Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 NOTY: Dragonwagon Regional, Part 2

This might be the toughest, most well-rounded foursome in the tournament. One inexplicable Native American. One Borscht Belt-meets-True Value. One apostrophe plus Beaver Cleaver. And one stock Russian/WWF villain.

Vote now.

No. 5 Vernon Lee Bad Marriage Jr.: Beat his girlfriend, Leeta Old Chief. We did not make any of that up.
No. 12 Monty Hardware: Canadian basketball player.

No. 4 I’Tavius Mathers: Tennessee high-school running back.

No. 13 Draco Slaughter: 75-year-old who joked that he had a bomb in his carry-on.

2011 NOTY: Dragonwagon Regional, Part 1

Drungo Hazewood was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 1977 baseball amateur draft. He showed some power in the low minors but had trouble with good old Uncle Charlie. He reached the show for six games at age 20 in September 1980, went 0-for-5, was sent back to down to the minors, stuck around for three more seasons and was done.

Drungo played in baseball's longest game, the 33-inning affair between his Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox in April (and June) of 1981. The game is chronicled in New York Times writer Dan Barry's new book, Bottom of the 33rd, which was reviewed in the Times this week. We happen to have a copy, and for NOTY purposes, the most important passage is on page 82: How Drungo Hazewood got his name. Writes the author:

His mother, Catherine, was a housewife who gave her life to raising ten children and helping to rear who knows how many grandchildren. With her ninth about to be born, Catherine announced a dare: Whoever wins a foot race to the hospital gets to name the baby. Her son Aubrey won the challenge, and he had a good friend whose last name was Drungo. So Drungo Hazewood it was.

His middle name, by the way, is LaRue.

Vote below. And please follow us on Twitter @NOTYtourney.

No. 1 stonegarden grindlife: UCLA grad student.
No. 16 Moe Lester: Canadian butcher.

No. 8 Rexachilles Imperial: Texas swimmer. (We're now going with a lowercase A.)

No. 9 Drungo Hazewood: Baseball legend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 NOTY: Sithole Regional, Part 4

That's the Shah of Iran driving a car. His full name was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. He was also known as Shahanshah, or King of Kings. So, yes, he was the Shah King, just like Sithole Regional No. 10 seed Shahking Gomez. And that's about where the similarity ends.

We love this group: The shocking Shahking; a good old-fashioned inexplicable first name in No. 7 Lekeebrion Jackson; the faux anonymity of No. 2 John Dough, who a recent news report said was skimming some; and the 1970s-Foxy-Brown-soul-funk-comic-book-antihero coolness of No. 15 Yolanda Supersad.


No. 7 Lekeebrion Jackson: Iowa drug suspect.
No. 10 Shahking Gomez: Bronx man duped by health clinic.

No. 2 John Dough: That’s Sheriff John Dough to you!

No. 15 Yolanda Supersad: Georgia medical illustrator.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2011 NOTY: Sithole Regional, Part 3

Before we get to the next set of votes, get out your ballots. Voting is closed in the Bulltron Regional.

And that means we have to bid a fond farewell to little Tuesday Muse, the plucky and inspiring Atlanta schoolgirl who's raising money for Japan's earthquake victims, taken down by the muckraking Boston newsman Joe Shortsleeve. Boston's Bravest will not be pleased.


So here are your second-round match-ups in the Bulltron, which will be posted after we slog through the rest of the first round:

No. 1 Monquarius Mungo v. No. 9 Rockwell Bonecutter
No. 12 Leviticus Payne v. No. 13 Col. Many-Bears Grinder
No. 3 Joe Shortsleeve v. No. 6 Ebenezer Noonoo
No. 2 Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson v. No. 10 Orion Blizzard

And now back to the Sithole. Two votes below.

No. 3 Lola Porch: Sued a nursing home.
No. 14 A’Trey-U Jones: LSU walk-on defensive lineman.

No. 6 Sanmorteeno Battle: Alabama camp counselor.

No. 11 Solo Alone: Australian youth rugby player. Uh oh.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

2011 NOTY: Sithole Regional, Part 2

Media round-up!

New York magazine approves. Brilliant, we humbly agree. But lowbrow? Clearly they're not regular readers.

NPR's Monkey See blog--shouldn't it be Money Hear?--praises our "subtle brilliance" but also misunderstands. We really, really, really aren't about "mocking schoolyard humor." As we've noted before, onomastics is about human behavior and cultural norms. And so is NOTY. Johnny Dickshot! Tee-hee!

Joshua Kurp of Splitsider, The Awl's humor site, asked us some very fine questions and we answered them. A good time was had by all.

Friends of NOTY Drew Magary of Deadspin and Spencer Hall of Every Day Should Be Saturday podcast the bracket. Here's pretty much how it goes, for 45 minutes and 30 seconds:

Drew: Uh, [Name].

Spencer: [Intelligent joke about Name].

Drew: Guffaw, guffaw, guffaw.

