Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Boats Botes Is Your 2017 Name Of The Year

If you consider Boats Botes' journey through the 2017 Name of the Year field, you'll find it to be a perfect inverse to the tale of the Titanic. In one story, a vessel thought to be unsinkable hits an iceberg and collapses to the bottom of the sea. In the other, a Boat that seemed, at least in our eyes, utterly sinkable dodges one onomastic hazard after another, sometimes with shocking ease, en route to a triumphant success.

Decades from now, how will future generations spin the yarn of the South African chief of security at mining company Gold One? Will they speak with admiration of the man who squeezed Eliza Fox Teats, shot down Bird Lovegod, removed the teeth of Aphrodite Bodycomb, ended Quindarious Monday, drank up Andy Grande Casagrande IV, and dethroned YourMajesty Lumpkins? Will they lament the detritus Mr. Botes left behind in his wake, bemoaning that he took the NOTY crown from one of his opponents? Or will they just make How I Met Your Mother references?

What we at least hope will not be part of the discussion is the validity of Mr. Botes name. In recent days, some of our beloved fans have sought to invalidate the "Boats" handle as a nickname. For evidence, they point to a Facebook page, apparently belonging to Mr. Boats, which implies that his actual first name could be Peet.

When we assemble our field, however, we pay no attention to Facebook. Social media is easily faked, and so in our minds, it can neither prove nor disprove the validity of a name. Meanwhile, Boats Botes is named as such in news articles and is known professionally by his repetitive moniker. We have reached out to Mr. Botes for clarity, and if he responds to us, there's a chance we will have to offer a "Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture"-level retraction. For now, though, Boats Botes stands as the 2017 Name of the Year. To the protestors, we can only promise that we at the High Committee are not enjoying this reality any more than they are.

If nothing else, the fantastic voyage of Boats Botes cements his home nation as perhaps the single greatest hotbed of NOTY talent. He is the third winner to come from South Africa, joining Courage Tshabalala (1997) and Tokyo Sexwale (2001). How many more potential champions are hidden in the  townships of Jo'burg, the gold mines of the Witwatersrand, and the grasslands of the Veldt? We hope you will help us answer that question by continuing to submit your favorite names to nameoftheyear@gmail.com. With your assistance, we can return in 2018 with another stellar field. Until then, we shall be like Boats Botes passing in the night. Until next time, so long, and make sure to stay up to date by following us on Twitter.