Four days and 25,899 votes later, we finally have a champion in our 2016 Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament. This tournament produced so many magical moments. Quandre Diggs’ big upset of returning champion Ezekiel Ansah. A’Shawn Robinson’s unlikely run to the Sweet 16. And most of all, the swelling of support for Jace Billingsley in his amazing run throughout the tournament.
Last year, Ansah defeated Golden Tate in the Finals by a vote of 285-213. This year’s champion received 13,334 votes. I can’t say enough about all of your enthusiasm and support throughout the tournament. It has made this contest extremely fun and helped us survive the dog days of the offseason.
I know things got a bit contentious toward the end, but I hope everyone involved knows this was all in good fun. If anyone said anything nasty over the past month, there’s a good chance it was with little sincerity. Regardless, we are all going to join together at the end of this post to help bridge the schism formed by the tournament.
With 51.46 percent of the vote, your 2016 Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament champion is...
Congratulations to Jace, his family and the incredibly motivated city of Winnemucca. Without the insistent support of Jace’s hometown, he likely wouldn’t have made it past the Elite Eight. But the groundswell of rabid voters from Northern Nevada was enough to weather the storm among vote-stuffers and attempts to crack the coding of the polls. The enthusiasm was truly inspirational, and even though your efforts just won Jace a silly little tournament, we know it is simply a symbol of your unwavering encouragement of fellow Nevadans.
...we aren’t done here yet.
Last year, I wasn’t too happy with Ansah’s victory and I didn’t know how to announce it or piece together the land I had torn apart. I ended up ignoring it altogether and pretending it never happened.
As the tournament grew even more contentious this year, I realized I would have to figure out a way to properly end this thing in a way that could make everyone happy in the end. Enter: Jon Bois.
Jon Bois is a Featured Contributor to SB Nation, perhaps most known for his Breaking Madden series. Before that, he held weekly GIF tournaments for the site, and would eventually do a yearly GIF tournament not unlike our Name Bracket (except it was always beautifully constructed and well organized). Every year, once a champion was crowned, he would be sacrificed to the greatest sports GIF of all time: Rollerblading Raptor Mascot.
Each champion would face off against Raptor Mascot and each would lose.
So, congratulations Jace Billingsley, you are the champion. But in order to bring peace to our fractured land, we must sacrifice you to our version of Raptor Mascot.
But who is our Raptor Mascot? Which of the billions of names in this world is able to take on every champion that comes his way? Who among a sea of defeated Lions names will rise above the corpses and bring peace to the people?
The answer is obvious. JIM BOB COOTER DEMANDS YOUR JACE BILLINGSLEY SACRIFICE. COMPLY WITH COOTER’S DEMANDS NOW OR FOREVER LIVE IN DESPAIR.