Thursday, June 3, 2010

Your 2010 Name of the Year

The Man of Steele is the Name of the Year.

Not that you're surprised. Our sister nation of jocks, drinkers, surfers and -- um, what else to do they do Down Under? -- got behind their candidate and rode him like a joey on a jill to the promised land. So congratulations, Australia. With 82 percent of the vote, Aussie wonderboy Steele Sidebottom, the No. 4 seed out of the Dragonwagon Regional, routed Sithole Regional No. 11 seed Banana Yaya in the final of the 2010 Name of the Year Tournament. Have a Foster's to celebrate.

There was grumbling among NOTY commenters about whether the Collingwood footballer with the shaggy hair and boyish smile "deserved" his championship run. Personally, he wasn't our bowl of rice; we favored some of the even more linguistically creative names in the field, like the NOTY High Committee's champion, Nohjay Nimpson, or American footballer God's Power Offor, or Delaware car crasher Spontaneous Gordon. But of course we did. We seeded them No. 1 in their regions, after all.

But NOTY, and name appreciation in general, is an inexact science: He's a rammer, jammer Schwinghammer. She's a Pencilman. Sure, over the years we've come up with our own internal formula for A Great Name, and usually the wisdom of the small crowd that is the High Committee makes the arguably right call, onomastically speaking. But when we opened NOTY to the People, we knew that popularity might occasionally trump quality. That's just the way democracy works. You're Congress, we're the Executive Branch. (The High Commissioner is the Supreme Court.) We check and we balance. But we won't take away your right to vote.

So let's lift a pint to our man Steele, who really does have a corker of a name, and let's lift one to Australia, too. Thanks for stopping by, blokes. Hope you'll come back next year. Just don't expect to see Tyson Goldsack or Matt Suckling or James Polkinghorne on the ballot.

Thanks to everyone for reading, voting, nominating and commenting. Keep those 2011 NOTY nominations coming at nameoftheyear@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2010 NOTY Final

In the 2002 World Cup, Turkey and South Korea shocked the world by advancing to the semifinals. But the upstarts didn't get any further, rightfully thwarted by traditional powers Germany and Brazil.

The World Cup analogy is fitting for the 2010 NOTY Tournament, but with a twist. A couple of onomastic minnows -- both play football, though different brands -- have powered through the field and into the big game. For the right to be called the People's NOTY, it's Cameroonian soccerer Banana Yaya taking on Australian rules footballer Steele Sidebottom.

Sidebottom, the Dragonwagon Regional No. 4 seed, rode a wave of nationalistic fervor to pound Chrotchtangle No. 16 Charity Beaver in the Final Four with 82 percent of the vote.

Yaya, the No. 11 seed in the Sithole, shocked Bulltron No. 1 seed Nohjay Nimpson, capturing 57 percent of the vote. We're not sure how he did it; we didn't see any newspaper stories about the tournament coming out of Cameroon.

So who's Your 2010 Name of the Year? Vote below.

Our (Not Your) 2010 Name of the Year

We gave the People their own NOTY tournament. But that never meant that we, the 12-member NOTY High Committee, relinquished the right to select who we believe is the true Name of the Year.

After all, we've been doing it since 1983. We're connoisseurs. We know the difference between an onomastic 1787 Chateau Lafite and a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck.

This year, you, the People, for whatever reasons, have chosen to advance the amply but not remarkably named Banana Yaya and Steele Sidebottom to the finals of the 2010 NOTY Tournament. We, the High Committee, did our part to uphold the reputation of this endeavor.

So please give a NOTY round of applause to the 2010 Name of the Year (High Committee):

Nohjay Nimpson

In case you're just joining us, Nohjay is a women's track-and-field star at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. The Philly native specializes in the triple jump, and just a couple of weeks ago she took first place in the Swarthmore Last Chance meet with a leap of 37 feet 9 1/2 inches.

Today, she leaps into the NOTY history books by amassing four first-place votes and a total of 230 points. (Names received five points for advancing to the second round, then 10, 15, 20, 25 and 40 for the champion.) Milwaukee student Dinero Fudge finished second with 205 points, followed by Miami high-school footballer God's Power Offor (180), Delaware driver Spontaneous Gordon (145) and New York man Spartacus Bernstein (140).

And the People's choices? The "Man of Steele" tied for 14th with 80 points, while Banana Yaya tied for 21st place with 65.

