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!
#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