He took on that nickname after the fact, obviously.
On irc, this nickname was first seen 2 days ago.
That is not entirely correct. There is a period after Galileo's discovery called the Maunder Minimum where sunspots "became exceedingly rare", from wikipedia:
The Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period roughly spanning 1645 to 1715 by John A. Eddy in a landmark 1976 paper published in Science titled "The Maunder Minimum", when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time.
So, is it really odd behavior?
1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight -- it's not just a good idea, it's the law!