Just Call Me "The Shark"- Shark Week

Written by Alexandra Arena

When you hear the word “shark,” a variety of adjectives may come to mind. Sharks are powerful, predatory, fascinating, and ferocious creatures. So when a person is dubbed with the nickname, “The Shark”, it’s likely because they embody some of these qualities. Cue the Jaws music…

Mark “The Shark” Shelton, Heavy Metal Guitarist of Manilla Road

Photo by Marco Manzi Photography, Holymetal.com.

Mark Shelton (born December 3, 1957) is the lead guitarist, vocalist, and founder of the Wichita heavy metal band, Manilla Road. Manilla Road was created in 1977 with high school friends Benny Munkirs, Rick Fisher, and brothers Robert and Scott Park.

Shelton spoke about his nickname, “The Shark”, in an interview with ThrashHead: “In 1983, I was working as producer for a heavy rock band called Stygian Shore. This was right after we had done our Crystal Logic album. The boys in Stygian Shore are the ones that gave me the name ‘Shark’. They had a little game they played where they took the first letter of your first and last name and inverted them. So my name Mark Shelton became Shark Melton. For some reason the nickname stuck and everyone started calling me Shark at that point. Before too long nobody called me Mark anymore. I’m just glad it was a cool name and not a stupid one like tubby or bubba,” Shelton said.

Greg “The Shark” Norman, Professional Golfer

Photo courtesy of Europeantour.com.

Gregory John Norman (born February 10, 1955) is an Australian professional golfer and entrepreneur who spent 331 weeks as the world’s Number 1 ranked golfer in the 1980s and 1990s. He is nicknamed “The Great White Shark” or sometimes simply, “The Shark”.

“It started in 1981 when I was leading The Masters. The media didn’t know who I was or anything about my background and started asking questions about the unknown blond-haired Aussie with an aggressive style of play who used to swim and dive with the sharks. ‘Great White Shark To Win The Masters’ headlines suddenly started appearing in the press. The Great White Shark logo came about in the late 80s. I own the logo and the rights to it and it has been a tremendous success story from day one,” answered Norman to the frequently asked question on his website.

Michele “The Shark” Sindona, Banker, Money Launderer, Financial Whiz, and Convicted Felon

Photo courtesy of Mundo Con Mis Ojos.

Known in banking circles as “The Shark”, Michele Sindona (May 8, 1920 – March 22, 1986) rose from poor beginnings in Sicily to becoming one of the world’s most powerful bankers. He was a personal friend of Pope Paul VI and a distinguished member of the Sicilian Mafia with underworld connections all over the western hemisphere. Sindona was a member of Propaganda Due (P-2), an Italian lodge of Masons and became the toast of the international banking community. He received adoring accolades by Fortune and Time magazines. Sindona had connections with the Gambino crime family, the Vatican Bank, and the Franklin National Bank in Long Island, New York. The Shark’s financial empire collapsed amid charges of fraud, bribery, and murder. He was allegedly fatally poisoned with cyanide in a cup of coffee in prison while serving a life sentence for the murder of lawyer Giorgio Ambrosoli, who was overseeing the liquidation of his banks at the time.

Roger “The Shark” Bernadina, Outfielder for the Washington Nationals

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Washington Nationals player Roger Bernadina (born June 12, 1984) was nicknamed “The Shark” by two shark-loving superfans, Tyler Stoltenberg and Terry Cangelosi, for the way he hunts down fly balls in the outfield like a shark hunts his prey. According to The Washington Post, on August 26, 2010, Terry and Tyler showed up at Nats Park wearing children’s fleece shark hoods. They went to the outfield and began calling out to Bernadina about his new nickname. Nyjer Morgan heard their cries and began putting his hand on his head, replicating a shark’s fin. Between innings, Bernadina began to do the same. Now, after making a spectacular play or hitting a home run, he puts his hand on top of his head, to pay homage to his nickname and the loyal “Sharkadina” fans. Recently on August 3, 2012, in a home game against the Miami Marlins, a trio of “Shark” fans who called themselves “The Shark Tank” were spotted down the first base line.

Humberto “The Shark” Brenes, Professional Poker Player

Photo courtesy of Pokerstarsblog.com.

Humberto “The Shark”, Brenes (born on May 8, 1951) often carries a small toy shark with him at the poker table, which he uses as a card protector, good luck charm, and conversation starter. Brenes is known for his charisma, style, and poker talent. He attended the University of Costa Rica and received a degree in industrial engineering. Brenes still has a home in San Jose, Costa Rica. Brenes began his gambling career playing baccarat. Humberto is loud from his brightly colored track suits to his actual mouth – everyone knows when Humberto is at a table. Brenes’ poker accomplishments include two World Series of Poker bracelets in limit and pot-limit hold’em. In 2006, he had a very successful run during the WSOP, finishing 36th out of 8,773 players in the main event. He cashed eight times during the Series, tying Phil Hellmuth for the record number of cashes in one year. As of 2010, his total live tournament winnings exceed $5.6 million. His 58 cashes in the WSOP account for $2,139,725 of those winnings. Brenes has two brothers, Alex and Eric, who also have Word Poker Tour titles. Brenes is a member of Team PokerStars.