star (watch clips of him playing) for the Baltimore Ravens always brings the heat, hence his on-fire alias.
At close to 7 feet tall (what's his exact height?), Jones' nickname should be obvious. What is the former Dallas Cowboy known as?
Jack Tatum wasn't the only hard-hitting safety to garner a nickname. However, he's most likely the only safety with a nickname like this (what was he called?). The origin of the name? His injury-invoking hits, like his unfortunate take-out in 1978.
Mike Ditka was the unquestioned leader of one of the toughest Chicago Bears squads in history, so his nickname (what is it?) is fitting.
Former NFL safety Brian Dawkins could deliver devastating hits (watch clips). Consequently, his nickname sounds just as dangerous. What does the name reference?
Torry Holt caught a lot of balls for the St. Louis Rams (watch clips of him playing). He also played in a few high-profile games for the franchise, earning him this nickname.
Is there anything better than being nicknamed after a Creedence Clearwater Revival song (hear it)? We think not.
This former NFL linebacker stands tall at 6 feet 7. His height and idiosyncratic personality earned him his nickname. What is it?
No secret here. Sammy Baugh is one of the legendary quarterbacks in football. In his career, Baugh racked up over 21,000 passing yards. He threw it in an era dominated by tough, hard-core running backs. That passing tendency earned him the nickname (what did they call him?).
Elroy Hirsch was a running back in the NFL in the 1940s and '50s. His style of running hadn't been seen before and earned him his nickname. What was it?
Which came first: the player or the nickname? One might assume that Joe Greene got his nickname while a member of the hard-nosed "Steel Curtain" defense of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers. Although fitting, that's not where the nickname comes from; it actually came from the nickname of his college football team. What was his nickname? Bonus: Remember his classic Coca-Cola commercial? Watch it.
Harold Grange, commonly known as "Red," was an oddity in the 1920s NFL. He possessed speed and maneuverability that were not the norm for the league in those days. Taking that into consideration, his nickname seems highly appropriate (what was it?).
Gale Sayers played college football at Kansas, and that had a lot to do with how he wound up with his nickname. Sayers broke records with touchdown runs and gained yards at an astounding rate, shooting up the ladder of NCAA running backs before going on to play for the Chicago Bears. What was his nickname?
Paul Hornung was given his nickname (what was it?) for reasons besides his looks. Although the name might seem obvious given his appearance (see him in his prime on the cover of Sports Illustrated), there's a second reason for the moniker. Hornung was an essential figure and face of the Green Bay Packers when he played for them.
No need to mince words when it comes to Raghib Ismail. The dude was fast. So fast, in fact, his nickname (what is it?) seems obvious to those who saw him play.
Words like "big," "tough," "gritty" and "eager to mix it up" come to mind after hearing former NFL fullback Craig Heyward's nickname (what is it?). The nickname was pretty intimidating even before Heyward's massive brawn is brought into question.
Christian Okoye was born in Nigeria (where in Africa is that?), which accounts for the first part of his nickname. The second part? It was clear when you saw Okoye's brutal running style and the difficulty opponents had trying to tackle him. As an NFL defender, what comes to mind when thinking about facing a guy like that? Probably something like his nickname. What is it?
With 11,904 receiving yards, 750 receptions and 65 touchdowns, retired Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin's stats speak for themselves. All the man did was make plays. It started at the University of Miami, where he came up with this simple nickname for himself.
Anyone who saw Marshawn Lynch's run for the Seattle Seahawks against the New Orleans Saints in the 2010 NFL playoffs (watch it) will not question his nickname (what do they call him?). The name describes Lynch's running style to a T. If he gets going, best to step out of the way, because he'll bowl over most anything in his path.
Flozell Adams' nickname is a product of his considerable size and an easy rhyme. Nobody has ever accused the longtime Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle (now retired) of being a small guy. In fact, at his position, size is quite an asset. But Flozell rhymes with the nickname (what is it?), and there you have a ready-made alias.
"Did you see that run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis? Hope BenJarvus Green-Ellis breaks a tackle on this run." Green-Ellis' given name is a bit of a mouthful. The hyphenated last name reminds many fans of a convoluted law partnership. That might be one reason many football fans avoid getting tongue-tied with all the syllables and simply refer to this Cincinnati Bengals running back by his nickname (what is it?)
Darrelle Revis is known as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers player earned his nickname by locking down receivers ... making them feel isolated. Almost as if they were on an island. Hence the nickname.
