We have survived the first leg of the Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament with no real incidents. But this next region may cause some strife. We have a couple fan favorites going against true name competitors. We've got the most divisive player facing off against a rising star. And we've got three -- count them, THREE -- players with a Z in their name. This is going to be a doozy.
1. Golden Tate vs. 16 Devin Taylor
Golden Tate fell to Ezekiel Ansah in the last year's final, losing by a narrow 57 - 43 percent margin. Golden Tate is a fantastic name on its own, but his dominance throughout the tournament was bolster by the revelation of what the word Tate means according to Urban Dictionary.
One has to wonder if the allure of Golden Tate has worn off after two years with the Lions...nah, it's still an awesome name.
Tate's first victim will be Devin Taylor. Devin is a name with potential. It's close to the word devil, it seems like it's misspelled and while we're giving Tate the benefit of an Urban Dictionary definition, here's what the site has to say about the name Devin:
to have vigorous passion; an endless sexual appetiteHe was so devin! He went all niiight looong!
8 James DeLoach vs. 9 Glover Quin
Despite having one of the most boring first names, James DeLoach earned his eight seed with a fantastic surname. I'm a big fan of having two capital letters in a name; it commands respect. DeLoach sounds like a name that has been around forever and has a rich history. In fact, the last name DeLoach first arrived in America around 1908, when someone with the amazing name of Sweet Arelia De Loach settled into this great land. A name with ties to someone named Sweet is a name worthy of at least a first round victory.
But DeLoach has an uphill battle against Glover Quin. First off, it's GLOW-ver, not GLOVE-ER. So yes, the Grover-Glover comparison is a go.
RT @kmeinke There's an @MLiveCommenter talking about some guy named "Grover Quinn." I need to go home. pic.twitter.com/yGOoJQ8eSR— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) March 9, 2016
I'm not sure how I let Quin fall all the way to an nine-seed, because he even brings it with his almost-boring last name. Quinn: terrible last name. Quin: wait, are you finished? Aren't you forgetting something? Nope. Just Quin.
5 DeAndre Levy vs. 12 Andrew Zeller
They say 5 vs. 12 matchups are always on upset alert, and while I think it's possible here, Levy's likability will probably carry him through to the next round.
But don't get it twisted, DeAndre Levy is a great name. First you start off with the double capital letters, which is exactly the authority that the man commands. Then you have Levy; brief, but strong, and of course, filled with potential for puns. I am still waiting for a DeAndre Levy highlight reel set to Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks." SANDMAN, ARE YOU LISTENING???
Andrew Zeller is bogged down by his first name, but he's a second half player. Z is a valued commodity any typical year in the Name Bracket, but this year is strange. Out of the 64 participants in this year's tournament, seven of them have a Z in their name. Sadly, Zeller is also currently buried beneath NBA's Cody and Tyler. If the undrafted rookie can somehow make an impact on the field, he has a chance to make a bigger splash in next year's tournament. But for this year, he's likely to make a quick exit.
4 Zaviar Gooden vs. 13 Cole Wick
Speaking of Zs, Zaviar Gooden utilizes the letter to perfection, throwing the Z where it absolutely does not belong. Xaviar is a solid name in itself, but Gooden looks at that X and thinks bigger. While X is undoubtedly the alphabet's most badass letter, no one really wants their first name starting with it. What the hell are you supposed to do in the icebreaking game of finding an adjective that describes yourself using the same letter of your first name? Xylophone? X-ray?
Zavair has to foresight to avoid such embarrassment. Not only that, but Zaviar Gooden has one of the most unique first names in this tournament. By searching just his first name, he is the first result in google. In fact, you have to go all the way to page five of google to find another Zaviar. And how can deny the greatness of Gooden. It has the word good in it. It's true, look it up.
Cole Wick has the misfortune of facing off against Zaviar in the first round. It's a shame because I actually like the name a lot. Brevity is the soul of wit and Cole Wick is so short it almost just sounds like one name: Colewick. But I mustn't waste too much time on this name. It's going to get buried by Zaviar. Next year, Colewick.
