Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pope McCorkle III Is Your 2016 Name of the Year

Those of you who have raised your pitchforks at us over the last few rounds of our contest might want to keep your torches lit. Pope McCorkle III, the Duke University public policy professor who earned a one-seed from us but vitriol from many of you, has won the People's vote for the 2016 Name of the Year.

McCorkle, who friends and family call "Mac" and who we've started referring to as "P-Mc3," gained steam as he rolled through the 2016 ballot. From his perch atop the Sithole Regional, he excommunicated Mssrs. Comizio, Cats, Schwing, and Tips to advance to the Final Four. Once there, he completed his performance with impressive victories over a pair of fan favorites, Tillmann Buttersack and Sweet Orefice, to claim the title. He will now be canonized alongside past NOTY champions.

We understand that many of you are upset with the voting record of your fellows, but we hope the historic nature of P-Mc3's victory can be appreciated by all. He is the first one-seed to claim the NOTY title since undisputed champion Vanilla Dong stomped through the 2007 bracket, and he is the first ever victor whose name carries the title "III" at its end. In his triumph, he upholds the legacy of Neptune Pringle III, Cantwell Faulkner Muckenfuss III, and all the other IIIs who came before him.

Hopefully that historical context helps the NOTY voting base share P-Mc3's triumph. If you're still not a fan, you might find our High Committee choice more up your alley, if we ever get around to holding that vote. In the meantime, we can only extend our thanks. If you came out and voted in this year's contest, we salute you. Hopefully you'll all be back for 2017. Follow us on Twitter for updates.

Friday, May 6, 2016

2016 Name of the Year Final: Pope McCorkle III vs. Sweet Orefice

Back in April, college basketball fans experienced a final for the ages, with Villanova's Kris Jenkins hitting a buzzer-beating game-winner and launching a parade of memes. One month later (in our typical late fashion), we're hosting our own final, and we hope the conclusion of our yearly tournament lives up to the exciting precedent set by NCAA Division I Men's Basketball. It's North Carolina's Pope McCorkle III vs. New York's Sweet Orefice. Will it come down to the wire? Or will one of our two remaining naminees romp his or her way to Name of the Year glory?

We'll decide that here and now, but first, let's take a moment to see how each of our finalists made it this far. Mrs. Orefice's path is somewhat straightforward. On the strength of a name that can make even the most seasoned High Committee member giggle, she rode a sugar high through the Chrotchtangle Regional. She doubled off Peola Smith-Smith, canned Muna Tuna, coarsened Mighty Fine, and exorcised Billie-Jo Skeleton. Then, in the Final Four, she scored her biggest victory yet, knocking off the seemingly-infallible Taco Pope in a few quick bites.

Mr. McCorkle's path to the final has been a bit more controversial. In the Sithole Regional, he squeezed Kiwi Comizio, fired Oozi Cats, blasphemed against Saint Schwing, and edged out Dick Tips. That final victory, which came against a fan favorite, caused many voters to cry foul. A Final Four triumph against Tillmann Buttersack only strengthened the cries of conspiracy.

The truth is a lot simpler: P-Mc3's family has been stumping for him. They've shared the NOTY ballots on Facebook, thus allowing his loved ones to descend upon our tournament and influence it. Whether you like it or not, social media promotion is absolutely within the NOTY rules, and without it, several past winners, such as popular athletes Steele Sidebottom and Barkevious Mingo, would never have tasted victory.

So there you have it. Orefice vs. McCorkle. A sophomoric appeal vs. a more refined approach. A clean path to the final vs. a controversial one. Our two finalists have plenty of areas where they can be contrasted, but they also have some attributes in common. Both, for example, are employed by collegiate institutions. More importantly, they both possess great names. As you can see by our rankings -- we made Mr. McCorkle a one-seed and Mrs. Orefice a three -- we're quite pleased with the ultimate match-up you have chosen.

