Deadspin made its name by latching onto strange sports ephemera: a Buckeye-supporting masturbator, a lazy dinosaur, Ned. But for every gem this place copies from less-famous sports blogs, there are dozens more its editors are too lazy to steal.
In this, the first of a non-recurring series on Deadspin's worst omissions, I'll take a look at the sadly neglected Wisconsin-Milwaukee basketball player James Eayrs.
Eayrs first captured the imagination of the greater Milwaukee region in January, when he played a starring role in the Panthers' Horizon League showdown with Wisconsin Green-Bay. With 13 seconds to go, the 310-pound forward nailed a three to tie the game. This inspired ESPNU play-by-play man David Kaplan to shout the nickname he'd bestowed upon Eayrs earlier in the broadcast: "BIG LUMBER!!!" Considering that Eayrs looks like Gerry McNamara after he's just eaten Glen Davis, this was a brilliant coinage. But Big Lumber is more than just a man with a great nickname. He also has the best uniform in sports.
Let's flash back to Teen Wolf for a moment. (That didn't take you long, did it Bill Simmons?) The breakout star of that film was, of course, Chubby, the overweight hoopster played by Mark Holton—the same actor who portrayed Francis in Pee Wee's Big Adventure, the "Hey, it's Enrico Pallazzo!" guy in The Naked Gun, and "Older Stilwell" in A League of Their Own). Chubby wears a black-on-gold #55 jersey. James "Big Lumber" Eayrs wears … a black-on-gold #55 jersey.
A side-by-side comparison:
Eerie. Plus, you have to figure that Big Lumber would be at least that excited if he had a wolf on his team.
People of Deadspin, James Eayrs has another year of NCAA eligibility. There is still time to give Big Lumber his due. There is still time, even, to petition the Wisconsin-Milwaukee athletic department to change the school's nickname from Panthers to Beavers. Do it for Chubby.