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