Here's our top 25:

1. Nohjay Nimpson 230 points (4 first-place votes)
2. Dinero Fudge 205 (2)
3. God's Power Offor 180 (2)
4. Spontaneous Gordon 145 (1)
5. Spartacus Bernstein 140 (1)
6. Wave Ryder 135
7. Dr. Speedy Nutz 135 (2)
8. Pencilman Jeffries 130
9. Hannukkah Wallace 115
10. X'Zavier Bloodsaw 110
11. Starzanne Stipes 90
Aristotle Socrates
13. Napoleon Einstein 85
14. Steele Sidebottom 80
Typhoon Nurse
16. Flavius Killebrew 75
Jesus Leonardo
18. Furious Bradley 70
Pocahontas Outlaw
ShaMiracle Johnson

21. Rich Tanguy 65
Banana Yaya
Pamela Balls Organista
Just-in'love Smith

25. Charity Beaver 60
Selathious Bobo
Gregor Schwinghammer Jr.
Nubian Peak

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Final Four


God is dead.

We would not have predicted it. God's Power Offor, the Nigerian-born, 6-foot-2, Miami h.s. defensive end and Sithole Regional No. 1 seed, who came to his name in honest fashion -- his parents believed his birth was a sign of God's power -- was eliminated by Cameroonian footballer Banana Yaya by a count of 52% to 48%. Somewhere, Andy Staples weeps.

Elsewhere, Bulltron No. 1 Nohjay Nimpson made surprisingly easy work of No. 2 X'Zavier Bloodsaw. In the Chrotchtangle, No. 15 Pat Angerer's NOTY dream was snatched away by No. 16 Charity Beaver , who captured a stunning 74% of nearly 5,700 votes cast.

Which bring us to Australia. The support of an entire nation is hurtling Dragonwagon No. 4 seed and Aussie rules footballer Steele Sidebottom on a collision course with destiny -- and we don't mean Frankenstein. Steele treated his worthy Elite Eight opponent, No. 3 Starzanne Stipes, like a Tasmanian beer-league back pocket, racking up 64% of 6,600 votes.

Steele is dangerous. His NOTY effort is a all the media rage Down Under. His Facebook page has 674 fans. And his factotum, a blogger named Upshake, is chronicling the campaign like an onomastic Theodore White. (Thanks to Upshake for artwork.)

So will it be Beaver or 'bottom? Nohjay or Yaya? Vote below.

Hey, Australia. We know you love Steele, but it's not just about your midfielder. Please vote in the first semifinal match as well.

No. 1 Nohjay Nimpson: St. Joe's javeliner/triple-jumper.
No. 11 Banana Yaya: Cameroonian footballer.


No. 4 Steele Sidebottom: Ten goals in eight games this season!

No. 16 Charity Beaver: “I’m a wino,” she says, laughing. “And I

love cheeseboards. I have one at least once a week.”


Monday, May 10, 2010

Elite Eight, Part 2

Our fellow Americans. (And you Australians, too.)

There is no task more solemn than the one passed down to us by our founding fathers, who summon us from the past to execute their humble vision for this republic. We honor their memory, we accept this responsibility, we cherish this task. We vote for the Name of the Year.

And though we are bound by duty to accept the will of the People, we also fear the tyranny of the mob. We have seen it rear its ugly head before. In 2008, a feelgood network of sycophants and toadies fashioned a cult of personality around Spaceman Africa. We have also witnessed the wisdom of the crowd, the uplifting rally in 2009 behind that movable feast of onomastic joy, Barkevious Mingo, whose kingdom shall have no end.

Now come this year's candidates with their personal David Axelrods and their entourages of adoring fans. Yes, Chrotchtangle Regional No. 15 seed Pat Angerer, of course, husked enough votes in the great, flat state of Iowa to score a slim 51-49 majority over No. 3 Pencilman Jeffries. And in the Dragonwagon, No. 4 Steele Sidebottom had an entire nation -- Australia -- get out the vote in his similarly close victory over beloved No. 1 Spontaneous Gordon.

We mourn the vanquished -- not only our respected friends Spontaneous and Pencilman but Just-in'love Smith and Furious Bradley and their fallen brethren. The right side of the bracket is, we declare, the weak side of the bracket. Yet we implore the public -- from Ames to Adelaide, from Sioux City to Sydney -- to set aside petty partisanship and choose those names that embody the true spirit of NOTY, the names that will bring pride to this planet and honor to the solemn task for which you, the People, have been chosen.

Vote well. Vote honestly. Vote twice.

No. 4 Steele Sidebottom: Collingwood Magpie.
No. 3 Starzanne Stipes: Zanesville, Ohio, soccer player.