Now, it's time to vote. Who will be enshrined in the annals of NOTY history? And who will be relegated to an also-ran? Share your opinion below, and remember to follow us on Twitter.


Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 Name of the Year: Final Four

Taco supremacy reigned in the Dragonwagon final, where Mr. Pope handily defeated Howdy Goudy, which, I don't know, is hard to feel good about. It basically reinforces the idea that dynasties dominate in all aspects of life. Wealth, power, politics… You'd like to think Name of the Year would be the exception.

The task of keeping Taco Pope from the finals falls to Sweet Orefice, the Sarah Lawrence administrative assistant, who walked away with the strongest Elite Eight victory. Orefice crushed Jorja Pound Turnipseed with 66 percent of the vote in the Chrotchtangle Regional Final.

Another Pope, McCorkle III, also pulled out a win, by a mere 21 votes, over Dick Tips, in the Sithole final. He'll be facing Tillmann Buttersack in the Final Four. Buttersack defeated Onno Hoes to win the Bulltron regional.

For what it's worth, if this thing ends up being Pope vs. Pope, I wouldn't blame voters for staying at home.

Tillmann Buttersack vs. Pope McCorkle III

Taco Pope vs. Sweet Orefice

Monday, April 25, 2016

Name of the Year: The Elite Eight

The terrifically-named Pope family has made some waves among our user base, but meanwhile, another papal naminee has quietly booked his own spot in the Elite Eight. North Carolina academic Pope “Mac” McCorkle III is one win away from the Final Four, and in this election year, his history in the political sphere would make him a fitting Name of the Year champion.

McCorkle works at a school well known for its tournament success. He is an “Associate Professor of the Practice” at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. While many Blue Devil standouts have drawn their fair share of hate over the years, McCorkle has opted to provide a less divisive point of view. While he himself is a former Democratic Party political consultant, he has been quoted in several articles that have tried to understand the increasingly purple and complex political landscape of his home state of North Carolina.

The NOTY world, like American politics, is fueled by debate, and so McCorkle fits right in. Here, however, we’re not arguing about wedge issues like abortion. Instead, we’re weighing McCorkle against his Elite Eight challenger, Dick Tips. Mr. Tips has easily overcome all of the onomastic challenges he has faced thus far; can McCorkle do anything to blunt his momentum? Our North Carolina professor can call upon the spirits of Laettner, Boozer, Okafor, and all the other victorious Blue Devils as inspiration for his own run.

Good luck, Mac. You’ll need it.

(Obligatory Twitter plug.)



#1 Tillmann Buttersack vs. #6 Onno Hoes 


#1 Pope McCorkle III vs. #7 Dick Tips


#9 Taco Pope vs. #6 Howdy Goudey 


#3 Sweet Orefice vs. #13 Jorja Pound Turnipseed

Friday, April 15, 2016

2016 Name of the Year: The Sweet Sixteen


When judging Name of the Year matchups, should backstories be taken into account? This is a fundamental question we return to year after year, and it has no clear answer. For some, a great name is a great name, even if it is attached to a person whose life appears pedestrian. Others believe that someone whose biography offers a compelling complement to their moniker should receive a few figurative bonus points. If we ignore the fact, for example, that 2014 NOTY one-seed Dr. Loki Skylizard changed his name as a boy and has stuck with his choice since then, does that ignorance elevate his standing in our bracket or diminish it? Depending on your opinion of backstories, you answer may vary.

If, like me, you fall into the pro-backstory camp, you should be rooting for Onno Hoes. As we’ve detailed in previous posts, several of this year’s naminees are intriguing characters, but Onno’s origin story complements his name better than anyone else in our bracket.
Hoes hails from the Netherlands, which in recent years has emerged as a Name of the Year hotbed. Undisputed 2011 NOTY champion Taco B.M. Monster is a Dutchman, as are recent contenders Wubbo Ockels and Boy Waterman.

