Friday, March 24, 2017

2017 Name of the Year: Chrotchtangle Regional, Round One


Many believe that humor is no more complex than the subversion of expectations. One expects a chicken to have a reason for crossing the road, or for Abbott to understand that the first baseman’s name is “Who.” And while many names in the Chrotchtangle Regional are entertaining for their repetition (14-seed Botes Boats) or their lyricism (two-seed Aphrodite Bodycomb), it’s worth stepping back for a moment to appreciate the delicious subversion expressed by the region’s ten-seed, Taco Dibbits.


Mr. Dibbits is a rice scoop of intellectualism wrapped in a tortilla of culinary delight. While his name summons the smell of sizzling meats and vegetables, he has in fact worked tirelessly at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum to improve its collection and bring masterpieces to the masses. In the last few years, he has acquired pieces such as Adriaen de Vries’ Bacchant and Rembrandt’s Marten en Oopjen for the Rijksmuseum’s collection, prompting the question, do the museum patrons know the name of the man making their experience possible? Should “Art Presented by Taco” labels adorn the works?

We don’t think the humor is lost on Mr. Dibbits. After all, he’s someone who knows how to have a good time. “The fun part of being a Director of Collections,” he said in an interview with 10 Minutes With, “is impossible to say because I think it’s all fun.” It’s that passion that earned him a promotion to the General Director of the Rijksmuseum in May 2016. His love for art and high culture seeps through every interview he gives, every article he pens.

And therein lies the subversion: while a name like Taco Dibbits may conjure a popular street foodstuff or a late-night drive-thru craving, Mr. Dibbits is the high class. He is suited, coiffed, and well-spoken. He’s been featured in the New York Times and curated multiple art documentaries. Will the juxtaposition tickle NOTY voters? Or will Mr. Dibbits find himself lamenting an early exit, consoling himself among the works of geniuses past?

Working against Mr. Dibbits is the strength of the Chrotchtangle Regional. He must overcome the smarts of seven-seed Le’Genius Wisdom Williams and other quality monikers such as the rhythmic 16-seed Bobbie Bobango or the majestic duo of eight-seed Edzard Overbeek and nine-seed Mythzard Thelisma. And of course, there’s always the chance that voters could come down with a case of the Mondays and propel one-seed Quindarious Monday to victory. Additionally, Mr. Dibbits may be entering the tournament at an inopportune time, as Taco fatigue could be setting in. It was only last year that Taco Pope, an American rugby player, won his regional and reached the Final Four.

Bearing all that in mind, it is time to vote in the 2017 NOTY Chrotchtangle Regional. Can Taco Dibbits’s love for art save him? That is in your hands, dear voters. Share your opinion below, and remember to follow us on Twitter.

CHROTCHTANGLE REGIONAL, ROUND ONE

#1 Qundarious Monday, high school football player, vs. #16 Bobbie Bobango of Laramie, Wyoming.



#8 Edzard Overbeek, CEO of HERE, a location cloud company, vs. #9 Mythzard Thelisma, financial manager for the Christianville Haiti campus and the Haiti Goat Project



#5 Jeffrosenberg Tan, Indonesian investment banker, vs. #12 Headman Dadzie, defender for the Western Strikers SC
#4 Dallas Creamer, lacrosse player for Stevens Institute of Technology, vs. #13 Free Balbona of Miami Gardens, Florida



#6 Teena Touch, PR and social media guru, vs. #11 Bird Lovegod, editor of The Fintech Times and co-founder of Disrupts Media



#3 Eliza Fox Teats, 19th Century Methodist church builder, vs. #14 Boats Botes, Gold One group asset protection and security manager



#7 Le’Genius Wisdom Williams of St. Petersburg, Florida, vs. #10 Taco Dibbits, General direction of Rijksmuseum



#2 Aphrodite Bodycomb, MSM, MBA, vs. #15 Harmony Excellent, Senior Development Manager of the American Gastroenterologist Association

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2017 Name of the Year: Dragonwagon Regional, Round One



2017 marks the 30th iterations of two beloved annual traditions: our own humble tournament and Shark Week. As we ascended from the filth of a college dorm room to become the World's Preeminent Tournament of Names, our brethren running Shark Week took an idea and created what Stephen Colbert called the Second Holiest Week of the Year.