Spencer: Har, har, har.

Drew: Uh, [off-color joke about Name].

And, finally, this "extension of a (moderately) successful campus radio talk show from The University of Western Ontario’s Radio Western in London, Ontario, Canada," is doing round-by-round bracket analysis of the tournament.

We are, as ever, humbled. Two votes below.

No. 5 Flamur Kastrati: Norwegian footballer.
No. 12 Quardrophenia Taylor: Louisiana woman. Google her yourself.

No. 4 Delorean Blow: North Carolina DWI offender.

No. 13 Basil Smotherman Jr.: Purdue basketball recruit.

2011 NOTY: Sithole Regional, Part 1

Sorry. We should have told you that we were going on spring break. With children. Many children. Only one of them ours.

Let's get right back to it, shall we?

We made Atticus Disney the top seed in the Sithole Regional for a reason: We liked his both-ways style. The righteous austerity of the Christian name combined with the Mickey and Goofy joviality of the surname. We figured our No. 1 was named for the legal hero Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird, and we were correct. Atticus, a heavyweight wrestler at California Polytechnic State University, or Cal Poly, told the campus paper, the Mustang Daily, that his parents were going to name him either Atticus or Ken:

“No one likes to have the weird name when you’re little, because everyone makes fun of you,” Disney said. “But when you start getting older I think people remember you easier. I mean in class, you don’t really forget the name Atticus. I love it now.”

We do too. Two votes below.

No. 1 Atticus Disney: Cal Poly heavyweight wrestler.
No. 16 Tally Hair: NASCAR media executive.

No. 8 Chuntania Dangerfield: Houston county employee.

No. 9 Crusoe Gongbay: Incoming New Mexico running back.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Tuesday!

Our cold hearts are melting!

That's Bulltron Regional No. 14 seed -- and No. 1 cutie -- Tuesday Muse holding the 2011 NOTY ballot!

Tuesday is an Atlanta kindergartner who's raising money for Japanese earthquake relief by selling her artwork for $5 a piece. Her mom says she's raised nearly $300.

Way to go, Tuesday! And good luck against Joe Shortsleeve!

2011 NOTY: Bulltron Regional, Part 4

NOTY reader Joshua emailed us to say that Dragonwagon Regional No. 2 seed stonegarden grindlife had been his teaching assistant in a political science class at UCLA. Josh maintained that grindlife should be removed from the ballot because

"he was born with a normal name and changed it to stonegarden grindlife himself when he was in his 20's because he's an ultra liberal hippie and wanted a name that was as bizarre and alternative as possible. (he briefed us all on this when we first showed up for class because 'What's up with your name?' is obviously the first question students have when we first see that he's our TA)"

Sorry, Josh. Legal is good enough for us. We even have a name for this policy, the Dragonwagon Doctrine, after the Hall of Name member honored in stonegarden's region, 1993 NOTY Crescent Dragonwagon.

The doctrine is upheld here in the bottom of the Bulltron with No. 15 Shalom Dreampeace Compost, a government analyst in Santa Cruz, Calif. In this fantastic story about the glut of 1960s and '70s hippie-ish name-changers in that lefty town, Compost explained in 2002 that Shalom was a birth name. But his given surname was Rich.

"It stood for something I didn’t believe in," he said. "Being rich."

Well, it also can mean "having high value or quality" or "full and mellow in tone and quality" or "meaningful, significant." But let's not harsh the buzz. Go on.

"For me, choosing the name Compost was choosing a lifestyle more in harmony with the planet Earth," he said. "Rich not only stood for material wealth but was a common first name and just seemed to cause a lot of confusion in my life."

Principle and expedience, all in one. Compost "notified everyone he knew and all the people he did business with that he was 'Compost' from now on. At the Department of Motor Vehicles, he just filled out the new name on the forms in 1976."

"It has generally been an empowering experience, having a name that is something I believe in."

Probably also a bit of a pain in the ass. Two votes below. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter @NOTYtourney.

No. 7 Mississippi Winn: Former oldest living African-American.
No. 10: Orion Blizzard: WWII vet.

No. 2 Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson: Florida bank robbery suspect who might consider changing nickname.

No. 15 Shalom Dreampeace Compost: See above.

Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 NOTY: Bulltron Regional, Part 3

Before we plunge into the bottom half of the Bulltron, a note from your sponsors:

As we type, 500 more votes have been cast in the Mercedes Bunz-Col. Many-Bears Grinder match -- 2,300 to 1,800 -- than in the one directly above it in the same post. Balloting was equal for the first 800 or so votes, and it was Grinder in a rout. Then, 200 votes later, it was Bunz by a substantial margin. We realized we had failed to activate ballot-box-stuffing controls (i.e., one vote per URL), and so we did. And lo and behold, the race tightened again.

Now the gap is 500 and we don't know whether someone has figured out a way around the controls or whether Europe is rising to vote for MrsBunz, the self-described "visionary writer on digital technology & society published in English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch" and contributor to a reductio ad absurdum manifesto on internet journalism.

