The 49ers were well-represented on the NFL Wire’s list of the top 101 nicknames in NFL history. While no current players made the cut, four former 49ers were on the list.
San Francisco’s four representatives on the list are Richard Sherman, OJ Simpson, Joe Montana and Frank Gore.
This is where each member of that group ranked on the list curated by Touchdown Wire’s Thomas Neumann:
No. 66, Richard Sherman
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Nickname: Optimus Prime Sherman spent the last three seasons with the 49ers and earned a Second-Team All-Pro nod in 2019 while helping San Francisco get to their seventh Super Bowl. Here's the Touchdown Wire on his Transformers-based nickname:
Richard Sherman acquired his transformative nickname when he changed his Twitter handle to Optimus Prime in preparation for a matchup against Calvin “Megatron” Johnson in 2012. For the uninitiated, Optimus Prime is Megatron’s rival in the “Transformers” franchise. The move even earned Sherman a phone call from actor Peter Cullen, the movie voice of Optimus Prime. If you’re wondering, Johnson was limited to three catches for 46 yards in the game.
No. 59, OJ Simpson
(AP file photo)
Nickname: The Juice Simpson spent the final two of his 11 NFL seasons with the 49ers. In those two years he posted 1,053 yards and four touchdowns on 281 carries in 23 games. Here's the Touchdown Wire on his nickname:
Long before Orenthal James Simpson became known for infamous reasons, he was perceived as a squeaky clean commercial superstar. If it isn’t obvious, the nickname “Juice” plays off the initials O.J.
No. 16, Joe Montana
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Nickname: Joe Cool There's not a lot that needs to be said about the four-time Super Bowl champion who holds the title of greatest quarterback in 49ers franchise history. Here's the Touchdown Wire on his nickname:
The persona of Joe Cool dates to at least 1971 in pop culture, with Snoopy from the comic strip Peanuts, but it came to be connected in a football sense with Joe Montana. That tends to happen when you quarterback your teams to a 4-0 record in Super Bowls with 28 game-winning drives and 26 fourth-quarter comebacks.
No. 3, Frank Gore
(Photo by Don Feria/Getty Images)
Nickname: The Inconvenient Truth Gore left the 49ers as the team's all-time leading rusher, and given the way the running back position is headed, he may stay there for a long time with San Francisco. The 2005 third-round pick rushed for 11,703 yards and 64 touchdowns across 10 seaasons. Here's the Touchdown Wire on his nickname:
At some point during his pro career, stalwart running back Frank Gore was tapped with the title of former Vice President Al Gore’s 2006 climate documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” It somehow seemed perfectly appropriate for the stout 5-foot-9, 212-pound human bowling ball out of the University of Miami.