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Nicknames can define a sports figure

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

I was treated to a good slice of “Humble Pie” this weekend.
Everyone from Mountain City has heard about Clyde Shoun. He’s been written about several times in “The Tomahawk” being referred to as “Hardrock.”
I’m not sure how he got that name although I did learn he was one of nine children and worked on his father’s farm. Farming is “hard” work so maybe that’s how it came about. Or because he could throw a baseball through a brickyard.
“I’m not sure.”
But this story is not about “Hardrock” Shoun the major league baseball player from Mountain City, Tennessee. It’s about a man whose nickname clearly defined him.
I was approached by a friend on Saturday at the Carter County Hall of Fame Banquet applauding me for my work at The Tomahawk. He went on to say, “You are up there in “Clyde Shoun’s County.”
The name rang a bell but something was missing. I sat there racking my brain thinking of what to say, how to reply.
I should have taken a bathroom break.
“I’m sure that Mr. Shoun is a good man,” I replied. “But I’ve not seen him at any of the games.”
His puzzled look only made me dig myself deeper in the hole.
“I’ve only been the sports editor since September so I don’t know everyone up there by name but I know faces. Maybe I’ll see him at the football games this fall.”
The man almost choked on a piece of pork and spit his coke out halfway across the table.
“I doubt it,” he said with a loud laugh. “Hardrock” passed away in 1968.”
All I could think of at that point was the “Dragnet Tune” from the hit show in the 60’s. And some words that I added to the tune.
“Dumb, da, dumb dumb. Dumb, da, dumb dumb, da.”

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