Onno Hoes, however, isn’t just a Dutchman. He’s a powerful Dutchman -- or at least he was. Between 2010 and 2015, he was the Mayor of Maastricht, Holland’s 21st largest city and one of its most popular destinations for tourists. Three years into his term, Hoes was embroiled in a sex scandal that would ultimately tank his political career. His infidelities ultimately included several so-called “toy boys,” and he was ensnared by a clever honey pot pulled off by local broadcaster Powned, which set up a fake profile on Grindr in order to catch the mayor in the act. When he discovered that he had been had, we can only assume the guilty party screamed “Oh no! Hoes!” His reputation in shambles, Hoes announced his resignation on December 10th, 2014, though he stayed in power until a new mayor could be appointed.

As far as backstories go, that’s just about perfect. In Dutch, the name Onno Hoes might not mean much, but in English, its sexual connotations are palpable, especially when combined with the indiscretions of its bearer. At the same time, if you wish to judge based on name alone, perhaps you prefer Hoes’ opponent, Cincinnati’s Furious Carney. That would be a reasonable preference, though for me, Onno Hoes’ bro-on-bro no-nos push him over the top.

You can help decide that matchup, and seven others, below. The winners will face off in the Elite Eight next week. As always, follow us on Twitter.



#1 Tillmann Buttersack vs. #4 Brodarious Hamm

#6 Onno Hoes vs. #10 Furious Carney 


#1 Pope McCorkle III vs. #12 Saint Schwing

#3 Scholastique Koolimo vs. #7 Dick Tips

#9 Taco Pope vs. #4 Dr. Shark Bird 

#6 Howdy Goudey vs. #7 Ransom Barefoot
#16 Billie-Jo Skeleton vs. #13 Jorja Pound Turnipseed
#3 Sweet Orefice vs. #10 Mighty Fine

Friday, April 8, 2016

2016 Name of the Year: Dragonwagon and Crotchtangle Regionals, Round 2

The first time I remember feeling truly jealous of my brother was during my junior year of high school when he, as a freshman, stole earned my spot on the varsity cross country team. It wouldn’t be the last. Three years later, he landed a job at SpaceX while I toiled away at a startup where, for a long three months, I was literally paid in translucent blue bottles of Bud Light Platinum (#MAKEITPLATINUM™). A year later, I signed a lease on a shared studio apartment. That same month, he bought a damn boat. And yet through it all, I couldn’t have asked for a better friend, brother, and all-around Good Dude. All of this to say: sometimes the most competitive sibling rivalries lead to the most powerful of partnerships. The most dynamic of duos.

Which brings us to the second round of the Dragonwagon Regional, where we find #9 Taco Pope, a legacy underdog who took home a staggering 91% of the vote in the first round. Today he faces off against Joylord Gumbie, the #1-seed Zimbabwean wicketkeeper who easily defeated rugby prop Census Johnston. Strangely enough, Gumbie will now face his second rugby-playing opponent in Pope, not only the Planning and Opportunity Director for Nassau County but also a member of the Jacksonville Axemen Rugby League. Also a member of the formidable Axemen? Taco Pope’s brother: Apple Pope.

A Taco Pope. An Apple Pope. Both brothers. Both leading the Axemen to victory. And yet, only one was nominated for the 2016 Name of the Year. Have these deliciously-named brothers moved past their onomastic rivalry and learned to combine their powers for good? You better believe they have. "We're from a small beach community in Florida,” said Taco. “By the time we were old enough to realise our names were unusual, everybody already knew who we were.'' With this kind of chill, you can rest assured that Taco enters the second round of the Name of the Year tournament with the full support of his brother Apple.

And his third brother Pepci.
And his mother Chili.
And her sister Peper.
And her other sister Cofi.
And Cofi’s child Sage.
And Cofi’s other child Bran.
And Cofi’s other child Cinimaon-T.
And Cofi’s other child Dentyne.