No. 16 Charity Beaver: "I train a lot of the Highland Park

cheerleaders. And I work with an autistic girl. I love her. She

brightens up even the worst day.”


No. 15 Pat Angerer: Former Iowa linebacker. Video tribute!

Elite Eight, Part 1

Before everyone gets her bile up again about Chrotchtangle Regional No. 15 seed Pat Angerer making it this far, let's take a timeout to acknowledge the greater impact of Angerer's nomination -- and the force for good in the world to which NOTY aspires, and occasionally achieves.

Here's the story: Erstwhile Iowa linebacker makes the 2010 NOTY Ballot. Hawkeyes' blog Black Heart Gold Pants dutifully picks up the cause. An editor there,Hawkeye State, who happens to be a lawyer in his spare time, clicks the link to Bulltron Regional No. 14 seed Cynnamon Crabb, whom we identified as the wife of an Iowa copper thief.

Take it away, Hawkeye State:

I have had a car accident file closed for over two years where a guy ran into a parked police car.  I couldn't find him for months, and eventually gave up looking.  That is, until I saw that Cynammon Crabb was the wife of an Iowa copper thief.  At the tail end of the story of her husband's (and brother-in-law's) arrest, there was the following paragraph:

Sheriff's officials said 20-year-old Andrew Graham Trousil-Bagan of Fort Madison and 17-year-old Marquis Rashaad Jones of Burlington along with Benjamin Crabb went inside the home of Timothy Weyls Jr. at 12609 90th St., with the intent to rob Weyls of drugs.

Detectives said Benjamin Crabb went to Weyls' bedroom and started hitting him with a .38-caliber handgun. The gun accidentally went off, hitting Weyls in his right arm.


There he was, with an address and everything: Tim Weyls, the guy who hit the parked police car in 2006.  Huzzah, gentlemen! Huzzah indeed!


We're pleased to report that NOTY's America's Most Wanted turn didn't influence Hawkeye's leanings. He still voted for Bulltron No. 1 seed Nohjay Nimpson in the Sweet 16.

Let's vote. We'll do this in two installments. First, the stacked Bulltron and Sithole regional finals:

No. 1 Nohjay Nimpson: St. Joe's jumper/javeliner.
No. 2 X'Zavier Bloodsaw: Texas College quarterback.



No. 1 God's Power Offor: Miami h.s. defensive end.

No. 11 Banana Yaya: Cameroonian footballer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sweet 16: A Word From the Commissioner

A lot of testy voters in the Sweet 16, and we understand. Even the High Commissioner is exercised. From the private island in the South Pacific where he's tutoring Barkevious Mingo for finals, the High C telexed us his thoughts. (No, we're not sure when he turned into Larry King.)

The Angerer-Jeffries bracket pisses me off; these names both suck. I'm so out of touch now. ... Can't believe the Beave is going to go to the final 8. ... The Gordon-Sidebottom match is classic NOTY. ... Stipes better get past Balls-O otherwise my ticket is dead. ... Can't believe that Banana is taking down Tronic Williams.

If you don't think Chrotchtangle No. 15 seed Pat Angerer deserves to advance over No. 3 Pencilman Jeffries, or that Dragonwagon No. 4 Steele Sidebottom, whatever his Aussie rules football talents, is an empirically better name that No. 1 Spontaneous Gordon, then get out the vote.

Angerer-Pencilman is a close enough that a late flurry of ballots could change the outcome. Spontaneous-Steele, in the words of Eddie's father in Diner, could go either way. And No. 3 Starzanne Stipes vs. No. 15 Pamela Balls Organista in the 'wagon. is officially a throw-down: As we type, the ladies are separated by just one vote.

We'll leave the polls open until Friday.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sweet 16: Chrotchtangle Regional

Our friends at Black Heart Gold Pants have acknowledged their old-school-tie support for Iowa linebacker and Chrotchtangle Regional No. 15 seed Pat Angerer, who upset No. 7 seed Furious Bradley in the first round. They've even acknowledged that the Hawkeye has an uphill battle in his regional semi-final against No. 3 seed Pencilman Jeffries.

Helmets off to you, Black Heart Gold Pants. It's not easy to set aside homerism in this or any competitive endeavor. But NOTY is a sacred trust. Your objective choices on these epic round-by-round questions will determine not just a "winner" but onomastic greatness.

Angerer, by the way, has his head on straight, too. He was asked recently how much of a dream it was growing up to make a NOTY ballot:

I think it’s every kid’s, but it wasn’t such a reality until I started believing in it.

OK, he was actually asked about playing in the NFL someday. But we don't see much of a difference.

