Chris Wilson = Boobie
The first time I spoke with Redskins defensive end Chris Wilson, he was getting ready to demonstrate his dance steps to some kids at a charity event.
"Boobie's gonna be the best dancer here," he promised me. "If you don't know who Boobie is, that's me. That's like the alter-ego. You've got to do things a certain way in life. So everything that Chris Wilson can't do, Boobie likes to do. Chris Wilson can dance a little bit, but I think Boobie's gonna be the best dancer, if Boobie shows up tonight."
This seemed promising, a rookie player referring to his alter ego in the third person. Wilson, you'll recall, is the undrafted rookie from Northwood University, the kid who wasn't technically supposed to be on an NFL roster, much less recording his first career sack against Brett Favre. The sports world already has its Boobie--Cavs point guard Daniel Gibson, who got the nickname from his mother--but there's always room for a pair of....well, you know. So a few days later, I tried asking around the Skins locker room, to learn more about this alter-ego thing.
"I don't know nothing about that," Carlos Rogers said.
"'Boobie?'" asked Mike Sellers, one of Wilson's neighbors in the locker room. "Really? I don't know if I could call myself 'Boobie.' "
"I think that's a D-Line thing, they ain't let me in on that one yet," Marcus Washington added.
So I asked some defensive linemen, and they were inordinately closed-mouthed about the whole Boobie thing.
"Ask those two guys, they can talk about him," Wilson told me, pointing to Demetric Evans and Anthony Montgomery, "him" being Wilson's alter-ego.
"I don't really get it man, they won't let me in on it either," Evans said. "I dont know man, ask him," he said, nodding at Montgomery.
"Kedric [Golston] is the man that started calling him Boobie," Montgomery said.
Golston told me that the name derived from Boobie Miles, the star of "Friday Night Lights," but he didn't want to discuss it more until I agreed to watch the movie; "it'll tell you everything you need to know," Golston promised. Ryan Boschetti tried to explain more, but couldn't find the words.
"Boobie is his alter-ego, and, you know, sometimes 'Boobie' just comes out of him," Boschetti said. "I can't tell you about Boobie. It just happens sometimes....I wish I could help you more, man, I just can't help you."
And you thought it was tough trying to figure out who's actually calling the plays over there.
Phillip Daniels took some amount of pity on me and tried to explain: that Boobie Miles was the supremely overconfident star of Permian High, that in the movie he memorably said "Y'all wanna win? Put Boobie in," and that Wilson is "the type of guy that thinks he knows everything and can do everything, so I guess they gave him that name....He accepted it, too. He accepts his name, he's cool with it. I don't know if you'd want that name, but he's cool with it."
For fact-checking purposes, I made one last attempt with Wilson, who compared his situation to that of Jean/Dark Phoenix in the X-Men, then laughingly peeled back the onion on Boobie. As a new guy, Wilson said, didn't necessarily know "everything I'm getting into," but was nevertheless rabidly enthusiastic to play. This enthusiasm was rendered via various Boobie Miles-flavored quotes: "Boobie can do everything," "Just let him spin, coach," and so on. Wilson emphasized that this was all in good fun, and that he didn't want anyone to think he was rabble-rousing for more playing time.
"It wasn't me, it was Boobie, I didn't have no control over it," Wilson told me as D-linemen listened. "Boobie came up with some analogy that, in some kind of way, when Boobie's in the game, good things is happening. Whether Boobie makes the plays or not, great things happen. It's like a common denominator thing."
I guess I still looked confused. "You've got to watch the movie," he said.
Just then Sellers appeared. "Boobie?" he asked Wilson to the delight of the other linemen. "BOOBIE? What kind of nickname is that."
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