This “the cougar” business has to stop

Grandy is not a cougar

Grandy is not a cougar

Curtis Granderson made a spectacular catch on Friday night, saving the game for Justin Verlander and the Tigers. There is an unfortunate by-product of this play though and that is the proliferation of a new moniker for Granderson. Unsatisfied with calling him by name, or even by Grandy, ESPN has taken it upon themselves to dub him “The Cougar.”

Look, I get the play on the initials with CuGr. Cute. In addition to it being especially contrived, it is the Demi-Moore-ization of our centerfielder that I take issue with.

Nicknames can come from a number of places. I have no problem if they emerge from the clubhouse and if teammates call Dane Sardhina “Pineapple” who am I to argue. If it is a simple shortening of a name, that is fine too. The Cougar is just dumb..

This concludes the inaugural meeting of B.A.N.A.L (Bloggers Against Nickname Abuse).

PS: And it looks like Big JP is on the same page.


  1. Tiff

    May 12, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Here, here. It’s bad. I like the simplicity of Grandy.

  2. Clanks

    May 12, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Haven’t the ESPN personalities been in a Chicago bar? C’mon, Grandy’s no cougar.

  3. jason

    May 12, 2009 at 8:17 am

    I don’t like it either, but I wonder what Granderson thinks about it.

  4. wyrmer

    May 12, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Thank you. How soon until someone makes signs and brings them to a game?

  5. Kyle J

    May 12, 2009 at 8:48 am

    We need a grassroots movement to coalesce around an alternative. Not sure “Grandy” does the trick, either.

  6. briggs45

    May 12, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Did anyone catch Peter Gammons on Baseball Tonight talking about the best trades from the winter?.

    Number 1 was the Joyce/E-Jax trade.

    I’m sure this has been discussed, but it bears repeating.
    Can you imagine where the Tigers would be with Miner, Robertson or Bonine in the rotation?

    Nicknames. E-Jax…cool. CuGr…lame.

  7. Grand Cards

    May 12, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Well said! I’ve posted my two bits to get the Detroit baseball card-collecting community behind you. Kill the Cougar, stick with Grandy.

  8. scotsw

    May 12, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I like “Grandy”… It suggests class, old-time baseball (and Curtis wears the high stockings), brilliance, and charm. It’s natural, it fits and it’s what his fans have been calling him for years. He is a grand player, and one I admire more than most. I predicted in mid-2007, before the 20-20-20-20, he was headed for the Hall of Fame, and I’ll stick to those guns.

    Rod’s taken to calling him “CJ,” which has the virtue of being a family nickname, but it doesn’t feel quite right for Curtis the ballplayer.

    This other nickname is foolishness. The ESPN Web video guy doesn’t have the chops to assign nicknames. We need to draft a petition to stop this baloney. Each of us must flat-out refuse to spread the meme; we must vow to squeeze the life out of the “CuGr” and oppose those who would feed it.

    My wife also calls him “my tiger” a la the “Who’s your Tiger” campaign. I had the honor of being at Comerica for his first game, where I believe he went 4-for-5, but she got dibs.

  9. Mark in Chicago

    May 12, 2009 at 10:00 am

    It’s things like this about ESPN that just generally annoy me.

    BTW, do they really call Dane Sardhina “pineapple”? I haven’t heard that, it’s pretty funny.

  10. Chris in Dallas

    May 12, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I couldn’t agree more billfer. I’ve been known to throw around a nickname or two on this blog (for example, I believe I was the one who began calling Farnsworth “F*** Face”), so I’m going to suggest we stick with simplicity here. Grandy it is. Or Curtis Granderson, God Among Men. Whichever.

    Also, I urge all of you to join the grassroots effort to get Lastings Milledge voted onto the All Star team. I don’t care about the Nats or Milledge, but I think it’s an entirely funny form of protest from Nats fans. I’m all for it.

  11. rings

    May 12, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Great post, Bilfer…which is, ironically, short for “BIL-l FER-ris”…LOL!

  12. Anson

    May 12, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Another atrocity committed by ESPN. They really dislike the city of Detroit:

    and now we have to deal with Grandy having a ridiculous nickname.

  13. Anaaki

    May 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Ugh. I hate word “cougar”

    And don’t they think it’s also too similar to “The big puma” and “the little puma”? I think that’s enough puma/cougar/mountain lion references. Not everyone can be one.

    And what happened to “Grandy” or “grand stand” or as my b/f says in his Matrix voice “Mr. Grandersonnnn”

  14. joey c.

    May 12, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Haha! Billfer, this is as demonstrably annoyed as I’ve seen you at something not occurring on the field. So curmudgeonly–which is a compliment in my book.

    I agree, it’s a stupid nickname and to think it might stick is pretty terrible. ESPN anchors were never my favorite people in the world, but good lord have they gotten bad. They clearly all graduate from the same broadcasting school, because they all sound the same–same stupid nicknames, catchphrases, pauses, intonation. Why doesn’t the network just program robots. It would lower costs and I seriously don’t think the product would suffer.

  15. BH

    May 12, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    How about Grand Daddy? Cecil Fielder was Big Daddy, and nothing against Cecil, but I think we’d all agree that Curtis is a much more complete, and GRAND, player.

  16. jason

    May 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Quote from briggs45- “Did anyone catch Peter Gammons on Baseball Tonight talking about the best trades from the winter?.

    Number 1 was the Joyce/E-Jax trade. ”

    Did you also notice the news that Maybin was optioned to the Minors? Granted, he has a long career ahead of him, but I like keeping up on our former players.

  17. Chris in Dallas

    May 12, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I believe the final straw for Maybin was some epic numbskullery on the basepaths over the weekend. That and the .202 batting average.

  18. Rich in Mt P

    May 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    i kind of like “C-Grand” for curtis.

  19. Kurt

    May 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I didn’t catch Gammons talking about that, but I did catch him slip and say “Edgar Renteria of the Detroit Tigers” when referring to the worst shortstops.

  20. Chris in Dallas

    May 12, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Gammo was fawning over the Tigers power pitching arsenal in his most recent blog. He seemed to be enamored with the radar gun readings on Perry, Verlander, Zumaya, Jackson and Rodney. Now that I think about it, those are probably the 5 hardest throwers on any staff right now. I guess it’s true that the Tigers target that type of pitcher…

  21. Coleman

    May 12, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Hmm, how about Grand-Air?
    -It’s a shortened version of his last name
    – It refers to fence-climbing heroics
    – It mildly evokes thoughts of Jordan, which is both flattering and a nod to Curtis’ home town
    – It had a wee touch of corporate shill-ness (see above), which will REALLY make ESPN wish they had thought of it.

  22. JAY RC

    May 13, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Almost as weird as Rod saying….
    “Here comes Rick Knapp to give Jackson a Blow.” “Edwin sure looks relaxed after that blow from Rick.” had a cool article on Tiger nicknames
    Not so Great Dane