This wraps up the Sweet 16 match-ups. Vote now, and please spread the word.

No. 16 Charity Beaver: “To learn that I really do make a difference in the lives of others is a good feeling.”
No. 4 Spartacus Bernstein: Taught cooking classes for men in 1973!


No. 3 Pencilman Jeffries: Drug dealer, murderer.

No. 15 Pat Angerer: Indianapolis Colt.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sweet 16: Dragonwagon Regional

That's young Steele Sidebottom, Dragonwagon Regional No. 4 seed, Aussie rules footballer extraordinaire.

Steele was drafted by the Collingwood Magpies, who play in Melbourne. He used to be on the Murray Bushrangers, who play in Wangaratta -- Wang for short. In either locale, Steele is "used to copping a few comments about his name. And Sidebottom says that hasn’t been any different at Magpieland."

Magpieland! We love us some Aussie sports journalese.

“I’ve got a few nicknames like BlueScope and stuff,” Sidebottom said.

We looked it up. BlueScope is an Australian steel company. We love us some Aussie humor.

“They’re coming strong already … every time you sort of leave a room, they’re always [yelling] ‘Steele!’ and you turn around and they’re not looking.'

(Sidebottom sort of leaves the room.)

Steele!

Steele has his Facebook posse (167 members). No. 1 seed Spontaneous Gordon has hers (66 fans). Unlike the earlier regional semis, this should be a close one. As should the region's other tilt, No. 3 Starzanne Stipes v. No. 15 Pamela Balls Organista

Both match-ups below. Vote.

No. 1 Spontaneous Gordon: Wilmington, Del., woman who drove into a bus.
No. 4 Steele Sidebottom: Medium defender with neat disposal by foot.


No. 3 Starzanne Stipes: Plays soccer in Zanesville, Ohio.

No. 15 Pamela Balls Organista: University of San Francisco psych prof.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet 16: Sithole Regional

That's a drawing by cartoonist Mark Poutenis that accompanied a story in the alt weekly Miami New Times a few weeks back about Sithole No. 1 seed God's Power Offor's NOTY bid.

Let's break it down: G.P. is on the left -- white, buff, and Christian, an apparent cross between Sampson and the Cowardly Lion -- smiting some NOTY challengers: Hitler (Makofane), Stalin (Felipe) and Dr. Speedy Nutz. We'll be pitching our NOTY superhero comic book and movie series in the morning.

In real life, of course, G.P. is a Nigeria-born junior defensive end at American High School in Hialeah, Fla. He really looks like this. He romped through the first round of balloting with a NOTY-leading 59 percent of his quadrant. And, as we previously chronicled, he loves his name.

And now we will go for the easy joke: It will take a ShaMiracle to stop G.P.O. in the Sithole. Vote now (two matches). And, of you haven't already, scroll down and vote in the Bulltron Regional, too.

No. 1 God's Power Offor: Miami favorite.
No. 4: ShaMiracle Johnson: Georgia law school graduate.


No. 11 Banana Yaya: Cameroonian soccer player.

No. 2 Tronic Williams: Western Michigan defensive back.

Teammates posted NOTY bracket in the locker room!

Sweet 16: Bulltron Regional

2010 NOTY champ Barkevious Mingo puppetmaster Spencer Hall recently dubbed this year's field "the Brazil '70 World Cup team of NOTY classes." The first-round results support that lofty claim.

A No. 1 seed, Just-in'love Smith, was bounced, a first. And that was just the beginning of the carnage. Dinero Fudge. Melted. Aristotle Socrates. Outthunk. Napoleon Einstein. Waterlooed. Hannukkah Wallace. Shalomed. (For the record, it was Hitler (Makofane) over Stalin (Felipe) in the dictator bracket.)

Now to the Sweet 16. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but as NOTY friend and sportswriter Michael Weinreb (preorder his new book) recently Tweeted, the all-but-certain Nohjay Nimpson-X'Zavier Bloodsaw regional final "could be the Duke-Kentucky of our age."

We'll do this one region per post, which means you have to cast two votes below. Godspeed.

No. 1 Nohjay Nimpson: St. Joe's women's track and fielder. She had a good fall season!
No. 12 Sequoyah Stonecipher: Greensboro Grasshoppers left fielder.


No. 14 Cynnamon Crabb: Wife of Iowa copper thief.

No. 2: X'Zavier Bloodsaw: Texas College quarterback.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

2010 NOTY: Sweet 16

As promised, we kept balloting in the final quadrants of the first round open until precisely midnight, and with good reason. The Chrotchtangle Regional battle between No. 7 Furious Bradley and No. 15 Pat Angerer was the closest race in NOTY history.

