The Nickname Game: Reserved For Greatness


Published: April 7, 2009


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Owen Fraser leads a promising crop of rising sophomore linemen (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)

The Steel Curtain.


Purple People Eaters.

Orange Crush.

The Fearsome Foursome.

The New York Sack Exchange.

Those are the most memorable nicknames of the greatest defenses, defensive front fours actually, in NFL history.

You have to be really, really great to earn nickname status. You need guys like "Mean" Joe Green. Bob Lilly, Carl Eller, Lyle Alzado, Deacon Jones, and Joe Klecko.

You need to cast fear into the stomachs of opposing quarterbacks, frustration in the minds of running backs, and excitement in the hearts of the hometown fans.

Ladies and gentlemen, with some of the best returning defe...

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