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.