Final tally: Angerer 758, Bradley 755.

Drafted into the NFL, advancing in NOTY. Surely this was the greatest day in the life of one Pat Angerer. But let's also recognize Charity Beaver, who became the first No. 16 seed in NOTY history to take out a No. 1 (the great Just-in'love Smith).

Here are your Sweet 16 match-ups:

Bulltron Regional
No. 1 Nohjay Nimpson v. No. 12 Sequoyah Stonecipher
No. 14 Cynnamon Crabb v. No. 2 X'Zavier Bloodsaw

Sithole Regional
No. 1 God's Power Offor v. No. 4 ShaMiracle Johnson
No. 11 Banana Yaya v. No. 2 Tronic Williams

Dragonwagon Regional
No. 1 Spontaneous Gordon v. No. 4 Steele Sidebottom
No. 3 Starzanne Stipes v. No. 15 Pamela Balls Organista

Chrotchtangle Regional
No. 16 Charity Beaver v. No. 4 Spartacus Bernstein
No. 3 Pencilman Jeffries v. No. 15 Pat Angerer

10 a.m. update: Some late votes may appear to have pushed Furious Bradley past Pat Angerer. They don't count. Angerer wins.

Friday, April 23, 2010

NOTY in the NFL

Let give a NOTY cheer for Chrotchtangle No. 15 seed Pat Angerer, who was selected a short time ago by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the NFL draft.

Just because we're not big fans of Angerer's upset bid in the Crotch doesn't mean we're not proud. When a NOTY name makes it big, we bask in its reflected glory.

So it's been a good day, because Angerer wasn't the only NOTY talent on Mel Kiper's draft board. Congrats also to Mississippi running back Dexter McCluster, a No. 6 seed in the 2009 NOTY Tournament, who was taken earlier in the second round by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let's Vote, People

It's a NOTY tradition: Voting tails off in the Chrotchtangle, the last of the four NOTY regionals.

Why? Human nature, we guess. The masses get excited about the arrival of the ballot. They vote eagerly in the Bulltron and the Sithole. Then the media spotlight dims and less important duties intrude: work, relationships, children.

But in this age of Twitter and Facebook, there is no excuse for shirking one's democratic responsibility. Subscribe to NOTY in an RSS or other feeder of your choice, for crying out loud.

Because low turnout can have dire consequences. In this case, the potential first-round elimination of Selathious Bobo and Furious Bradley by voters substituting youthful collegiate partisanship for onomastic quality.

We'll leave open the balloting in the bottom of the Dragonwagon and the Chrotchtangle for a couple more days before starting the Sweet 16. Scroll down and vote now. And may justice prevail.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 NOTY: Chrotchtangle Regional, Part 4

This could be our favorite quadrant in the tournament. All football players. All with major name 'tude. And some anger-management issues.

These guys should get together and do a cop show or a superhero comic book.

Pick one.

No. 7 Furious Bradley: Mississippi h.s. running back.
No. 10 Whitney Mercilus: Illinois defensive lineman.
No. 2 Wave Ryder: Hawaii h.s. safety. Who has committed to Navy. Yes, Navy.
No. 15 Pat Angerer: Iowa linebacker.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

2010 NOTY: Chrotchtangle Regional, Part 3

Quadrant 3 of the Chrotchtangle Regional, named for 1991 Name of the Year Doby Chrotchtangle. Vote

Chrotchtangle Update: Foxy Foxworth has been INVALIDATED and removed from the ballot. His actual name, well hidden, unsurprisingly, on the interwebs, is Eugene. But the South Carolina tight end did make the 2008-09 SEC Fall Honor Roll. Congratulations, Eugene!

No. 3 Pencilman Jeffries: New Hampshire heroin dealer.
No. 14 Frantanzy Bryant: Florida h.s. safety.
No. 6 Foxy Foxworth: INVALIDATED.
No. 11 Romulus Marino: Pennsylvania h.s. quarterback.

2010 NOTY: Chrotchtangle Regional, Part 2

Meet Chrotchtangle Regional No. 5 seed Flavius Killebrew. He's the president of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He's 6-foot-7, 250 pounds. He's got an excellent stash -- and an excellent perspective on what it means to have a name of both note and NOTY.

"It's kind of a fun deal," Killebrew said. "With a name like Flavius, you're used to going through life with people saying, 'Your name's what?' When I was a kid, I didn't have much problem because I was so much bigger in height. As an adult, most somewhat educated people know it's Roman and comes out of Shakespeare."

