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