Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is This the Dawning of the Age of Monquarius?

Sorry to have kept you waiting.

Week after week, month after month, for the past year you flooded our inbox with nominees. And, bless your hearts, with linkable verification. You graced us with so many nominees, in fact, that we asked NOTY friend Drew Magary to tweet his followers for help. All hail Timmy Wedell, a chef in the Turks and Caicos Islands, who, despite a schedule that included cooking for Bahamian prime minister the Right Honourable Hubert Alexander Ingraham, plowed through the submissions like the Right Steampunk Emperor Barkevious Mingo through SEC offensive lines.

Mingo has soared since his 2009 NOTY title. Last year’s people’s champion, Australian rules footballer Steele Sidebottom, lifted the Premiership Cup when he and his Collingwood Magpies ’mates won the Grand Final. (They celebrated the day after by dressing in costumes; Steele went for a Village People look.) The NOTY High Committee’s 2011 winner, Nohjay Nimpson, was recently named captain of the St. Joseph’s women’s track team.

Coincidence? We think not. These post-NOTY achievements are testament to the power of the title of Name of the Year. Impotent offensive tackles, emasculated ruckmen, intimidated female triple-jumpers from Xavier and URI -- the world bows before our onomastic kings and queens.

The NOTY Seeding Committee gathered one evening in New York City this week and, over Jack and Coke, amber ale and cranberry juice (not in the same glass), yeaed and nayed its way through the 350 or names that made it out of the inbox and onto the master list. We chose not to expand the tournament to 68 -- tradition, tradition -- and had the usual trouble whittling the pool anywhere close to 64. But persevere we did. Believe us, it wasn’t easy. Tore Vikingstad, Clifford Many Heads, Dick Longwish, Vandy Blue Spikes, Harry Baals, Rockit Storm Pettijohn, Lincoln D.C. Fishpool -- none of them made the cut, from page one of our printout alone.

So who did? We need a few more days to finalize the ballot, but we’ll tease you with the tentative No. 1 seeds:

Bulltron Regional: North Carolina skateboarder Monquarius Mungo.

Sithole Regional: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo wrestler Atticus Disney.

Dragonwagon Regional: UCLA political science grad student stonegarden grindlife (yes, he seems to prefer the lowercase).

Chrotchtangle Regional: South Carolina bridesmaid La’Peaches Pitts.

Of course, RexAchilles Imperial, the Rev. Demon Sox, Delorean Blow, Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson, Wannah Bail, Mercedes Bunz, Joe Shortsleeve, Widgett Washington, Orel Oral, Happy Kumar, Taco B.M. Monster and many others will have something to say about the outcome. And so will you.