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Birthday Of Dennis the Menace Recalls Similar Rhyming Nicknames In Sports

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Earl Monroe Excelled For Two NBA Teams in the 60s and 70s

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“Hello, Mr. Wilson!”

That signature phrase rankled the elderly neighbor of Jay North's character, Dennis the Menace. North yesterday celebrated his seventieth birthday, meaning he has now outlived his “old” neighbor from early television.

The actor who portrayed Mr. Wilson, Joseph Kearns, died just after his 57th birthday. Dennis the Menace had just begun shooting its third season, so Gale Gordon was brought in to replace Kearns as the curmudgeonly next door neighbor.

North's portrayal was undoubtedly a large reason for the show's popularity, what with his innocent face and his boyish antics. Helping to cementing its place in American pop culture, however, was its simple but catchy title.

Calling the title character a “menace” was certainly an exaggeration, but the rhyme made it an unforgettable show. Similar rhymes have helped propel the names of sports stars, such as the ten below.

1. Earl the Pearl

Flashy guard Earl Monroe was so talented that two teams, the Washington Bullets and the New York Knicks, have retired his number.

2. Stan the Man

That the first two letters of his name are the nineteenth and twentieth of the alphabet might have been ordained, for the team with which the Hall of Famer will forever be associated with is the St. Louis Cardinals.

3. Roger the Dodger

After attending the military academy, Staubach guided the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowls during a storied career as a quarterback.

4. Will the Thrill

He elated fans of the San Francisco Giants as an All-Star first baseman, who led the Candlestick Park troop to several postseason appearances.

5. Nate the Skate

Also nicknamed Tiny bacause of his small stature, it was Archibald's smooth footwork on the floor of Boston Garden that earned the All-Star guard this alternate moniker.

6. Lou the Shoe Lou Groza

Sometimes he was called “the Toe” because of his kicking ability, but most folks preferred the rhyme of the protector of the lower digit.

7. Tom the Bomb

Tom Glesby, a renown heavyweight boxer, won Bronze Medals for Canada in both the 1988 and 1992 Olympics

8. Tom the Bomb

Tom Collins, a British light heavyweight, held both the British title and the European title in 1980.

9. Frank the Tank

Kaminsky as the center just helped lead the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Championship finals, two seasons after starring for four years for the Charlotte Hornets.

10. Norm the Storm

His last name is Daily, but in the newspaper you would find him not in the sports section but on the entertainment page; he is a professional wrestler.


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