Dr. Killebrew clearly possesses a rare quality for an academic: He doesn't take himself too seriously. He made the above comments in an interview with the Corpus Christi Caller about his NOTY nomination. That story says that we emailed the president and that he was "skeptical" but asked a university spokesman to check us out. We never got in touch; we're guessing that he was referring to our Canadian reporter friend Misty Harris, to whom Killebrew acknowledged the benefits of a NOTY-worthy name.

"And as an adult, [the name] has been a good thing. ... It’s hard for people to forget me. I’m 6-foot-7, for one thing, and I’ve got a distinctive name, so I literally stand out in a crowd."

We like the good president for more than just his onomastic attitude. His name is a rare and beautiful juxtaposition of Roman history and baseball history, of the bard and the ballyard, of Julius Caesar and Cesar Tovar.

And if you need proof that life imitates art -- we're not well-read enough to have done this intentionally -- look no further than Act 1, Scene 1 of Julius Caesar, in which Flavius asks a passing laborer:

Thou art a cobbler, art thou?

Oh, he's a cobbler, all right.

No. 5 Flavius Killebrew: Above.
No. 12 Mister Cobble: Kentucky defensive tackle.
No. 4 Spartacus Bernstein: Brooklyn man named in 1990 New York Times story.
No. 13 Bambang Parmanto: Disgraced science journal editor.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2010 NOTY: Chrotchtangle Regional, Part 1

When a member of the television media interviews someone with an unusual name about his unusual name, hilarity usually abounds. If there’s a joke to be made about your name, it’s probably already been made. But frozen-smile teleprompter readers are required to behave as if they’ve discovered something the subject has never considered.

What’s that you say? My name is Barkevious? I did not realize!

This interview by ESPN's Jay Crawford with Chrotchtangle Regional No. 1 seed Just-in’love Smith is a classic of the genre. At the time he appeared on the four-letter last fall, Smith was a 26-year-old guard for Siena. Why so old? Because he served four years in the military, including one in Iraq. Sounds like an interesting guy. Let’s see how Jay handled the assignment:

What’s in a name? For Siena basketball player Just-in’love Smith, an awful lot.

Rhetorical cliche. Inane follow up. Perfect.

You might say he’s arrived ... just in time.

And the 2009 ESPY for Worst Script Writing goes to ... Jay Crawford!

Welcome to the program, Just-in. I’m sure there is a fan-tas-tic story behind [swallowed anchorman chuckle] your name. What is that story?

Just-in’s brain: Let’s see if I can get this over with quickly.

Uh, my mother named me Just-in’love because she was just in love with me.

Very nice! I like that! Short, sweet!

I’m glad you like the simple answer I’ve concocted to get asshats like you to shut up.

What do your teammates think of your name?

Ask me about Iraq, man. Or what it's like to be a 26-year-old D-I walk-on. Or about my dead mother.

I’m wondering what the ladies think of your name?

They love my name. but I’m engaged, so now it’s like the name is no good for the ladies no more.

You’d think that answer would have embarrassed Jay into moving on to other topics. But no. He needs to ask about Just-in’s nicknames “back home.” Then the requisite question about his military service. Then an inquiry into his aspiration to be a stand-up comic. And whether he’ll use his name as part his act.

Jay Crawford: Just-in'sufferable.

Vote.

No. 1 Just-in'love Smith: Above.
No. 16 Charity Beaver: Dallas personal trainer.
No. 8 Dr. Festus Dada: Gastric-bypass specialist suing Lenny Dykstra.
No. 9 Karma Sherpa: New York cabbie.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NOTY on Twitter

Not only are our Australian friends pimping for their boy, Dragonwagon Regional No. 4 seed Steele Sidebottom, they're pimping for NOTY, too.

Adelaide blogger Upshake -- who has subtitled his site in honor of the "Man of Steele" -- has started a NOTY Twitter feed. You can follow the action @NOTYresults. If you Tweet about the tournament, make sure to use the hashtag #noty.

And don't forget to become a fan of Name of the Year on Facebook. We're at 571 and counting.

Speaking of results, No. 1 seed Spontaneous Gordon advances easily in the first quadrant of the Dragonwagon with 54 percent of the vote. Balloting continues in the the other three contests below. Scroll and vote now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2010 NOTY: Dragonwagon Regional, Part 4

"WHO IS VOTING FOR STEELE SIDEBOTTOM?!?!" asks NOTY commenter Whit Perkins.

