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“Muscle Hamster” nickname came from act of chivalry

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Oakland Raiders

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Doug Martin #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is congratulated by Jamon Meredith #79 after he scored his fourth touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 4, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Bucs running back Doug Martin hates the name “Muscle Hamster.” That much we know. But what we don’t know is how he got it.

Now we do.

Martin, a late-emerging candidate for offensive rookie of the year, tells Mike Garafolo of USA Today that the name initially was applied not to Martin but to his girlfriend at Boise State.

"[S]he was a gymnast,” Martin said. “Small, but more cut than I was. My friend [and college teammate] Jarell Root called her a muscle hamster. So I stood up for her, like, ‘Hey, man, she’s not a muscle hamster!’ And he said, ‘You’re a muscle hamster, too.’ So they called us the muscle hamsters.”

After that, a friend mentioned the nickname in an article about Martin. And then it ended up on ESPN. And it took off from there.

At least no one is calling him an elf, angry or otherwise. Yet.