Shark Week hatched in a smoky Manhattan bar, where a group of Discovery executives boozed and blustered until someone hit upon the perfect intersection of education and entertainment. The lineup was tame at first, filled with documentaries about diving cages and shark behavior. Each year, however, improving camera technology and better understanding of sharks lead to shots that had been impossible the year before. The series developed widespread cultural awareness as well as a small, fervent following that grew by the year.

Shark Week’s popularity took off in the late aughts thanks in part to another TV program. On a 
2006 episode of 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan's character advised a colleague to "live every week like it’s Shark Week," a line that more than a decade later decorates dating profiles nationwide.

Few people can say with more certainty that they live up to Morgan's rejoinder than the man we are here today to celebrate: Dragonwagon Regional six-seed Andy Brandy Casagrande IV. ABC4 is one of the camera people who makes it possible to see sharks shred seals in HD. He is no ordinary cameraperson; he has won an Emmy for Outstanding Nature Cinematography and Popular Mechanics called him "the gutsiest shark photographer ever".

Growing up in small town Western Pennsylvania, Andy dreamed of the deep sea. He first went to Florida International University to study marine biology but found himself discouraged by grad students studying small sea creatures. He transferred to Pitt, took a semester on a cruise ship, and several years later found himself with a degree of psychology, an unfulfilling job in tech, and a longing for the sea.

Frustrated sitting at a desk, Casagrande bet the house on a future as a videographer. To prove his skill in the sea, he wrote "The Great White Shark Song" and took footage of himself swimming cageless with a guitar and great whites. After he sent that clip to nature film producers worldwide, a Cape Town-based crew gave him a three-month internship solely on his enthusiasm for sharks.

A decade and a half later, his purview extends across the animal kingdom in his work for NatGeo, Discovery, and the BBC. Still, sharks remain his one true love. Casagrande is famous for hacking together new rigs to get inventive shots, such as a pair of tongs and a GoPro that attach to a dorsal fin to show a shark’s eye view of the sea, or foam seal dummies that capture the moments immediately before mauling. "Basically," he told Popular Mechanics, "I go to the plumbing department, or I go to a sporting goods store or Walmart, and I gather materials."

With a life out of a movie and a name the high committee cannot decide how to pronounce (Andy, if you have guidance on ca-sa-gran-day vs. ca-sa-gran-dee vs. ca-sa-grand, hit us up at nameoftheyear@gmail.com), he's a dark horse to outperform his seed. If he is to join other rhyming greats like 2015's Amanda Miranda Panda in the Hall of Name, he will first have to get past lacrosse player and potential Commodores lover Brickman House. Vote on that matchup and the rest of the Dragonwagon region below and don't forget to follow us on Twitter.

DRAGONWAGON REGIONAL, ROUND ONE

#1 Chardonnay Pantastico, softballer for the University of Hawaii, vs. #16 Chance Comanche, Arizona Wildcats basketball player


#8 Windy Swetman III, Mississippi politician vs. #9 Sky Hyatt, VCU lacrosse player


#5 Luiji Vilain, incoming University of Michigan defensive end, vs. #12. Demon Clowney, South Carolina defensive end and Jadeveon Clowney’s cousin


#4 Kitty Chiller, Australian who complained about conditions at Rio’s Olympic village, vs. #13 Christian Joo, musician  


#6 Andy Brandy Casagrande IV vs. #11 Brickman House


#3 Chito Peppler, DC foodie, vs. #14 Dougal Spork, businessman


#7 Cash Masters, Milwaukee manufacturing maestro, vs. #10 Fiery Cushman, Harvard moral psychologist


#2 Sultan McDoom, Dallas based product engineer, vs. #15 Bastiaan Slabbers, photojournalist

Monday, March 20, 2017

2017 Name of the Year: Sithole Regional, Round One


Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry once said, “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Well, my French dude, you’ve come to the right place, because our raison d’ĂȘtre here at Name of the Year is to elegantly and efficiently take away 63 worthy contestants until we’ve arrived at what some would call the most perfect design of all: a world-champion name.