We'll tell you who. Australia.

The 19-year-old midfielder with the Collingwood Magpies of the Australian Football League currently has 50 percent of the vote in Part 2 of this regional. He's also getting a lot of buzz Down Under. Some Aussie has even started a Facebook page for his candidacy. Oy oy oy.

People, we could have another Spaceman Africa situation here. And we don't mean a name-changer; we mean a worldwide get-out-the-vote drive.

It's on, Australia. It is so on.

The bottom of the Dragonwagon. Vote for one:

No. 7 Selathious Bobo: Alleged meth dealer. No link, but we've seen the legal documents. Federal docket Nos. 99-6013; 99-6014
No. 10: Can Du: RAND Corp. researcher.
No. 2 TyQuan Hammock: Michigan State linebacker.
No. 15 Pamela Balls Organista: University of San Francisco psychologist.

2010 NOTY: Dragonwagon Regional, Part 3

Quadrant 3 of the Dragonwagon. Vote.

No. 3 Starzanne Stipes: Walsh University women's soccer player.
No. 14 Magnum Rolle: Louisiana Tech basketball player.
No. 6 Aristotle Socrates: Princeton theoretical astrophysicist.
No. 11 Pepi Hamburger: 103-year-old woman happy-birthdayed by Willard Scott.

Monday, April 12, 2010

2010 NOTY: Dragonwagon Regional, Part 2

NOTY is getting a ton of pub this spring, for which we are grateful. Here's a quick sampler.

--Former Deadspinner Rick Chandler weighs in at Out of Bounds on NBC Sports.com.
--Enterprising Canadian reporter Misty Harris (good name!) emails various NOTY contestants, with excellent results.
--NOTY friend Dan Levy breaks down the bracket for The Sporting Blog.
--2009 NOTY Barkevious Mingo puppetmaster and Every Day Should Be Saturday proprietor Spencer Hall interviews us on SB Nation.
--Hall joins NOTY friend Drew Magary to break down the bracket on the Deadcast.
--The Miami New Times pumps up the love for local product God's Power Offor.
--The Fort Myers News-Times asks Sithole Regional No. 2 seed Tronic Williams about NOTY. (He hasn't voted yet!)
--And, finally, Roll Call (subscription required) tracks down Dragonwagon Regional No. 13 seed Pizza Ashby, a Democratic staffer on the House Homeland Security Committee, for her story:

Her mother was really hungry on the day she was born (it was Christmas) and named her after a commercial that came on TV. “I’m just glad there wasn’t a commercial for hot dogs,” Ashby says. “Or else things could have turned out differently.”

Think she's used that line before? Vote for one.

No. 5 Dinero Fudge: Milwaukee student.
No. 12 Shevelle Six: 2009 Spelling Bee competitor.
No. 4 Steele Sidebottom: Australian rules footballer.
No. 13 Pizza Ashby: Congressional staffer.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pardon the Interruption

Sorry, NOTY voters. We were out of town, swamped with work and unable to find even a smidge of time to post the next rounds of NOTY balloting.

But fear not. Dragonwagon Regional voting will resume tomorrow, Monday, April 12, and we'll blow through the rest of the first round and get to the Sweet 16.

Meantime, balloting in the Sithole Regional is officially closed. Advancing in the Sithole are: No. 1 God's Power Offor, No. 4 ShaMiracle Johnson, No. 11 Banaya Yaya and No. 2 Tronic Williams.

Can anyone stop G.P.O.? Stay tuned.

Monday, April 5, 2010

NOTY on Facebook

Please join our new, cleverly named Facebook group: Name of the Year. We'll use it to link back to the blog to update you, The People, when a new round of voting has begun and on other crucial NOTY news and information.

We've already invited our closest Facebook friend, the omnipotent Barkevious Mingo, to become a fan. Destiny Frankenstein, we're waiting for you.

2010 NOTY: Dragonwagon Regional, Part 1

Balloting in the Bulltron Regional is officially closed. The No. 1 and 2 seeds -- Nohjay Nimpson and X'Zavier Bloodsaw -- move on to the Sweet 16 with, respectively, 40 percent and 50 percent of the vote in their quadrants. (Farewell, Lolita Respectnothing; the tip of the tongue took a trip much too short.)

A couple of upsets in the other two quadrants: No. 12 Sequoyah Stonecipher romped, while No. 14 Cynammon Crabb ended the dream Hannukkah Wallace-Hitler Makofane second-round matchup, and took out Stalin Felipe, too. Clearly, Hannukkah, Hitler and Stalin divided the vote.

