Buccaneers running back Doug Martin is having a great rookie season. Now he wishes he could get a great nickname.
Instead, Martin is saddled with “Muscle Hamster,” the ridiculous nickname that some of his offensive linemen at Boise State gave him. Martin said on NFL AM that the nickname was given to him affectionately by teammates who were impressed by how much he could lift, considering his small stature. But he said he wishes they had come up with something better.
“It has to be the worst nickname ever,” Martin said. “I can’t shake it. It started in college, started back in Boise, with our linemen. I have a lot of bigger friends, and they’d call me the Muscle Hamster because of how much I could lift in the weight room.”
The 5-foot-9, 215-pound Martin bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times at this year’s Scouting Combine, tied for the best mark among all the running backs. So Muscle Hamster may be fitting.
And while Muscle Hamster doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as some of the great running back nicknames of the past, like the Galloping Ghost Red Grange, or the Nigerian Nightmare Christian Okoye, Muscle Hamster is catchy enough that Martin is probably right that he can’t shake it. The Muscle Hamster nickname is here to stay, and while it might sound ridiculous at first, if Martin keeps playing like he has so far in his rookie season, it won’t be long before kids across America are imitating Martin when they play backyard football, and insisting on being called Muscle Hamster.