But as good as The Little Prince was, we’re not here to talk about Antoine. That little design anecdote above simply provided a nice intro for talking about my favorite name in the 2017 Sithole Regional, the fifth-seeded Dutch industrial designer and sitting enthusiast Hella Jongerius. The New York Times describes Ms. Jongerius as world-renowned for striving to make color -- long disregarded in the design world -- an essential component of her aesthetic. And while the couch mentioned in the lede of that story was constructed using the reddish end of the spectrum, she is also known to work in “Di Cerulean Stylo.”

Ms. Jongerius has won the Rotterdam Design Prize for her work, but not all schemes are award-worthy. Take, for example, the case of her first-round opponent, 12-seed Di Cerulean Stylo. Ms. Stylo tried to poison her mother using seeds from the rare Southeast Asian Cerbera odollam plant, commonly known as the “suicide tree.” The ending to this story would have been much more tragic had Ms. Stylo not freely admitted to a wire-wearing relative the specifics of her plan, which included serving the exact same meal to said relative so as not to tip off the authorities.

Suffice it to say, few things go together like Name of the Year and beautiful design, whether it’s our new logo or our new bracket, both courtesy of Kristen O'Callaghan. So get to the voting down below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter; we promise our feed is Hella tight. 

SITHOLE REGIONAL, ROUND 1

#1 Marmaduke Trebilcock, 19th-century Cornish immigrant and Wisconsin lawyer, vs. #16 Magic Urika, Namibian resident who spoke out against cemeteries honoring 20th-century German occupiers


#8 Tony Orlandoni, cheese engineer, vs. #9 Subu Dubey, New York internist


#5 Hella Jongerius vs. #12 Di Cerulean Stylo


#4 Dick Posthumus, 61st Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, vs. #13 Naquez Pringle, Kentucky Wildcats defensive tackle


#6 Dr. Prospero Gogo, Vermont interventional cardiologist, vs. #11 Bumper Pool, inside linebacker committed to Arkansas


#3 Faraj Fartass, French rugby centre, vs. #14 Cinnamon Danube, Institutional Research Analyst at UC Merced


#7 Heavenly Joy Jerkins, 6-year-old singer at this summer's RNC, vs. #10 Tugg Snowbarger, San Diego realtor


#2 Fortunate Sithole, midfielder for Scunthorpe United FC, vs. #15 Waylain September, South African cricketer

Friday, March 17, 2017

2017 Name of the Year: Bulltron Regional, Round One



Chrotchtange Regional six-seed Teena Touch is poised for a deep run through this year’s tournament, and if a certain financier can find his way through the Bulltron Regional, we could be looking at an all-tactile final. British venture capitalist Guy Hands, the Bulltron’s 14-seed, is a power player whose reach is felt in multiple industries. Will his name touch voters?

Mr. Hands, the founder of Terra Firma Capital, is a headline writer’s dream. The imagery inherent in his handle allows readers to paint a strong mental figure, so when we’re told he props up, chops, bags, and takes bites out of his operations, we can imagine his paws performing the tasks at hand.

As for his first name, we haven’t seen it in Name of the Year since 2005 contender Guy America, but if there’s one NOTY Guy who Mr. Hands relates to, it’s 2010’s Rich Tanguy, whose name evokes Mr. Hands substantial capital. This year’s Guy has grabbed stakes in everything from record labels to vineyards to McDonald’s, and his sphere of influence spreads across much of Northern Europe. Meanwhile, he lives in the tax haven of Guernsey and avoids trips across the English channel. He is, in many parts of Britain, the invisible Hands.

Based the 14-seed we have conferred upon, we at the NOTY High Committee clearly do not prefer Mr. Hands to his first-round opponent, English teacher Alpha McMath. In NOTY, March Madness, and life, though, anything can happen, and our Guy knows that well. “The experts got it wrong last year,” he said of Brexit in a 2016 interview with Bloomberg, “and if we want to predict what will happen in 2017, we may just as well look to the stars.”

