John Brown’s nickname is Smokey. It’s more than a nickname for him, really. All his family and friends call him that, a nickname bestowed upon him at birth by the boyfriend of his grandmother. It’s origin story is one of a kind.
“He nicknamed me Smokey because when I first came out, I was blacker than what I am now,” Brown said, referring to his skin color. “Most people are like, ‘Why they call you Smokey? Because you are fast?’ But no.”
You have to admit, it was fun to think Brown had gotten the nickname from the dust he left defenders in when he blew past him with his speed. But as fast as Brown runs, he wasn’t doing it as an infant, and having a nickname that long actually helps the quest to get people to use it. Brown said he’d actually like everyone to refer to him as Smokey rather than J.B. Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians call Brown “Smoke” or “Smokey” when talking about him in interviews, and Brown said almost everyone in the locker room as followed suit. When there is another receiver named Jaron Brown and a linebacker named Jonathan Brown, Smokey makes a lot of sense.
“There’s like a thousand J.B.s in here,” Brown said with a smile.
As the Smokey nickname leaks out little by little, it’s even made its way back to Pittsburg State University, where he said most everyone still called him John Brown but has a community now heating up to Smokey, using it in hashtags and the like in social media. “I like that better,” Brown said.
Brown went back to Pittsburg State on the bye weekend, as a matter of fact. He attended a football game against Fort Hays State — Fort Hays posted a 7-6 upset — and was king of the campus as fans flocked to see the emerging Cardinals star (like in the picture taken below, posted on Twitter by @MHarrison76).
“It was fun,” Brown said. “They were good to me all the years I was there, so I was happy to go back there and show my face. It’s a good feeling. Everyone was happy to see me.”
But wait — it gets better. Brown said Pittsburg State had to assign a bodyguard to make sure the fans didn’t swarm him. The best part? Brown said the school told him they were thinking about building a statue of him. No word yet on whether it’ll just say John Brown on the base or Smokey, but a statue is a big deal.
“It’s real crazy,” Brow …, er, Smokey said.
Tags: John Brown
Posted in Blog | 19 Comments »