In any case, we're docking Bunz 200 votes, and we suspect it should be more. Onward.

We love us some Joe Shortsleeve. The surname, as far as we can determine, comes from the French Courtemanche. Classy. But the English translation coupled with the monosyllabic 'merican first name is aurally fantastic. Joe is the "chief correspondent" for a Boston TV station, most recently the subject of interweb anger over a gotcha story in which he "caught" a Boston firetruck parked at a grocery store at lunchtime. Inside, the city's bravest were, um, buying lunch. The point: They were using the truck -- the public's truck! paid for with taxpayer dollars! -- to drive to the store and buy lunch. Which, Joe was told, is perfectly fine.

Here's another fantastic animation of the Shortsleeve story. Enjoy. And vote.

No. 3 Joe Shortsleeve: “Arguably one of the most recognizable TV news reporters in Boston.”
No. 14 Tuesday Muse: 6-year-old Atlanta do-gooder.

No. 6 Ebenezer Noonoo: Former Illinois-Chicago forward.

No. 11 Cassanova McKinzy: Future Auburn linebacker.

Friday, April 8, 2011

2011 NOTY: Bulltron Regional, Part 2

OK, fine. Separate votes for the first round it is.

There are plenty of excellent biblical names for boys -- Absalom, Elnathan (which would look fantastic with an apostrophe), Jaazaniah, Patrobus, Uzziah, Zadok, et al. Leviticus is quite the selection. Forget the parts of this book of the Bible about animal sacrifice and dietary laws and cut to the money line, in Chapter 18:

"Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence."

As Slate's David Plotz wrote while blogging the Bible, "a lot of ink, and probably some blood, has been spilled about the meaning of this verse." But it's hard to get around the favored conservative interpretation. So did the parents of our No. 12 seed, Leviticus Payne, a future Michigan cornerback, know of what they named? Hard to imagine they didn't. As Plotz wrote, "There is no Brokeback Mount Sinai."

As for No. 13 Col. Many-Bears Grinder, she's a she. And an all-around bad ass: combat vet, Bronze Star recipient, wife of a Vietnam vet. "Grinder’s first name was originally a nickname that stuck, so she legally changed her name." Makes you wonder what her given name was.

Two votes, below.

No. 5 Silverberry Mouhon: Cincinnati-bound defensive end.
No. 12 Leviticus Payne: Michigan-bound cornerback.

No. 4 Mercedes Bunz: Visionary writer, if she doesn't mind saying so herself!

No. 13 Col. Many-Bears Grinder: Tennessee commissioner of veteran affairs.

2011 NOTY: Bulltron Regional, Part 1

Let's get this party started.

As hard as we fought to post all 32 first-round match-ups, our fingers, time and common sense won in first-round knockout. So we're going to do the opening round in groups of four. Feel free to crunch the numbers at NOTY Prospectus, check the Vegas lines and make your first-round selection in the privacy of your home. Then decide who advances to the Sweet 16. We'll post links and results on Twitter @NOTYtourney.

First up: the top of the Bulltron.

No. 1 Monquarius Mungo: South Carolinian arrested for skateboarding in the second degree. No relation to 2009 NOTY Barkevious Mingo.
No. 16 Chelsea Poppens: Iowa State women's hooper. Bio includes this: "high school was destroyed in a F-5 tornado that tore through Parkersburg in the summer of 2008."
No. 8 Widgett Washington: JUCO point guard. National player of the week!
No. 9 Rockwell Bonecutter: Technology executive. Middle initial: C., which somehow adds to the allure. Even conservatives like funny names!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Your 2011 Name of the Year Ballot

First, a round of applause for the NOTY Design Committee, the incomparable twoeightnine, aka Matt Johnson. This year's ballot conjures handlebar mustaches and spittoons, petticoats and swinging-door saloons, numberless woolen uniforms and spikes-up slides. It's a ballot that Old Hoss Radbourn could love.

So roll up your Bulltron Regional No. 3 seed Joe Shortsleeve, put on a Chrotchtangle No. 6 Happy Kumar face, lather up with some Chrotchtangle No. 10 Charlie Soap, crack open a can of Chrotchtangle No. 13 Neptune Pringle III, and lay down your Sithole No. 2 John Dough on whoever you think will Bulltron No. 7 Mississippi Winn.

Click here for a printable bracket. Online voting will begin soon.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Page 29 of the April 4 issue of Sports Illustrated. There we are.

SI has produced a "bracket of brackets." And while we are flattered to be included -- and tickled silly to see NOTY legend Assumption Bulltron's name printed in Sportsfreaking Illustrated magazine, an occurrence we could not have envisioned when drunkenly electing the convicted felon as Name of the Decade in 1992 -- we think we're criminally underseeded.

Seriously, science-fiction movies a 5? Chocolate a 4? Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive a 2?

OK, so maybe we would have settled for a 3.

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