Whether you prefer to select your NOTY choices by divining the positions of the celestial bodies or by some other method, now is the time to begin voting. The eight first-round matchups of the Bulltron lay before you; make like Mr. Hands and wield the power at your disposal.

(Follow us on Twitter for updates.)

BULLTRON REGIONAL, ROUND ONE

#1 Kobe Buffalomeat, Illinois St. football recruit, vs. #16 Hunter Humann, a wide receiver.


#8 Wilbert Goatley, Jr., a pastor, vs. #9 Cherish Bloodgood from a 1981 court case.


#4 Rushmore Cervantes, General Manager of the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department, vs. #13 Melanie Gubbels Bupp, a biology professor.


#6 YourMajesty Lumpkins, witness to a shooting, vs. #11 Tutz Honeychurch, Hawaii Senate candidate.


#3 Alpha McMath vs. #14 Guy Hands


#7 H. King Buttermore III, a lawyer, vs. #10 Shaft Cubit, a football player.


#2 Bonjovi Hardeman of Mississippi vs. #15 Dredrick Snelson, Jr. of the UCF Knights football team.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Introducing the 2017 Name of the Year Bracket

Names are serious business.
Want proof? Look at the 2016 election. Donald Trump’s original family name, Drumpf, stuck as a derisive nickname after John Oliver dredged it up for a late-night bit. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton ran into trouble of her own thanks to scores of voters who recoiled at the sound of her surname. The connotation of Clinton carried so much weight during the election that, in its endorsement of the Democratic candidate, the New York Times felt compelled to speak directly to voters who would judge her based on the moniker she adopted after she married her husband. It targeted its appeal toward “those of you who are hesitating to vote for Mrs. Clinton — because you are reluctant to vote for a Democrat, or for another Clinton, or for a candidate who might appear, on the surface, not to offer change from an establishment that seems indifferent and a political system that seems broken.”
I’m not discussing the heft of these names to shoehorn politics into the yearly distraction we provide, but rather to remind our voters-to-be that names carry a powerful legacy. Each person’s choices leave indelible marks on the words they bear as their own, and for family members, progeny, and even completely unrelated people, the effects can be massive — perhaps even massive enough to alter an entire nation’s political landscape.
But enough of that. We both know why you’re here. Let’s talk about Kobe Buffalomeat.
Mr. Buffalomeat, an Illinois State University football recruit and Bulltron Regional one-seed, has a name that tells two disparate stories. In one, a gifted basketball player brings a new association to the name of a Japanese city and the famous beef it exports, inspiring thousands of parents along the way. In the other, a name stands for the history of the native tribes of the Great Plains. “Having the name Buffalomeat probably hasn’t always been easy,” Mr. Buffalomeat’s aunt Penny Postoak Ferguson told the Chicago Tribune.“But it makes me proud for our heritage.”
Through an offensive lineman from Kansas, those two lineages have formed a beautiful union, and as a result, young Kobe has been able to add new chapters to the tales of his first and last names. A NOTY championship would bring further fanfare to the histories of his handles.
To earn that reward, he’ll have to outlast 63 other names that are all vying to cement their own onomastic legacies. Some naminees, such as Dragonwagon Regional eight-seed Windy Swetman III, speak of multiple generations of breezy perspirers. Others, like Chrotchtangle Regional ten-seed Taco Dibbits, reveal a culture clash between a common Dutch name and a beloved Mexican foodstuff. Some names even remind us of the legacy created by our own enterprise. Godfrey Sithole is so revered among the NOTY High Committee that one of our four regions is named after him; now, in 2017, it is another Sithole, a truly Fortunate Sithole indeed, who will try to bust his way through Godfrey’s bracket to reach the Final Four.
Which name will add a glorious victory to its legacy? That, my friends, will be up to you. We will post matchups over at our website, and you will decide them. The best way to learn about these matchups as we post them will be by following us on Twitter. Ultimately, only one contender will remain. Will it be YourMajestyKing, or SultanGogo or BobangoGuySkyFiery, or Di? Choose wisely—the future depends on it.