“I think he started it himself, to be honest with you,” Chris Pontius said.
So I asked Davies. And he said that, on the contrary, he had always had Chuck-based nicknames. As a kid, he was “Chucky,” simply because of his first name. In high school, it became “Chuck D,” and then when everything in the world went the way of Yeezy and Weezy, he became “Chuck Deezy.” Some United teammates call him “Chuck Dizzle,” but Deezy is the industry standard, and is the basis for his online gaming tag, too.
“I’m not totally sure” who started it, he told me. “It just carries on.”
Here’s something else I definitely didn’t know: United defender Ethan White’s name is actually “Norris Ethan White.” And while he’s always gone by “Ethan,” teammates dig the “Norris” thing, which is why they call him “Chuck Norris” or just “Chuck.” Which gives United two people with the same nickname, and has led Davies to call White “CJ,” as in “Chuck Junior.”
Other good nicknames?
“Chris Pontius has a lot,” Dax McCarty told me. “We call him Princess, Pretty Pretty Princess. And I like to call him Bobblehead, just because he’s got a really big head for his body.”
As for McCarty, some teammates call him the Ginger Ninja, which is ok, but McCarty told me that the Spanish-language broadcasters in Dallas used to call him “La Flecha Roja,” which is way better. (“The Red Arrow,” it means.)
I also asked McCarty whether he’s ever called Ben Olsen “Coach,” although I guess that would be more honorific than nickname.
“No, I have not,” the captain said. “Is that bad? My first few years in the league, when I was a young teenager and scared of my coaches, I’d call them ‘Coach.’ But for the most part, I called him ‘Ben,’ and then when I got to know him better it’s just been ‘Benny.’ ”
So, does anyone actually call Olsen ‘Coach?’
“Some of the younger guys do,” the coach said. “That’s still kind of strange. It’s stranger when people call me that on the street. They say ‘Hey coach!’ and I’m like ‘Where? Where?’ ”
Then I asked Olsen whether he uses a certain popular nickname for his most famous striker.
“I don’t call him Chuck Deezy, no,” Olsen said. “Got to draw the line somewhere.”
(Photos of Charlie Davies and Dax McCarty by Tony Quinn. Many more photos here.)