On to the Dragonwagon Regional, named for our good friend, 1993 NOTY Crescent Dragonwagon. Vote for one:

No. 1 Spontaneous Gordon: Delaware woman who crashed her car into a parked bus.
No. 16 Shy Ely: NBDL guard. Full name: Shyron Quonell Ely. Son of Shy-Quon and Jean Ely.
No. 8 King Jamell Modest: Albany teen murder suspect.
No. 9 Gregor Schwinghammer Jr.: Florida lawyer.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

2010 NOTY: Sithole Regional, Part 4

We love this quadrant of the Sithole Regional. Some high-quality, old-school names that have it going both ways. And Tronic Williams, who's only got it going one way, but that one way is all the way. Tronic struck us as so cool, so hip, so e-lec-tronic that he climbed in the seedings despite, or perhaps because of, his pedestrian surname.

But let's discuss Nubian Peak, full name Nubian Shabazz-Zoser Peak, a Virginia Tech redshirt freshman flanker. His parents, Vernon and Donna Peak, named him, the Roanoke Times reports, "after the Nubians, an African ethnic group known for their intelligence, wealth and progressive culture."

“They were a very smart race,” Nubian Peak said. “And my dad just felt — well, I didn’t really know what he was thinking at the time — but he just stuck me with that name. It has a lot of sentimental meaning to me. A lot of people don’t understand, but I take pride in it.”

We understand. Fully.

Vote for one:

No. 7 Nubian Peak: Above.
No. 10 Daequon Montreal: Boise State forward.
No. 2 Tronic Williams: Western Michigan safety. In the news!
No. 15 Waver Brickhouse: Brooklyn woman victimized in mortgage scam.

Just So We're Clear

Given the tragic invalidation of the pseudonymous Dick Smallberries Jr. and the necessary expulsions of the nicknamed Charles "Two" Willis and Artina "Peachy" Trader, as a public service we're reposting the above jpeg and a link to the printable pdf of what we surely hope is the official and final 2010 Name of the Year Ballot.

Logistics: First-round voting will remain open for one week after the post date, or close to it anyway. Since we didn't give advance notice on a timetable, we'll leave open voting in Part 1 of the Bulltron Regional until tomorrow night, Sunday, April 4, and then start shutting down the other quadrants one day at a time.

At this rate, we'll crown a 2010 NOTY in May. But you know it'll be worth the wait.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010 NOTY: Sithole Regional, Part 3

Here at NOTY we've been burned in the past by frauds and schemes that make Bernie Madoff look like Spiral Lightninghawk. Someday we'll rehash the Mummenschontz Bitterbeetle/Licentious Beastie scandal; the perpetrators remain at large. And, as you know, we've already had to toss two names off of this year's ballot.

So blame the Audit Committee for lax enforcement. Blame the Seeding Committee for laughing too hard. Blame us all for wanting, in these cynical times, to believe in something wholesome and good. Because this one really hurts.

Sithole Regional No. 3 seed Dick Smallberries Jr. is INVALIDATED.

In the pantheon of Dick names -- Nascar racer Dick Trickle, Congressman Dick Swett, baby Charley Willard Horse Dick, de facto 1999 NOTY Dick Surprise -- it looked real, or at least real enough. "Smallberries" had a Wikipedia entry. He had a long list of voice acting credits in video games and anime. So when his name dropped in our inbox a year ago, we added it to the master list. And when we Googled, we found nothing dissuade us from our innocent belief in the possible.

And then we stumbled on this troubling thread on Mania.com -- "a leading website dedicated to providing avid Comic Book, Anime, Movie fans with news and feature stories about Comic Book, Fantasy, SciFi, Horror & Anime" -- about Smallberries' credit in Ah My Buddha, the anime adaptation of the "mature rated manga" by Toshinore Sogabe.

bearcounty: Please don't tell me that's his real name!?

EmperorBrandon: No, it's not his real name.


As we learned from the Nohjay Nimp...we mean O.J. Simpson trial, when in doubt, throw it out (or something like that). So in the absence of clear evidence that Smallberries is real, for the integrity of the 2010 NOTY Tournament and for the sake of future NOTY generations, we humbly take the prudent course. Fortunately, we've got a very deep bench.

Vote for someone else:

No. 3 Pocahontas Outlaw: Former ACORN board member. Glenn Beck liked her name!
No. 14 Chinook Bacon: Oakland teen charged with murder.
No. 6 Napoleon Einstein: Indian cricket player.
No. 11 Banana Yaya: Cameroonian soccer player.