6 Adarius Barnes vs. 11 Stephen Tulloch
Adarius Barnes is the kind of name that will jump to a big first half lead, but could potentially faulter in the second half. Think about it: Adarius, just seven letters, yet somehow packs four syllables into the name. Barnes -- just one letter shorter -- only has one, weak syllable. Barnes. Don't get me wrong, his first name will carry him past his first matchup, but with a man named Crezdon waiting for him in the next round, he doesn't have a long future in this tournament.
No one thought Stephen Tulloch would be here. Against all odds, Tulloch managed to stay on the roster long enough to punch his ticket to the Big Show. Tulloch has the opposite problem of Barnes: weak first name, but finishes strong with the unique Tulloch. Tulloch is a rough, gritty name that aptly fits the player. It also reminds me of Turok, easily the best dinosaur-hunting video game of all time.
An upset for Tulloch would be the perfect send-off for the linebacker who almost certainly won't be on the team this season. But the Name Bracket is not about fairy tale endings. It's about crushing the competition and sending players who were once amicable allies into fierce competition with each other.
3 Crezdon Butler vs. 14 Matthew Stafford
This matchup is what this tournament is about. Crezdon Butler was a favorite of mine last year, but was cruelly and unfairly beaten by the inferior Darius Slay in the Sweet 16. Butler is looking for blood this year, and will have to take down team leader Matthew Stafford in the process if he wants to make a deeper run.
I still maintain the best way to describe the name Crezdon is chunky (the best kind of peanut butter, don't bother emailing me about it). Anyone can have the letter Z in their name, but only Crezdon has the tenacity to put that Z right in the middle of his name. He sneaks it in there, waiting for his opponent to fall into a false sense of security, then BAM hits you with a Z and it's over.
Matthew Stafford will fall victim to the wrath of Crezdon. And while you never want to see the leader of a team bow out so early in the tournament, Stafford just doesn't bring much to the table. We're all on year seven of Stafford Infection jokes and it's just boring by now. What's next? Built StafFord Tough? The well is running dry here.
7 Eric Ebron vs. 10 Caraun Reid
Eric Ebron has been an omnipresent force at Pride Of Detroit over the offseason, for better or for worse. Whenever Ebron is involved, it is bound to bring out a vocal crowd. Despite the controversy surrounding both the man and the player, the excellence of his name cannot be denied. Alliteration is huge in this tournament, and being able to pull it off with two Es is something only someone with the greatness of Emilio Estevez can pull off.
Caraun Reid is another name that's first half in unique enough to distinguish himself from all other googleable people with the same name. But despite having two names that are spelled interestingly, the sum of its parts are somehow lesser than the individual names. Caraun Reid must be the least melodic name in the tournament. I can say the entire name without opening my mouth. This is a name that can only be uttered with an excitement equivalent to Ben Stein.
2 Johnson Bademosi vs. 15 Tavon Wilson
HIS FIRST NAME IS JOHNSON. FIRST NAME. Wikipedia defines Johnson as a surname, yet Johnson Bademosi spits in the face of your collaborative encyclopedia model. And he follows it up with Bademosi? Are you kidding me? With all due respect to Zach Zenner and Miles Killebrew, Johnson Bademosi is the greatest addition to this year's tournament. Just try and say Bademosi without doing a terribly-offensive Italian accent. You can't. It's never been done. Johnson Bademosi is currently my favorite name to say. Try it in SNL Voice (RIP Don Pardo). Try adding "COME ON DOWN" after it. It's versatile, it's beautiful, and it just may take this whole tournament down.
Tavon is a pretty cool first name, but Wilson is not. Wilson is the name of that dumb volleyball in the horribly overrated movie. I love you Tom Hanks (boring name), but I cannot spend 90 minutes alone on an island with you. Move along.