And so, while Taco is the only Pope to make it into this year’s tournament, don’t underestimate the tenacity of a family with nothing to lose and everything to gain in the support of one of their own. Will another Taco victory bring honor upon the rest of the Popes? Vote below, and follow @NOTYTourney on


#1 Joylord Gumbie vs. #9 Taco Pope

#12 Lt. Charlene Sprinkle-Huff vs. #4 Dr. Shark Bird

#6 Howdy Goudey vs. #3 Dicaprio Bootle

#7 Ransom Barefoot vs. #2 Inta Mulch


#16 Billie-Jo Skeleton vs. #8 Tre' McKitty

#5 Divine Deablo vs. #13 Jorja Pound Turnipseed

#6 Muna Tuna vs. #3 Sweet Orefice

#10 Mighty Fine vs. #2 Bevis Mugabi

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 Name of the Year: Bulltron and Sithole Regionals, Round 2

As the NCAA tournament enters its final round, America's Most Important Bracket advances onto the Terrific Thirty-Two. Already, many high seeds have bit the dust: Southern Lehigh High alumna Billie-Jo Skeleton shook down Chrotchtangle one-seed Shuntavyious Primes-Willis, Rigoberto Urán Urán outran the refreshing Attila Freska, and the three-pronged rhyme of Chizu Shimizu Buckalew scored a critical hit against Sicnarf Loopstok.

Perched atop our High Committee overlook, we attribute this early chaos to one of the strongest top-to-bottom fields in onomastic memory. Yet, as we toss and turn at night worrying if our secrets will be among those exposed in the Panama Papers, we cannot help but worry that the High Committee is out of touch with the the people. Perhaps more concerning to us is that three of the four profiles we wrote in the first round turned out to be Name of the Year eulogies. The aforementioned Sicnarf, the epistolary Emzy Veazy III, and the rust belt revivalist Rusty Justice all failed to best their opponents, despite our hagiographies. With resentment of the elite fomenting across the country, could a High Committee endorsement not just be meaningless as in years past, but perhaps even negative?

In hopes of continuing this curse, I write here to tell the tale of Sithole Regional seven-seed Dick Tips.

Before going any further, it is worth exploring why Dick Tips fills us up...with laughter. Name of the Year has a storied tradition of phallic imagery in its pantheon: the monikers of regional namesake Doby Crotchtangle, 1997 runner-up Dick Surprise, and 2007 champion Vanilla Dong all riff on male anatomy. Perhaps more than any other suggestive language, penile euphemisms proliferate in middle schools across the country. A list compiled by Stanford University runs 4 pages single spaced. Such terms fall broadly into three categories: phallic objects (sausage, cigar, joystick, shaft, lollipop, etc.); lame metaphors for power (The Lieutenant, monster, WMD, gun); and names - Johnson, Wang, Lil Billy, and, of course, Dick. Anthropologists may attribute this multitude of synonyms to our prudish culture, Baby Boomer scolds to plentiful pornography, and doctors to inadequate sex ed. Whatever the source, it's hard to speak English or name a child without encountering a phallic phoneme or two, and each year we receive a full bracket's worth of sophomoric suggestions.

Dick Tips (born Robert Dixon Tips) has always been one more concerned with death than life. We first learned of Mr. T after a thief stole a woman's remains from the San Antonio location of his chain of funeral homes. Mr. Tips attributed the crime to anti-cremation activism, but I humbly put forward another potential culprit: anti-circumcision activists. The name Dick Tips suggests a meeting of meatuses, a gaggle of glans, or a fetid pile of foreskins in a biohazard bag in the corner of a mohel's cellar. We know the allusion to Sterling Archer's favorite phrase "just the tip" tickles many a reader, but to an anti-circumcision activist, his name suggests a bevy of boys bereft of better boners.

