Friday, April 20, 2018

2018 Name of the Year: The Final Four

We've come a long way since we set our field of 64. Over the past few weeks, Tuna Altuna has been canned, Corky Boozé has been bottled up, Lola Honeybone has been broken, and Genuine Potts has been flushed. We’re down to our Final Four: Jimbob Ghostkeeper, Makenlove Petit-Fard, Delicious Peters, and Dr. Narwhals Mating.

All of the name-inees we select for our yearly celebration theoretically possess the exact same chance to claim the title. NOTY prognosticators, however will tell you that some names are worth paying attention to from the start, while others don’t stand much of a chance of passing the first round (sorry, Clinton Bacon.) It’s the same logic that gets applied to the NCAA tournament each year: Any team could win any game, but we all know a 16-seed will never beat a one.

This was a pretty good year for predictive NOTY analysis. Two of the names that ended up in the Final Four, Dr. Mating and Mr. Petit-Fard, were the top seeds in their respective regionals and were clear favorites to advance this far. Jimbob Ghostkeeper, seeded on the two-line, was no slouch either. It became clear that the Canadian minor-league hockey player would make a deep run after multiple people changed their Twitter display names to match his.

Even Delicious Peters, a nominal underdog as a nine-seed, was easy to spot as this year’s Cinderella. When we introduced our 2018 bracket via Deadspin, commenters picked out Peters as one of their favorites. If you don't find that to be a telling measure, consider that last year's Deadspin commenter favorites included Boats Botes, the eventual People’s Champion.

You may agree with our assessment that these names were destined for greatness or you may accuse us of playing Quindarious Monday Morning Quarterback, but no matter what, you now can put your money where your mouth is. The English bookmaker Pinnacle is offering odds on Name of the Year. That's right, you can bet on NOTY. 

We weren't consulted, but the lines seem pretty accurate: in order, Mating, Petit-Fard, Ghostkeeper, Peters. Two more rounds of balloting will crown your 2018 Name of the Year. Bring us home by voting below. And, as always, follow us on Twitter for updates.


#2 Jimbob Ghostkeeper vs. #1 Makenlove Petit-Fard

#9 Delicious Peters vs. #1 Dr. Narwhals Mating