Go Ask Daddy About Stefani’s Stage Name, All-Star City Fame and Ballers Who Elevate Their Game

photo credit: #67/366 At The Surgeon's via photopin (license)
photo credit: #67/366 At The Surgeon’s via photopin (license)

The favorite nickname I ever had, I gave myself.

GAD GRAPHICThis isn’t how it’s supposed to work. You’re supposed to earn your nickname, or at least fall into it. Stuff like 3D Waffle, Chocolate Thunder or Onion King. Sports guys have them, like Chi Chi Rodriguez, Nails (Lenny Dykstra) and Rich Garces, also known as El Guapo.

Me? In junior high, I called myself Daddy Cool.

I wasn’t even a daddy. And I probably wasn’t very cool. Although, I had a lot of hair. And wore cowboy boots to school. And had a mustache. Yeah, definitely wasn’t very cool. In fact, I’m much cooler now, with less hair, and without a mustache. Now, I’m Daddy Cool.

That’s not as cool as Wayne “Tree” Rollins, Robert “Tractor” Traylor or Harold “Pee Wee” Reese. Dennis Rodman was the Worm, Bryant Reeves was Big Country and Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was smooth.

I’m no Golden Jet (Bobby Hull) or Round Mound of Rebound (Charles Barkley).

There are nicknames, and then there are stage names … and that’s what the girls were asking about this week. Not my stage name, though. Read on.

1. What’s Lady Gaga’s real name?

Lady Gaga (6891777040)

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

That’s what Lady Gaga was born as in Yonkers, N.Y., on March 28, 1986. This coincides with my Daddy Cool era. Stefani’s agent said he coined her nickname from a Queen song, “Radio Gaga,” when the predictive text correction on his smartphone changed that to “Lady Gaga.” Stefani loved it.

Another story says the Lady Gaga name was decided upon during a marketing meeting.

If you’ve ever seen websites devoted to what comes up when autocorrect comes into play, it’s no wonder Stephani J.A. Germanotta wasn’t called something much, much worse.

2. What is a star?

photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor via photopin cc
photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor via photopin cc

I don’t know, but if you have a stage name, you’re halfway there.

It’s a clump of helium and hydrogen, which makes up 98 percent of the universe. (The other 2 percent is Lady Gaga’s hair). If you have enough mass to maintain nuclear fusion at your core, bam, you’re a star.

Of course, you need a supernova or galaxy collision to get the ball rolling.

Being a mass of gas isn’t enough, unless you’re the Round Mound of Rebound.

1937 Major League Baseball All-Star sluggers

3. How do they pick all-star cities?

Based on nicknames, Albertville, Ala. (Fire Hydrant Capital of the World), Homer, Alaska (Halibut Capital of the World) or Pearsonville, Calif. (Hubcap Capital of the World) would be on permanent rotation.

In baseball, a committee selects the host city, so it helps if you have a new stadium.

It won’t hurt, either, if you’re known as The City Too Busy to Hate (Atlanta), Charm City (Baltimore) or Food City (Bristol, Tenn.) Oh wait, that’s just me, that last one.

4. What are calories?

photo credit: Let Ideas Compete via photopin cc
photo credit: Let Ideas Compete via photopin cc

Calories are what Bristol, Tenn., was built on.

A calorie is a unit of energy, both consumed and burned. There’s 195 calories in an average donut, and it takes 37 minutes of cha-cha and the Macarena to burn off that many calories. That just doesn’t seem right. It would also take 18 hours of gum-chewing to burn 200 calories.

Which is worse if your nickname is, say, the Leaning Tower of Pizza, like Charles Barkley.

5. How do basketball players jump that high?


We should ask Jumping Joe Caldwell or Darrell “Doctor Dunkenstein” Griffith.

Or maybe Air Jordan.

Full-back squatting is said to do the trick, but wearing special shoes like these or finding a pair of mysterious Air Jordans like the kid in Like Mike did seems like a faster track to jumposity, without all the strain and sweat.

Your dad dunked once – a monster two-handed throw-down in the church parking lot.

On a 6-foot rim.

Maybe that was the first sighting of Daddy Cool. Or Air Eli.

Probably there’s a better chance of the Buffet Bomber, Brown and Close to the Ground or Sir Blogsalot emerging from the shadows, though.

Not even the Fool of Food City can top that.

jump quote


  1. laurie27wsmith says:

    Coach Daddy Cool, has a ring to it indeed. I love your cowboy boots though Eli, I used to wear them back in the day and yes I did have horses. I don’t know if it made me any cooler though, the moustache did. It’s 46 years old this year, no I’m not throwing a party for it, it can feast on the bits of food that are stuck in there already. Another great post, those girls are getting smarter with their questions.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I kind of like it, but to change the entire blog now …

      And I lived in a town without many horses, brother. You needed little help to acquire cool points, Laurie. You probably *made* the mustache cool.

      I think these girls are beginning to challenge me a bit.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        A one horse town no less? A look has to be cool, it’s when everybody else follows it then it becomes a passé. Although when it comes to moustaches, then it’s different.
        Your girls are going to have you tearing your hair out before very long.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        It was a town with one horse and a few donkeys – one less when I moved away. I wore sunglasses and had lots of hair back then, mate. Isn’t that always a good look?

        It didn’t drive any girls wild, though. Not a single one. Not even one with low self-esteem.

        So far so good on my girls not causing me pattern baldness. They have good sense and good friends, and that’s 66.6 percent of it.

