The elite eight of the Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament is over and we have a controversy brewing. I’ll get into it more later, but let’s just say some of you may not be happy with our finalists.
Of course, here at Name Bracket Headquarters, we care little about the process. Cheating, in our opinion, is only an strong expression of passion. And there is nothing more exemplary of the Name Bracket tournament than passion-filled malfeasance. If you ain’t cheatin, you ain’t tryin. If you don’t like the results we come up with here, than it is your fault for not doing everything you can to alter them.
Anyway, the elite eight saw the end of some of the best names in the field. Let us say a brief farewell to those we have lost.
Quandre Diggs - One of many first-timers in this tournament, perhaps the world was just not ready for your brilliance yet. You took down the returning champion, and I will always remember you for that. But you fell victim to a player who would stoop to anything to taste victory, and sadly you had to go. Keep on diggin, Quandre.
Johnson Bademosi - You shouldn’t have lost. If you were a more popular player, I’m convinced you’d be in the final four. Your name is the most baffling of the tournament and the way you threw name conventions out the window was an aspiration to us all. Don’t stop being you, JB.
Tahir Whitehead - It was your last name that ultimately did you in, Tahir. Too many could not look past your pimply history, and a small flaw like that becomes too big of an issue when we get toward the end of this tournament. Unfortunately your run in this tournament will ultimately be defined like many of those before you: just a small detour in Miles Killebrew’s destructive path to victory.
Zach Zenner - Even your training camp darling status was not enough to carry you to the final four. You fell just 10 percent short of your goal, despite bringing what I believe to be the greatest alliterative name that isn’t a superhero alter ego. But you were Slayed like so many before you.
Here’s who we are left with:
3 Jace Billingsley vs. 1 Golden Tate
Jace Billingsley may very well win this tournament, because he has amassed an NRA-ish cult who will not allow any non-Billingsley legislation pass this congress. First, it was his father that influenced the vote in the first round. After retweeting each round’s post involving Billingsley, Jim eventually had an entire family reuinion of family and friends stuffing our ballots.
Approximately one hour after polls opened in the elite eight, Quandre Diggs lead by a 20 percent margin. Then this happened:
Once again, Jace’s father got involved. But he had done this plenty of times before and it hadn’t drastically affected results. Suddenly, Jace was winning by over 100 votes. What happened? It appears Jim got on the Billingsley Batphone and called up the entire family.
Big cuz stays winning! @PrideOfDetroit @jacegable go vote for him! pic.twitter.com/UuJubQkV62— michael (@mkjbillingsley) June 21, 2016
This is Michael Billingsley, Jace’s cousin. Michael calls Jace his "biggest inspiration," so it would make sense Michael is supporting Jace in the most important tournament in his life. Where Jim Billingsley is great at spreading awareness, Michael deploys the troops. This tweet received five retweets and ten likes, including one like from the man of the hour. That’s right, Jace Billingsley is well aware of this tournament and it may be the factor that ends up deciding this dumb little contest.
After the dust was settled, Billingsley absolutely destroyed Diggs, earning 72 percent of the vote. And the voter fraud cannot be denied. The Billingsley vs. Diggs poll had over 1000 votes submitted. None of the other three polls in the elite eight had more than 600 votes. The Billingsley family is a force, and they may not be able to be stopped.
But can the Billingsley clan rally the forces enough to take down all that is Golden Tate? Golden Tate has been a staple of this tournament since its inception last year. His second-place finish last year has him coming in with a chip on his shoulder and with Ezekiel Ansah gone, Tate just may be the favorite to win this. But the allure of his name may have worn out its welcome by now, and I don’t know if the swell of support for Tate is strong enough to evaporate the Billingsley influence.
2 Miles Killebrew vs. 2 Darius Slay
Miles Killebrew is on a tear right now. He has yet to receive anything less than 81 percent of the vote in each round. He took down good men with relative ease. Theo Riddick? Destroyed. Graham Glasgow? Take your alliterative nonsense out of here. Tahir Whitehead? Happy Birthday to the ground. He is the regular season version of the Golden State Warriors. But it’s playoff time, Miles. Nothing is a given anymore.
Darius Slay is enjoying back-to-back final four appearances after modestly sliding through the competition. Slay hasn’t been obliterating his opponents like he did last year. Twice he slid into the next round with under 65 percent of the vote. I just don’t know if he has the momentum to carry himself into the finals at this point. Killebrew is the Mad Max truck, blazing through sandstorms, Hellfire and spraypaint junkies. Slay may very well be the poor sap tied to the front by the end of this round.