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