Once upon a time, Brian Cardinal told everyone that his nickname, “The Custodian,” came from doing maintenance work when he was in high school. Being a custodian would definitely get you nicknamed The Custodian, so it seemed like a good reason.
But it’s a lie. Maybe. Who knows? All we know is that Brian Cardinal has a new explanation for his second-best nickname. From Dime Magazine:
Dime: Everyone always wants to know the deal with your nickname, “The Custodian.” Where did you pick it up and do you like it?
BC: Oh yeah. (laughs) The “Custodian” came when I was in my first year in Detroit. Jerome Williams — he was known as the “Junkyard Dog” — and one day after practice I had dove on the floor or taken a couple charges or something like that, and he came up to me and said, “You know, you need a nickname.” I said, “Jeez, a nickname?!” I said, “Hell, I just want people to know who I am or know my first name!” He said, “Nah, you really need a nickname.” He thought about it and said, “Brian …The Custodan …Cardinal. Sounds great.” So he kind of came up with it just because I was doing the dirty work. I was taking the charges, I was diving on the ground for the ball. That’s where it started and it’s kind of taken on a life of its own.
Also a reasonable explanation. I’m pretty much willing to buy any origin story for this moniker. Whatever Brian Cardinal says works for me.
Truth be told, I think this is the real story, considering he told the same thing to the Wall Street Journal. Your dad’s been subscribing to the Journal for years, and there’s no way he’d lie to an institution he respects so much. Plus, it’s kind of fitting that a guy called The Junkyard Dog would come up with a nickname like The Custodian. Entities who clean up recognize entities who clean up.
Besides, I wouldn’t put it past your dad to have some fun with some reporters every now and then. That guy’s such a kidder. He’s always cracking me up when we’re watching old episodes of “Night Court” in your basement.