We included Dick Tips in our bracket because of our amazement that an actual adult human would choose to go by such a name. Nonetheless, we did not think his first-round opponent, Amethyst Valentino, deserved a drubbing as severe as the 93%-to-7% margin she received. Therefore, I have bestowed our NOTY Profile Curse upon Mr. Tips, in hopes that his name, while delightfully juvenile, will not edge out the more sublime and nuanced entries in our competition.

Will Dick Tips slip into the Sweet 16? Or will Name of the Year need to honor his request for burial in the same casket as Michael Jackson after a multi-part funeral complete with cocktails and costume changes? Aforementioned Colombian cyclist Rigoberto Urán Urán stands in his way. You can vote on that contest, as well as seven others, below. And, as always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.


#1 Tillmann Buttersack vs. #9 Jasmine Albuquerque-Croissant

#4 Brodarius Hamm vs. #12 Burm Snart

#3 Charol Shakeshaft vs. #6 Onno Hoes

#15 Chizu Shimizu Buckalew vs. #10 Furious Carney


#1 Pope McCorkle III vs. #8 Oozi Cats

#4 Snookie Catholique vs. #12 Saint Schwing

#3 Scholastique Koolimo vs. #6 Cosmo Bjorkenheim

#15 Rigoberto Urán Urán vs. #7 Dick Tips

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2016 Name of the Year: Crotchtangle Regional, Round 1

What will your legacy be? When all is done and the dust has settled, what small part of you will continue to live on? Some leave legacies that affect the lives of millions. Others have no choice but to accept the legacy thrust upon them. And then there are those who leave a profound and lasting legacy entirely by accident.

Here at Name of the Year, we have a deep respect for names of years past and for the legacies those names begat. Whether it’s last year’s Lancelot Supersad, Jr., following in the footsteps of Yolanda Supersad before him, or the tournament’s rich history of Tacos, tradition can be important. It’s why year after year we see names in the tournament that pay respect to those who came before them. And it’s why this year, we’re proud to add another legacy name to the list: the Crotchtangle Regional’s Dr. Jorja Pound Turnipseed.

It’s been over thirty years since we last saw a Turnipseed fighting for the Name of the Year title. The year was 1985. The Turnipseed was Delano, then an All-City football player from outside Philadelphia and now an inspiration to those suffering spinal cord injuries. Though he was ultimately bested by the unforgettable Godfrey Sithole, Turnipseed’s marvelous moniker earned him a permanent spot in the Hall of Names.

So here we find ourselves, the 13-seed Jorja Pound Turnipseed matched up against the four-seed Jasmine Squirrel. And it’s only fitting that Dr. Turnipseed enters the tournament as a legacy name, considering the legacy that she herself stands to leave behind. As Professor Emerita at Mississippi State University and longtime Executive Director of VSA Arts of Mississippi, Dr. Turnipseed has worked tirelessly to create learning opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities.  She was also recognized as an "Outstanding Mississippi Woman 1988-1989" and received the "Outstanding Professional Woman in Service Award" in 1981.

But could Dr. Turnipseed be at the center of the first-ever Name of the Year conspiracy theory? Consider this: in her 1993-1994 run for the Mississippi state senate, Dr. Turnipseed received funding from an anonymous “Funeral Home Director,” perhaps the same funeral home director who took home a staggering 93% of the votes in last week’s Sithole Regional. Are Jorja Pound Turnipseed and Dick Tips working in cahoots to hijack this year’s championship? Stay tuned on Twitter at @NOTYTourney to find out, and in the meantime, cast your votes below!


