Monday, February 25, 2008

2008 NOTY First Round: No. 1 Destiny Frankenstein v. No. 16 Maurkice Pouncey

Twenty-five years ago. Thriller. Grenada. The Evil Empire. Lorenzo Charles. The Hitler Diaries. The Pine Tar Game. The Apple Lisa.

Name of the Year.

We’ve come a long way since Hector “Macho” Camacho upset the late Baskerville Holmes to become the first Name of the Year in 1983. How long? Two words: Vanilla Dong.

It will indeed be tough to top last year’s winner. But we’re going to try. We whittled nearly 300 names down to a final 64. We seeded the field. We even podcast the proceedings.

Now it’s up to you. Print the ballot. Fill it out. Argue the merits of No. 1 seeds Destiny Frankenstein, Steeve Ho You Fat, Fabio Assalone and Reprobatus Bibbs. Debate whether Dom Perignon Champagne was robbed with a No. 12 seed or whether No. 5 Baffelly Woo can take out No. 4 Poony Poon in an inevitable second-round matchup. Start a pool. If you want, send us your Final Fours.

But we’re still exhausted from tabulating last year’s ballots. So we’re voting online. Starting now, we’ll roll out two to four first-round pairings a day in the four NOTY regions—Bulltron, Sithole, Chrotchtangle and Dragonwagon, honoring some Hall of Name legends—with a big build-up to the Final Four. So check back regularly.

And we know: Brian Suksomwong didn’t make the field. Because he changed his name. The NOTY High Court ruled that if you can get on the ballot with a legal name change, you can stay off it that way, too. So everyone’s favorite trumpeter will be watching from home with LaceDarius Dunn, Boy Waterman, Lisa Shot With Arrow (it was a bad year for Native American names), Dick Swett (it was a bad year for Dicks, too), British Footman, DarQuavis Tucker, Jupiter Crabtree, Kosuke Fukudome, Joebar Damosmog, Poopa Dweck, Unique Bishop, Kingjack Washington and 200 or so other eminently worthy nominees. Next year, we’ll do an NIT.

Let’s get started:

2008 NOTY First Round: Bulltron Regional

No. 1 Destiny Frankenstein: Former All-American softball player. Celebrated by Big Daddy Drew. Wrote to us.

No. 16 Maurkice Pouncey: 300-pound Florida offensive lineman. Full name LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey. Twin brother disappointingly named Michael. Reminds us a little of Lucious Pusey.

Who advances in the 2008 NOTY Tournament?

Destiny Frankenstein
Maurkice Pouncey
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Many thanks to the incomparable 289 for the NOTY Tournament logo and NOTY banner, and to Kissing Suzy Kolber's illustrious Monday Morning Punter for the site redesign.