An Open Letter to Mario Chalmers

Dear Mario,

I hope no one ever calls you that again. Not the "dear" part, that's fine. The Mario part. Basically, I believe it's high time you officially changed your name to exactly what pretty much everyone desperately wants to call you, or does call you already: Super Nintendo.

I think it's more than fair to say I'm speaking for everyone familiar with the rare comic genius that is Ralph Wiggum of Simpsons fame -- who one day saw a Superintendent with your last name walk through his classroom door, was his normal, highly intelligent self, and coined the name you should've had for years by now: Super Nintendo Chalmers.

It's almost too perfect. It's likely no coincidence that Mario's a character in a handful of Super Nintendo games. But he's still just a character. Who really wants to be a lone, fat, admittedly beloved plumber, when you can be an entire video game system that could play such sports classics as Brett Hull Hockey, Mega Man Soccer, and Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball. (Seriously, YouTube that last one, it's worth it. Laimbeer fired all the refs in favor of robots and the fans routinely hurl weapons onto the court). It's almost as if "Mario" had you preparing for this your whole life. You're ready for the moving-up ceremony.

You'd be following in a long, distinguished history of athlete name changes. Babe Ruth was George Herman until he needed to feel more like a sexy woman. James Thomas Nichols morphed into Cool Papa Bell, because no one 100 years later would ever believe that James Thomas Nichols scored from second on a sac fly. Walter Smith, Jr. became Sugar Ray Robinson so I could lie to people and say he's my great-uncle.

Oh, but there are more. Angels starter Ervin Santana forever abandoned Johan Santana, because he didn't want to be thought of as the one that sucked. Golfer J.B. Holmes made the move from John Holmes, because he didn't want to be thought of as recently sucked. A certain Bucs defensive end ditched Gregory Alphonso to forever become Stylez G. White, quite intentionally homaging/flavorfully misspelling Michael J. Fox's wisecracking, van-surfing buddy from seminal 80s kinda-sports-film Teen Wolf. Twins hurler John Paul Bonser switched to Boof, presumably to try and bang Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf.

Ochocinco? A mistranslated number with overrated hands and a show nobody watches, except me, for a whole season. He Hate Me? He couldn't hate this idea. J.R. Sakuragi? You likely don't even know who he is, because he changed his name from his UCLA-days J.R. Henderson before getting naturalized as a Japanese citizen so he could be the country's best player ever by far, which is actually pretty cool, but not nearly as cool as Super Nintendo. It is worth noting that J.R. Sakuragi will absolutely call you "Super Famicon."

And don't forget that you're on the Evil Heat, so 100 percent of hoops fans who don't own white linen pants automatically hate you. With a name like Super Nintendo, that all changes: the only potential haters would be Luddites who'd have a tough time catching the news of your name change anyway, plus anyone whose parents bought them a Turbo Grafx-16 instead. Although Bonk was pretty solid.

I think after reading this letter you'll agree you've basically got to do this. You've still got time before the Finals are over. Please let me know how it all goes.


Ben "I Actually Was More of a Genesis Guy, But That's Really Beside The Point" Robinson