#1 Shuntavyious Primes-Willes, 15-year-old murder suspect, vs. Billie-Jo Skeleton, Class of '89

#8 Tre' McKitty, high school recruit, vs. #9 Narelle Coneybeare, Australian finance director

#5 Divine Deablo, soon-to-be Virginia Tech wide receiver, vs. #12 Showander Descarte, New Jersey swatting suspect

#4 Jasmine Squirrel, Freddie Gray's highschool classmate, vs. #13 Jorja Pound Turnipseed

#6 Muna Tuna, pharmaceutical consultant, vs. #11 Langstaff Dickerson, directionally-challenged assailant

#3 Sweet Orefice, Sarah Lawrence College administrative staff, vs. #14 Peola Smith-Smith, President of National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women's Clubs

#7 Kurtulus Kalican, charged in the killing of his ex-wife's boyfriend, vs. #10 Mighty Fine, director at American Public Health Association

#2 Bevis Mugabi, Southhampton FC defender, vs. #15 Genesis Lucero, Stanford lacrosse midfielder

Friday, March 25, 2016

2016 Name of the Year: Dragonwagon Regional, Round One

This season's Name Of The Year contest kicks off as the repercussions of an uneven economic recovery have been laid bare. Members of Middle America's working class have rarely had it worse. Pensions are running out of money, drug abuse is rampant, and jobs in the trades are disappearing. For most, that'd be excuse enough to turn up the volume on the West Wing DVD and crawl under the Packers fleece blanket, remembering better times. 

Not so for one contestant in the Dragonwagon Regional: Rusty Justice, a canary in the coal mine who has been reborn as a new-economy phoenix. The blue collar hero shrugged off smug, coastal doubters and swapped work in Kentucky's shuttering coal mines -- long the best employment opportunity in poverty-stricken Appalachia -- for computer coding.

Rusty's rise was not a given. Before he began compressing coal into diamonds, he was, as anyone would be, terrified to see his livelihood disappear. "I am as afraid of my government as I have ever been," Rusty told Chattanooga's Times Free Press in 2011. "The policies being enacted by my government is going to destroy the economy of my part of the state."

But Rusty separated himself from the rest of us in the shivering, huddling masses by acting decisively as the world collapsed around him. “We pondered on it, prayed over it,” he said. “We need to do something.” His company, BitSource, found itself fielding 900 job applications when it was looking for 50. He was providing hope where there'd been none.

Rusty's story stands in stark contrast to the current chapter in American history, where others have allowed fear and anger to swell into xenophobia and nationalism. He's found steely resolve under industrial decay. He's created an opportunity earned by the hard work of Kentucky's miners.

As in his personal crusade, Rusty's path forward in the NOTY contest is not clear. As the region's 13th seed, he's up against Miramar, Florida's Dr. Shark Bird in the first round. Surviving that fight will pit him against either the Kalkaska Rhinos' Daystar Smallboy or Lt. Charlene Sprinkle-Huff of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in the Florida Keys. These are all tough contenders.

Rusty, though, has always had faith. This is a year to return the favor, and have faith in Rusty Justice.

#1 Joylord Gumbie, Zimbabwean wicketkeeper, vs. #16 Census Johnston, club rugby prop 

#8 JoJo Victory, mother of injured middle school football player, vs. #9 Taco Pope, Planning & Opportunity Director for Nassau County
#5 Daystar Smallboy, forward for the Kalkaska Rhinos, vs. #12 Lt. Charlene Sprinkle-Huff, head of the communications division at Monroe County Sheriff's Office

#4 Dr. Shark Bird, family practitioner in Miramar, FL, vs. #13 Rusty Justice, miner-turned-coder

#6 Howdy Goudey, window & envelope materials engineer at Berkeley Lab, vs. #11 Zeus Preckwinkle, retiring math & science teacher at Ancona School

#3 Dicaprio Bootle, blazing fast Nebraska recruit, vs. #14 Cinderela Guevara, Presidio County judge who declared Justice Scalia dead of "natural causes"

#7 Ransom Barefoot, ex-boyfriend to the mother of a missing child, vs. #10 IV Seacat, Texas Tech walk-on

#2 Inta Mulch, top female bowler, vs. #15 Lil'Jordan Humphrey, widely-recruited running back