Friday, May 6, 2016

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

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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.

NAME OF THE YEAR FINAL