Well folks, it’s once again that special time of year. The leaves are coming back, the remains of that disgusting black snow pile on the corner of my block is finally melting, and the constant deluge of pouring rain means the oft-rhymed May flowers are just around the corner. Luckily, just as it’s begun to heat up outside, so too has it begun to heat up inside our bracket. And while nothing riles up sports fans more than the debate over what exactly defines something as ‘elite,’ there can be no denying that the 2017 Name of the Year Elite Eight are just that.
It hasn’t been easy getting to this point. In the Bulltron, Illinois State football recruit one-seed Kobe Buffalomeat had to overcome some Bupps in the road but walked away victorious with another commanding victory, while neighborhood witness six-seed YourMajesty Lumpkins dethroned the H. King himself. Over in the Sithole, one-seed Marmaduke Trebilcock ensured that Dick will have to watch the rest of the competition posthumously, as three-seed Faraj Fartass dealt a less-than-Fortunate blow to Mr. Sithole. Continuing into the Dragonwagon, one-seed Chardonnay Pantastico went full Old Testament on Christian Joo’s behind, while six-seed Andy Brandy Casagrande IV brought down my personal favorite name in the competition (no jokes here, I’m still salty about that one.) Finally, over in the Crotchtangle, one-seed Quindarious Monday Cream’d his latest opponent. His foe in the Elite Eight is the subject of today’s post.
That final name is fourteen-seed Boats Botes, who has laid waste to Aphrodite Bodycomb, Bird Lovegod, and Eliza Fox Teats in his quest for onomastic glory. While shocking upsets here at Name of the Year are nothing new, it is worth noting that the Elite Eight’s counterpart in the NCAA has never before seen a fourteen-seed compete, and the last time one even made an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen was Chattanooga in 1997.
This means we are dealing with a man who has found himself in territory which many may feel does not belong to him. It’s fitting, then, that Mr. Botes holds a day job as group assets and security manager for Gold One, where he works to combat the illegal ground and surface mining that is unlawfully taking place on his company’s territories in the East Rand, outside Johannesburg, South Africa. The Australian-based company develops and mines both gold and uranium around the world, though it is their Modder East gold mine which poses the greatest challenge to Mr. Botes.
For years, the problem of illegal South African gold mining has raised obvious safety, social, and environmental concerns in the region, often with violent consequences. According to this article in the Rand Daily Mail, over 300 illegal miners have died in clashes for control of mine shafts since 2012. These illegal mining enterprises employ tens of thousands, many of whom are refugees from neighboring countries who are desperate for work and find themselves exploited by local crime syndicates. Because of the huge profit margins spread across multiple countries through an intricate system of miners, sellers, distributors, and buyers, the South African government has had a difficult time stamping out the practice. Mr. Botes believes that the only way to wipe out illegal mining is through a coordinated effort between the mining industry, government, the community, and law enforcement. While he knows there is a long way to go before it’s fully eradicated, he seems confident that the practice is on the decline. And if there’s one man who knows how to overcome a remarkably difficult challenge, it’s the man who has found himself competing in the Elite Eight as a fourteen seed.
Though Mr. Botes certainly has his hands full solving a problem with myriad causes and no easy solution, we hope that his path to a Name of the Year championship is much more straightforward. So cast your Boats Botes votes below, leave your Boats Botes notes, quotes, and anecdotes in the comments, and as always, be sure to follow @NOTYTourney on Twitter!
THE ELITE EIGHT
#1 Kobe Buffalomeat vs. #6 YourMajesty Lumpkins
#1 Marmiduke Trebilcock vs. #3 Faraj Fartass
#1 Chardonnay Pantastico vs. #6 Andy Brandy Casagrande IV
#1 Quintarious Monday vs. #14 Boats Botes