Maurice Jones-Drew's nickname turns out to be a pretty accurate descriptor. Like the Greek demigod he's named after, he's got muscles that give him major strength and power. His smaller stature actually works to his advantage in the Jacksonville Jaguars' backfield. What's his nickname?
Joe Namath famously guaranteed a New York Jets victory in Super Bowl III. The Jets went on to win that Super Bowl and Namath spent all but one of his NFL seasons as QB for the Jets. It is this streak, playing in the city with the bright lights of Broadway, that led to his nickname (what was it?).
At 6'-5" and 241 lbs., Ben Roethlisberger has always been on the larger end of the quarterback spectrum. Standing tall behind the line of his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates, Roethlisberger definitely seems as massive as his nickname implies (what is it?).
Jevon Kearse began his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans in 1999, and that same year Kearse won AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. An 86-inch wingspan and extraordinary speed earned Kearse his nickname (what is it?).
William Perry got his nickname for one reason ... his size. Perry primarily played defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears and was listed at 6'2" and 335 lbs. Perry won a Super Bowl with the '85 Bears and as a testament to his size, Perry required a size--25 ring (what was his nickname?).
Deion Sanders began and ended his 14-year NFL career as a cornerback. However, due to his versatility, Sanders started at wide receiver for five games during the 1996 season. Sanders was both controversial and electrifying ... willing to do what it took to captivate fans and remain in the spotlight. Whether that meant high-stepping into the end zone for a touchdown or flashing smiles to the media, Sanders embodied his nickname (what was it?).
Adrian Peterson has a signature upright running style that is rare when combined with his power and agility. Peterson burst onto the NFL scene in 2007, racking up over 1,300 yards in his rookie season, earning him this moniker.
Walter Payton is widely considered one of the greatest NFL running backs of all time. His 16,726 career rushing yards are second most in NFL history. His durability was unquestioned - Payton only missed one NFL game in his 13 seasons. While his nickname could accurately describe his amazing stats, it does not describe Payton's on-field demeanor. Never one to shy away from contact, Payton wasn't afraid to take a hit or dish one out (what was his nickname?).
Jerome Bettis was widely considered one of the NFL's best running backs before his retirement in 2006. His footwork allowed for remarkable agility for a running back his size. It was his power, however, that paved the way for his nickname. It was an accurate descriptor of Bettis' ability to run over opponents (what was his nickname?).
Terry Bradshaw played for the Pittsburgh Steelers during their dominant run in the 1970s. Bradshaw had a knack for stepping up when it mattered most. Three of his best passing performances came in Super Bowls. His blond locks and powerful arm combined to give him his nickname (what was it?).
Joe Montana put together a Hall of Fame career in his 16 years in the NFL. Montana won all four Super Bowls he played in and was elected to the Pro Bowl eight times, but his specialty was comeback wins. Montana engineered 31 come-from-behind fourth- quarter wins over the course of his career. Montana's knack for remaining calm under pressure inspired his nickname (what was it?).
O.J. Simpson became the first running back in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in 1973 while he played for the Buffalo Bills. Simpson was elected to the football Hall of Fame in 1985, but his nickname is derived from his unique initials (what was his nickname?).
Matt Ryan has been the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons since they drafted him in 2008. Ryan's nickname started before his professional football career. In his senior year at Boston College, Ryan launched a website and the nickname stuck (what is it?).
Calvin Johnson is a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. Johnson possesses a number of physical skills, the combination of which give him the ability to switch up on defenders like an Autobot - hence the nickname (what is it?).
Brett Favre's NFL journey is well documented so his nickname should come as no surprise. Favre has never been afraid to let the ball fly and demonstrate his passion for the game. Favre's aggressiveness and determination gave him the persona of a Wild West cowboy (what was his nickname?).
Dante Hall spent the majority of his NFL career as a punt-return specialist. Hall spent nine seasons lighting up the special teams units for the Kansas City Chiefs and later the St. Louis Rams. Hall possessed notable speed and agility. It was this unique maneuverability that led to his nickname (what was it?).
After playing his collegiate football at the University of Kentucky, Lorenzen was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent. Lorenzen shared in the Giants' Super Bowl as a backup quarterback but is widely remembered for his meaty frame and left-handed throwing motion (what was his nickname?).
The Pittsburgh Steelers use Polamalu in a number of defensive plays at multiple defensive positions, though he most often fills the safety position. He is known for his strength, speed and ferocity. Polamalu is always around the ball and flying all over the field demonstrating incredible endurance (what is his nickname?).