I’ve seen it mentioned that V.L. “Stubby” Currence provided the nicknames for at least two Southwest Virginia High School sports teams.
Graham High School, Bluefield VA – nicknamed the G-Men
While the Town of Graham was renamed Bluefield in a ceremony with its “sister-city” Bluefield, West Virginia, the school retained its name and adopted the moniker of “Graham Men” or “G-Men.” The origin of the moniker dates back to ca. 1936 and Bluefield Daily Telegraph reporter Stubby Currence. He often said in reference to the football team, “just as the FBI ‘G’overnment Men always get their man,” so do the “Graham Men” or “G-Men” get their man. Athletes were also referred to as “G-Men” when they received a letter in sports.
– Graham High School website
Richlands High School, Richlands, VA – nicknamed the Blue Tornado
The story I’ve always heard about Richlands is that the nickname originated with Stubby Currence in his description of a game played back in the 1930s or thereabouts. RHS wore blue jerseys and in this particular game generated a lot of offense. In his description of it for the Daily Telegraph, Currence supposedly described the Richlands team as moving down the field like a “blue tornado.” – By RichlandsAlum on How our schools got their nicknames, SWVASports.com Forums
I haven’t be able to personally verify if these stories are true. But was a cool legacy, if so. I’ll post if there are more teams Stubby may have helped name.
Comment how your favorite high school sports team got its name. I’d love to hear them.
So good ole Stubby Currence was mentioned in the New York Times a little while back in an opinion piece by Erin McKean titled “The Wise Words of Maya Angelou. Or Someone, Anyway.”
The author, the chief executive and founder of the online dictionary Wordnik.com, was writing about a new Maya Angelou postage stamp which attributes this quote to Angelou:
A bird doesn’t sing because he has an answer, it sings because he has a song.
But it was in fact written by children’s book writer Joan Walsh Anglund.
McKean goes to to use Stubby as another example of possible misattribution for the master Mark Twain:
A favorite Twainism-that-isn’t is “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work,” which might be the work of a 1930s newspaper columnist named Stubby Currence, but is more likely a variation of an older, anonymous joke.
Quite the mystery! I guess only Stubby would know for sure. And keeping company with the New York Times, Mark Twain and Maya Angelou sounds about right for Stubby.
Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day. I’m missing The Dad a lot today, but he’s always in my heart.
I wanted to let you know I’ve started to curate more Stubby information on Pinterest. The pins include news articles and full columns of Stubby’s writings as they existed in print.