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Love it, Eli. Sunglasses and tons of hair, how can it possibly go wrong? Mate that’s so sad, not even one with low self esteem? It’s probably just as well you moved.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        Such a bad record is enough to give a bloke low self-esteem!

      5. laurie27wsmith says:

        Ha, ha.

  2. My tween & teen nicknames were earned by my propensity for waterworks. My swim coach dubbed me ‘Johnson & Johnson,’ as in ‘No More Tears.’ High school boys were a little harsher with ‘Niagra Falls.’ It’s cool though. Because now I’m one tough mama who knows it’s ok to cry but can still kick a$s!

    It’s a good thing I’m not native to the Tri-Cities, or your diss of Bristol would be considered fighting words. Instead, I just think it’s hilarious!

    And you should try running to burn off your next Krispy Kreme. Which is one of the best post-race noshes ever! Yum!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      How can you tell if a swimmer is crying? I bet even Summer Sanders got weepy sometimes, and if she can … and there are far worse natural wonders and American tourist destinations to be named after, but that’s another blog.

      It’s definitely OK to cry. I did once.

      I don’t consider Food City a dis, in the least. Are you kidding? A city know for food? I’d relocate.

      Maybe they should put a Krispy Kreme a reasonable distance away from me, and I’ll run first. I heard there’s a race in which you run 2 miles, eat a dozen Krispy Kremes, then run another 2 miles.

      Maybe that should be your next race destination.

  3. Ok, so I live outside of Atlanta, and right now, I am hatin’ on the Braves. They have the audacity to move from downtown Atlanta to a traffic infested spot outside of Atl. Wait, are those Krispy Kreme donuts? Not sure if they have those in other cities. Man, they are so good!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Turner Field is still new! I just read that story last night, and it’s amazing, especially because they’re also replacing the Georgia Dome.

      Krispy Kremes are worth their density in gold. I’d rather have Krispy Kreme than Google Fiber.

      1. Yes, it is still new. I remember riding past it, bringing my now 17 year old son home from the hospital. The whole GA dome thing is insane as well.
        Mmmm, Krispy Kreme!

  4. Kim says:

    Great transitions today – I like seeing how you are going to link everything together!!
    And cowboy boots make everyone cool!!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Some weeks, transitions are easier than others.

      I think I’d hurt myself in cowboy boots today.

  5. tamaralikecamera says:

    Wait, we need a photo of you as Daddy Cool. I feel robbed! And Radio Gaga? I had no idea. I know the song well. More than I know a thing about Lady Gaga, actually. That is, until I read this post.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      If they had Mexican kids in “The Outsiders,” that would have been me. Stefani – um, Gaga – isn’t on my radar with Ke$ha, Cher Lloyd and Lindsey Sterling, though.

  6. Rorybore says:

    I wore cowboy boots – but I actually had a horse and spent much time on a farm, so I get a pass on that one.
    My nickname however was “Taz”. which had nothing to do with boots, or horses….unless you mean how fast they run. Told ya I was wicked blur fast. 🙂
    I was too short to dunk though.
    We always want what we can’t have/do, right?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They do cowboy boots in Canada?

      Taz was fast, but all over the place – are you sure you didn’t get that nickname for the noises you make when you run?

      If you’re too short to dunk, you must lower the rim. You know, like in life – if you fail, lower your standards.

      Kidding! But there’s no way I could come close to touching the net on a regulation hoop. I’m as lousy as the Raptors, Rory. Lousy.

  7. Dana says:

    I saw “We Will Rock You” last month (the musical based on Queen’s music), and when they sang Radio Gaga I thought it was a coincidence that Lady Gaga has that name. As always, you have enlightened me, Daddy Cool. Sorry, I can’t even type that without laughing.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      There’s a spoof character of Lady Gaga on “A.N.T. Farm” called Madame Googoo, and did you see the SNL skit last night of Lady Gaga in the retirement home? Classic.

      I’m here to enlighten, delight, encourage, and hopefully not lead anyone astray.

      I know, I know, Daddy Cool. Glad I went with Coach Daddy instead, because that’s so much better, right?

  8. Love Gaga! Hey Eli, I have an award for you–stop by my site and grab it. Congrats!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you Marcia! Checking it out today.

      Glad it’s not a shirt made out of meat.

  9. Did anyone else call you Daddy Cool? And, you had a mustache in junior high? Wow… 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Once in a while, but I was thinking, too, does it count if you make up your own nickname? Although with a mustache in eighth grade, I could have been given any number of nicknames – you should have seen my hair.

  10. You need to post a picture! Haha. My oldest right now is in the middle of “no-shave November” (seriously what is that all about – I guess this is what happens at all boys schools) and his mustache fuzz is driving me crazy. I don’t think I was ever cool…not back then and my kids certainly don’t think I am now. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I did no-shave November last year … we do it to promote awareness of men’s health issues. (It’s our answer to y’all’s pink). The mustache wasn’t a staple back then – it was just a way we Hispanic kids showed the white kids we had something up on them!

  11. jannatwrites says:

    Daddy Cool..haha…that seems funny for junior high, but perfect for well, a dad! I never really had a nickname at school (unless nerd counts :))

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I was definitely before my time, Janna. Nerd doesn’t count, because it’s sometimes accompanied by things like noogies, wedgies and whirlies. Anything that prompts toilet flushes, knuckles to the head or physics-defying underwear action automatically cancel it out!

  12. Tricia says:

    Awesome segues this week! Love the daddy cool nickname. I always wanted a nickname too, never had one. In high school some of my friends, probably knowing my secret wish for a nickname, tried to make a few work. Never caught on.

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