As a football game, it was Super Bowl XXIV. As a golf tournament, it was the 2000 U.S. Open. As a presidential election, it was 1984. Think Sherman through Georgia, Germany through Poland, the whale v. Jonah, the shark v. Quint, Satan v. Adam. You get the idea.
In one of the most dominant performances in NOTY history, Vanilla Dong is the 2007 Name of the Year. S/he made a mockery of the 64-name bracket. The experienced hands on the NOTY High Committee loved it. You, The People, loved it. Everyone loved it.
Dong, a No. 1 seed, swept through a weak Chrotchtangle Region and took out Dragonwagon Region No. 4 seed Phyre Quickly Burns in the Final Four. In the other semifinal, Sithole Region No. 4 seed Kyle Sackrider squeaked by Bulltron Region and tournament top seed Intelligent Infinite Botts.
(Who are they? Dong works in the securities industry. We won’t say for whom, but we’ve seen paperwork. Burns is a high-school football player in Texas. His sister, Dragonwagon Region No. 16 seed Cynammon Burns, told the D.C. Sports Bog his middle name. Sackrider is a tight end at Michigan State. And Botts is a young man who made news in upstate New York.)
We received nearly 300 ballots, for which we thank you. The champion on each ballot was awarded 25 points, with 15 points to the runner-up, 10 points to the two other Final Four participants and five points to the four names that got as far as the Elite Eight.
The Top 10 vote-getters:
1. Vanilla Dong 3,535 points
2. Kyle Sackrider 1,560
3. Intelligent Infinite Botts 1,520
4. Phyre Quickly Burns 1,225
5. Conceptualization Gibbs 1,140
6. Gertrude Nipple 1,130
7. Ayo Yayo 945
8. Mario Hilario 860
9. Michelangelo X Ball Van Zee 830
10. Destinee Hooker 715
After two and a half decades of names, we’ve seen plenty related to the male anatomy. So many, in fact, that the last name of this year’s winner has become pedestrian, trite, sophomoric (not that there's anything wrong with sophomoric). An appendage name with staying power occasionally surfaces, like Johnny Dickshot back in 1998 or Dick Surprise in 1999, but even they haven't been elected to the Hall of Name. For a surname like Dong to have a shot, it better pack some heavy ammo up front.
Vanilla does. Vanilla can mean bland, but as a first name—regardless of its back-end partner—it certainly isn’t. In the thousand-plus names we’ve scrupulously collected and analyzed over the years, we can’t recall a single Vanilla. The white-rapper Vanilla Ice only adds a little comedy to the package. Separately, Vanilla and Dong don’t amount to much. Together, they are anthroponomastic magic: Every man has one, so a dong is indeed pretty vanilla. Every white male’s is by nature vanilla. But no man, regardless of race, wants to believe his is plain.
If there’s a Pistachio Dong out there, we might have to shut this thing down forever.
We’ll post complete final standings with first-place votes when we feel like typing in all 64 names, along with a final tournament ballot, comments and analysis from you, and an announcement of new inductees to the Hall of Name. And don't forget to send us your nominees for the 2008 NOTY.