Tuesday, May 23, 2017

In Praise of Kobe Buffalomeat

The following post was first published on Deadspin.

Last month, the voting public selected Boats Botes as the 2017 Name of the Year. Congratulations, voting public, on choosing a wildly inferior candidate for the second time in six months! The Name of the Year High Committee held a separate vote, as the committee often does. And while we could only right this one election wrong, we feel we have done so.

Kobe Buffalomeat is our 2017 Name of the Year.

Buffalomeat is, of course, the 6-foot-7, 285-pound offensive lineman from Lawrence, Kan., whose name blew up in February after he committed to Illinois State. Darren Rovell made good—and one hopes ironic—use of “BREAKING” on Twitter, reporting that “Illinois State signs the best recruit name in college football recruiting history.” The Washington Post called Buffalomeat “the nation’s first 102-star recruit.” Deadpsin dubbed the Buffalomeat news “the only good thing to happen on Twitter during National Signing Day.” Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples, a noted names and NOTY fan, banged out a comprehensive profile. Jordan Peele tweeted, “We’re gonna need a bigger sketch comedy show.” The Buffalomeat phenomenon culminated with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live by the name himself. 

Buffalomeat seems like a good kid—composed, well spoken, nice smile, sense of humor. He retweeted, without comment, our Deadspin post on the NOTY bracket. But those qualities weren’t what made him the overall tournament No. 1 seed, or the landslide selection of the committee. Sure, you could argue that “Kobe Buffalomeat” is a little on the nose onomastically. And the media attention might have made the name feel overexposed by the time of public balloting. But it’s a glorious name regardless: Kobe because his mom, Paula, liked the name of then-third-year Lakers guard Kobe Bryant; Buffalomeat from the Cheyenne Arapaho tribe in Oklahoma in the lineage of his father, Ray. Kobe is a kind of meat. Buffalomeat is a kind of meat. As we say at NOTY, Kobe Buffalomeat has it going both ways. 

Kimmel asked Buffalomeat what people call him. “A lot of people call me Buff, a couple people call me Beef and the head coach calls me Meat,” he replied.

We call him the 2017 Name of the Year. Congratulations, @buffalomeat10!

Here’s the Top 10 as selected by the NOTY committee, some of whom have been doing this since the 1980s. Scoring is 25-15-10-7-5 points per round. First-place votes in parentheses.

1. Kobe Buffalomeat 229 (6)
2. Sultan McDoom 156 (3)
3. Aphrodite Bodycomb 120 (3)
4. Marmaduke Trebilcock 112 (1)
5. Chardonnay Pantastico 107
6. Fortunate Sithole 97
7. Jeffrosenberg Tan 81 (1)
8. Andy Brandy Casagrande IV 80
9. Quindarious Monday 70
10.Faraj Fartass 61

Boats Botes, a South African gold-mining executive, tied for 21st place with Dutch museum director Taco Dibbits, Atlanta lawyer H. King Buttermore III and Dutch designer Hella Jongerius with 17 points each.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Kobe Buffalomeat Is Our 2017 Name of the Year



Last month, you the people of the voting public selected Boats Botes, an employee in South Africa's gold mining industry, as your selection for the 2017 Name of the Year. It was, all things considered, a fine choice. All 64 of the names that make it into our tournament each year are by virtue of their inclusion exciting enough to win the title. The NOTY field represents the top 1% as far as names go, so even if Mr. Botes was not our personal High Committee choice, the quality of his handle is still far superior to most others in the world.

That 1% area, however, has a lot of area to explore, and we don't think it's right to cast aside some names that may have been overlooked due to the pecularities of our bracket format or the whims of our voters. You as a group, for example, put 12-seed Headman Dadzie past five-seed Jeffrosenberg Tan in the Chrotchtangle Regional's first round, and I have no idea why you did that. Whatever your reasoning was, you decided that Mr. Tan's stay in the tournament was to be as brief as possible.

To the group that organizes this annual showdown, many of these names deserve to be honored in a more thorough manner than what our bracket provides, and the High Committee vote is the method we use to show a little more love for the names that particularly tickled us this year. It's our way of adding our two cents to your sea of opinions.

In recent years, we have shirked our High Committee duty and have not determined our own champion adjacent to that of The People. In 2017, though, with such a contentious winner taking the title, we weren't about to let slip our chance to have our say. We each filled out a bracket and awarded 25 points to our respective winners, 15 points to our runners up, 10 points for additional Final Four contenders, seven points for the remaining members of our Elite Eight, and five points for the Sweet Sixteen.

Here is the High Committee's Top 10. (First-place votes in parentheses.)

1. Kobe Buffalomeat 229 (6)
2. Sultan McDoom 156 (3)
3. Aphrodite Bodycomb 120 (3)
4. Marmaduke Trebilcock 112 (1)
5. Chardonnay Pantastico 107
6. Fortunate Sithole 97
7. Jeffrosenberg Tan 81 (1)
8. Andy Brandy Casagrande IV 80
9. Quindarious Monday 70
10. Faraj Fartass 61

Ultimately, we the High Committee went for the All-American option. We selected Kobe Buffalomeat, incoming Illinois State University offensive lineman, as our Name of the Year. He will live alongside the 2017 People's Choice -- Mr. Botes -- in our annals.

Don't think of this as our way of protesting the results. As I said up top, each name in the bracket is special. It just may be that some are more special than others, and we hope that our point of view gives you something fresh to think about as you await NOTY 2018 -- which will be powered, as always, by your wonderful suggestions. Please keep us in mind if you ever witness an incredible moniker in the wild, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter.