Category Archives: Serious Business

2014 Bracket and Updates

The sun is shining. Flowers are starting to bloom. For the first time since 2010, Name of the Year is starting during March Madness. Praise be!

As always, there are going to be some changes this year. First, we’re going to stop updating this domain — in order to consolidate NOTY’s already considerable pre-existing readership with our own, we’re moving operations over to We just uploaded this year’s bracket over there! Both the old guard and the fresh blood contributed to this one — after months of infighting, we’ve come up with a field we’re happy with. This is gonna be a Wagenblast.

It doesn’t stop there. To our delight, longtime NOTY supporters Deadspin offered to host the NOTY tourney this year. Voting will happen there. The extent to which we’ll be able to cross-post to is unclear at the moment, but we’ll keep you updated as the situation develops. — we may copy the Deadspin posts, we may post with more detailed analysis. At very least, we’ll be linking to the votes as they go up — like today’s play-in between Olajuwan Stiffler and D’Olajuwon Swanks.

Again, we’ll have details on the new setup before you can say Tumpsey Speeks. And C’Mon, follow us on Twitter for more updates. May the best name win!


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Leo Moses Spornstarr is Your 2013 Name of the Year


A champion has finally been named.

Okay, if you’re into semantics, Leo Moses Spornstarr was named twenty-some years ago. But as a commenter pointed out, there is no prior Spornstarr line, no Spornstarr family crest, no awkward yearly gatherings of Spornstarrs. Our champ is a thoroughly modern creature, the product of the commendably egalitarian but hopelessly naive union of a Sporn and a Starr.

On second thought, perhaps it’s a mistake to conjecture that the portmanteau was an accident. Who are we to assume that Leo’s folks are anything other than delightfully droll jokesters who jumped at their one-in-a-million onomastic opportunity? Who are we to rule out the possibility that the hyphen-free mashup was a well-intentioned parenting tactic, a contemporary Boy-Named-Sue situation? Who are we, dear reader, to dismiss the idea that Ms. Sporn and Mr. Starr had ambitions for their son’s performance in this very tournament — which has after all been around longer than he has? However it came about, our Leo may be the only Spornstarr in the world. The only Spornstarr in history, even. We don’t know if he has siblings.

Let’s recap: the 2-seed out of the Chrotchtangle Regional manhandled #15 Junior Lomomba and crushed #7 Carlton Crunk. He dispatched upstart 14-seed Ram Amandeep in the Sweet Sixteen without much fuss, proving that the best way to take down a bawdy name is with another bawdy name. He brought down the top-seeded Fancy English, Jr. in the Elite Eight. In the final four, Smokey Don Pipes of the Dragonwagon went up in flames. And as of last night, Leo secured his place in the history books by vanquishing Bulltron powerhouse Pornsak Pongthong. Here’s to you, Leo.

(Sidenote: the one-point margin in the poll is artificially close; the actual differential is closer to 60 votes. Our analytics show that a lone rogue voter tried to inflate Pornsak’s score after midnight but before I closed the poll. Improbably and miraculously, I noticed just in time, with one vote left before the scales tipped. Ugly crisis of second-guessing legitimacy averted — but don’t do that, people. Play fair: one vote per voter.)

Aside from that unsavory hiccup, thank you all for following along, voting, and making our first shift at the helm of the tourney a rousing success. We’ll be back for March Madness in 2014. Name on.

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Updated Bracket / Round 1 Casualty Report

By popular demand, we’ve put together an updated bracket that shows who’s been eliminated and who’s still in the game. It’s below — click it for a larger version. We’ll post one of these at the end of each round.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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Some Exciting News, Eleventh Hour Bracket Updates And A Voting Reminder


As a reminder, voting for our 2013 Name of the Year tournament will begin Monday morning. We’ve decided to post two matchups each day to keep the tournament moving right along. Check back tomorrow morning for our first 1 v. 16 mismatch as well as a much-anticipated 8 v. 9 slugfest.

With that out of the way, let’s move on to the exciting news: Our humble imitation has been recognized and approved by the original Name of the Year High Committee.

Ever since the thought of a NOTY takeover first crossed our minds, we have spent a lot of time wondering what the founders would think of our blatant thievery. Would they be angry at us for hijacking their brainchild? Or would they admire the degree to which their work has inspired a new generation of name enthusiasts? Would the High Committee be proud, angry, supportive, indifferent, or melancholic?

Last Friday, we got our answer. After sharing news of our bracket with a number of media outlets, we caught the eye (or the inbox, if you will) of one of the founders of Name of the Year, the poster known as “stw” on the original site. To our delight, stw was complimentary about our website, this year’s field of names, and “our healthy acknowledgment of NOTY.” As life has gotten in the way of our forefathers’ ability to sift through a mountainous backlog of e-mail submissions, stw proposed an agreement, offering us the NOTY blog, e-mail address, and Twitter handle so long as we continue to include the original High Committee in whatever role they see fit. We have, in short, been offered the keys to the Porsche after a few days of joyriding. We couldn’t be more excited.

As a result, there will be a few changes around here. In the next couple of weeks, all NOTY-related material will be moved to, a currently bare domain owned by the High Committee. That website will include more than a quarter-century’s worth of past tournaments as well as all present and future updates from the current and upcoming installments. When the move is completed, the rest of NOTY 2013 will play out in its rightful home. Six months down the line, we hope to also return NOTY to its rightful place in the seasonal cycle. If all goes well, NOTY 2014 will commence in time for March Madness.

We’ve already dusted off the Twitter account, and we will use it to blast our followers with all pertinent updates. If you’re into that sort of stuff, follow us @NOTYtourney.

The last part of stw’s gift to us is the one that we have so far cherished the most. By providing us with access to the NOTY e-mail account, he has introduced us to the two years of submissions that have built up since the last tournament. After spending most of the day in name-induced nirvana, we found enough brilliant entries to last us for several years. If you would like to add to this treasure trove, we’re always open to suggestions.

We’re pulling a few names out of that bag right away. As stw informed us, three of the entries in our 2013 bracket had already been up for consideration during previous tournaments. We had looked through the NOTY archives to check for repeats, but Young Boozer, Nancy Ann Cianci and Bacarri Rambo had all previously been considered and rejected. In addition, a separate source has informed us that Mummy Oh’Scarvalone is a nickname, disqualifying her from the tournament. We have a responsibility to play by the NOTY guidelines, so we have struck these four names from the field. They will be missed.

In their stead come four new competitors: Skyhawk Fadigan, M.D., Twollie Vanderwerf, Arquimedes Caminero and Yolanda Squatpump. The bracket has been updated accordingly.

TL;DR: There’ll be some shuffling afoot in the coming weeks. If there’s one thing you should take away, it is the reminder that VOTING STARTS TOMORROW. Everything else will fall into place in time.

These are exciting times for Name of the Year. We hope you’re as pumped as we are.


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How This Will Work

Hey friends. As my fellow onomast so eloquently explained, we have decided to address the absence of name-fueled tournament play over the past two years. In addition to introducing myself (Hi, I’m Sam, I live in the city and drink coffee in the mornings and beer in the evenings, etc.), I’m here to lay out how this tournament will work and how YOU (yes, you) can participate.

Basically, starting next week, we’re going to post matchups from our bracket, one poll per day. One of us (or both of us, if we’re feeling frisky) will add in our commentary, which we hope will enlighten our viewers to our theoretical study of all things name.

Really, though, the person we want to hear from is YOU. Not just you, but your friends, relatives, lovers, casual rivals, and anyone else who is interested in arguing about things on the Internet. We already know how we think this tournament should go; that’s why we arranged the seeds the way we did. We want you to tell us what we got right and what we got wrong. Via your votes, your comments, and your emails, we want you to explain to us why your favorite name is going to win, or tell us which one you think is overrated, or let us know that you know of a great moniker we left out. So I hope you’ll all come out and vote, and please always remember that you can vote however you like.

We’ll post our first matchup sometime next week. In the meantime, take a look at the bracket so you can pick out your dark horses or, should you find everything to be properly seeded, praise us for our flawless and incorruptible matchups. In order to not inflate my ego too much, I’m hoping for the former.

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New Management

30 years ago, a group of college kids started a tradition. Its mission was “to discover, verify, nominate, elect, and disseminate great names.” These are names of real, living people, names that bring smiles to the faces of everyone who encounters them.

The Name of the Year tournament was taken online in 2007, democratizing the event and allowing people the world over to wet themselves in giddy onomastic delight over choice finds like Largest Agbejemison, Rev. Demon Sox, Selathious Bobo. It soon became (in our book) the Best Thing on the Internet.

We were only fans, but we spent untold hours in dorm cafeterias arguing the finer points of such nail-biting matchups as Nohjay Nimpson v. X’Zavier Bloodsaw. Stayed up preposterously late arguing about the value of simple pleasures like Johnny Moustache and Charlie Soap. Tested the bounds of our friendship arguing about– you get the idea; we argue and bicker like the hopeless nerds that we are.

Then, in 2011, the posts slowed to a trickle. It took over a year to name a champion. There was no 2012 Name of the Year tournament.

Never again.

NOTY left a vacuum in our lives. In the fallow season of 2011, we constructed and filled out brackets for the “final standings” lists of the preinternet years. The next year, we scratched our itch by seeding names from the greatest Key and Peele sketch ever (the sequel is online as of two days ago). When it was clear that the original High Commission had turned their backs on us for good, we despaired, then went to work resurrecting the tradition we had loved.

And so: after months of research during idle hours, we came up with our own bracket of names. We think we’ve got some good ones, and we’d like to share them with you. And if you feel our picks can’t quite compete with the rarefied likes of Taco B.M. Monster, Col. Many-Bears Grinder, and stonegarden grindlife — don’t fret, not yet. Our forefathers built something great; we’re here to continue their legacy, but we don’t have the reader participation they had in the later years. We did this on our own, without thousands of submissions to draw from. Stewardship of the NOTY tournament is the sort of thing that improves over time. Next time, we hope you’ll have our backs.

So let us ask you: Are you a Schanker, a Jointer, or a Hofacker? A Sparkle or a Twinkle? A Boozer or a Crunk? Who wins the Battle between Fang Man and Dr. Suparman? Mister Love and Mister Moan? Bak Bak and Tore Torp?

The bracket awaits. Polling begins soon. Name on.

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