(ISN) – VANCOUVER, BC – Nicknames and professional sports go hand in hand. Why call someone by their full name when you can shorten it by a syllable or two?
That’s usually all there is to it.
Steven Beitashour, for example, goes by “Beita.” Nicolas Mezquida goes by “Nico.” And you’ve likely heard us refer to Carl Robinson as “Robbo.”
You get the point.
But there are a few nicknames on Vancouver Whitecaps FC that are a little more creative – and no we’re not talking about Kendall Waston’s new moniker, “Big Man,” or “E-Money” for Erik Hurtado.
We’re talking about Kekuta Manneh – the man they call “Scooter.”
I thought I’d do some investigating to figure out how that nickname was born. Hard-hitting stuff, I know. Turns out Darren Mattocks came up with it a few years back.
“We were calling people nicknames and I said, ‘I’ve never had a nickname,'” Manneh told whitecapsfc.com. “People give them to me but they don’t stick. Darren said, ‘OK, we’ll call you scooter.’ And I didn’t like it. So everybody started calling me it because I didn’t like it.”
“He was always buzzing around so I thought the perfect name for him was scooter,” Mattocks told whitecapsfc.com. “It just fits his personality.”
It also fits the way he plays.
“If you look at him out there, he looks like a little scooter,” said Jordan Harvey, who didn’t actually know who came up with the nickname. “He’s buzzing around. That’s how he plays.”
Manneh says the nickname has grown on him, which is good news because to say it stuck would be a massive understatement.
“Everyone on the team calls me it, including the coaches,” he said. “Even people I meet on the street call me scooter and I’m like, what? I like it though. It’s cool.”
Manneh isn’t the only ‘Caps player with a creative nickname. Everyone on the team has been calling Andre Lewis “The General.”
So what’s the story behind that one?
“I think it was last year at some point, he said it was the general of Jamaica and that he overlooked all the people from Jamaica like Darren,” Harvey told whitecapsfc.com. “So I started calling him ‘general’ and kept saying it and kept saying it.”
“Self-proclaimed general,” Manneh joked. “That’s sticking too.”