Originally written on The Duck Stops Here  |  Last updated 11/17/12
It's interesting that the Ducks two stars, Kenjon Barner and Marcus Mariota, both defy nicknaming. I'll never forget the Cal game last year. Barner breaks off a 68-yard touchdown run and Rece Davis, doing the call on ESPN, exclaimed, "He doesn't need a nickname, he's just GONE. Gone, Kenjon Barner." For Mariota, "The Flyin' Hawaiian" seems stagey and faintly racist, like it was cooked up by a Hollywood press agent or a wrestling promoter. "Super Mario" doesn't fit either--you can't picture the smooth, composed Mariota in a bushy mustache and blue overalls with an 8 on the front, although it would make a good Heisman promotion poster.  "8MM" seems too violent, more like the handle of a gansta rapper rather than a polite, mature kid from a good family who also happens to be a superb athlete. Down in Texas they have Johnny Football, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M. Duck fans may remember that Manziel was originally an Oregon verbal commit, one who backed out when the Ducks landed Ma...
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