On Tuesday, the famous Name of the Year Bracket was released for 2015. And like every year, these candidates did not disappoint. 2015 features amazingly awesome, real names like "Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa" and "Amanda Miranda Panda." Shockingly, a Detroit Lions player managed to somehow make his way into this year's tourney: LaAdrian Waddle. Waddle's name -- while certainly unordinary and unique -- didn't strike me as a finalist candidate. In fact, I don't think it's even the best name on the team.
So I went out and tried to find the best name on the 2015 Detroit Lions roster. In a stroke of unimaginable luck, I discovered that, according to the Lions' official website, exactly 64 players are currently under contract. There was only one thing left to do...
Introducing the 2015 Best Detroit Lions Name Tournament! Special thanks to Andrew Dombrowski (@misterandyd on Twitter) for the inspiration on the region names. Thanks to all of my other Twitter followers for the suggestions.
I created the seedings for each player based on my own personal preference. Otherwise, the region placement and matchups were randomized. Now, it is your duty to vote and determine the best name on the Detroit Lions roster.
If you'd like a downloadable, printable PDF file of the bracket, click here. If you want a more manageable bracket, you can view (but not edit) the Google Docs version here (you can edit/print it if you download it).
Today we are going to vote on the Pad Level Region.
1 Braxston Cave vs. 16 Michael Williams
The relatively unknown Braxston Cave leads off the tournament with the bracket's highest seed. Cave is a center from Notre Dame who the Lions signed to a futures deal in January. He should have a relatively easy time against tight end/offensive tackle Michael Williams, who has a name as vanilla as they come.
8 Nate Ness vs. 9 Roy Philon
This is a close matchup between two mediocre names. Nate Ness is a nice, compact, alliterative name, while Roy Philon probably rhymes with Krylon, so that's pretty cool, I guess.
5 Bill Bentley vs. 12 Josh Bynes
This matchup features the first controversy of the tournament. Technically speaking, Bill Bentley's real name is Dwight, but I guess he's a fan of The Office and didn't want people putting his office supplies in Jello. As a result, he too has an alliterative name. The only thing that Josh Bynes has going for him is I bet there are some people who ask him if his sister is Amanda. That doesn't really seem like a good thing, though.
4 Xavier Proctor vs. 13 Matthew Stafford
Xavier Proctor has a lot going for him. Not a lot of names start with X, plus Xavier is a college often found in the basketball tournament! How neat! Don't sleep on the last name, either. Proctor has that funny hard C sound and also sounds like a butt doctor. Matthew Stafford has a small chance at the upset because people like the guy, and one time my fantasy team's name was "Stafford Infection." But if the world is a fair place, Xavier should see the next round.
6 James Ihedigbo vs. 11 Brandon Pettigrew
Two very boring first names, two fairly unique last names. Ihedigbo is a bit disappointing with its mundane pronunciation (although I always pronounce it this way). Pettigrew has the words "pet" and "grew" in it; that has to count for something. I'd put Ihedigbo on upset alert here, but I think Lions fans hate Pettigrew enough that they won't let him win anything.
3 Tahir Whitehead vs. 14 Corey Fuller
This should be a fairly dominant round for Tahir. Names don't sound more manlier than Tahir Whitehead, and Corey Fuller sounds like the kind of name that would be given to a sitcom character whose name is never actually revealed during the show.
7 Larry Warford vs. 10 Joseph Fauria
I predict this will be the closest matchup in this region. Again, we have boring first names, but both players really bring it with the last name. Warford has the word "war" in it, and, as fellow Pride Of Detroit writer Alex Reno pointed out to me, it is also an anagram for the word "forward." Fauria, on the other hand, just rolls off the tongue very nicely and is extremely fitting for the player's bouncy attitude. Hell, you finish his name by literally saying "yay!"
2 Isa Abdul-Quddus vs. 15 TJ Jones
There are a lot of things I like about the name Isa Abdul-Quddus. Despite the daunting look of the name, it is fairly easy to pronounce. Also, saying his name feels like a workout for your mouth. Finally, I almost always pronounce his last name like the onomatopoeia "GA-DOOOOSH." TJ Jones is a fine name, I guess.
Vote or die!