Sunday, April 18, 2010

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.