Before we get started with the second round of the third annual Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament, you need to know something about me. I am a horrible procrastinator. You know those daily Open Thread questions of the day? Sometime I write those minutes before they get posted—mind you, those are typically published at 3 a.m. pacific time.
I say this because I didn’t bother advancing any players into the second round of the Name Bracket tournament in late Wednesday night. Why does this matter? Well, because when I last left the “Check the Report” region late last week, Jace Billingsley was down by 8,000 votes to Matt Prater. When I looked Wednesday night, Billingsley had somehow won.
So, I'm setting up the second round of the Name Bracket tournament when...— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) July 6, 2017
WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? pic.twitter.com/kvCIIyFWpk
I promise you I had no hand in this, but this is exactly what the Name Bracket is all about. I love you guys.
Here are the remaining 32 names in the tournament:
Today we’ll tackle the left side of the bracket.
1 Jace Billingsley vs. 9 Eric Ebron
Jace Billingsley somehow found his way into the second round of the tournament despite a very concerted effort to knock him out early this year. Mysterious commenter IDontPlayFair, who registered for an account a day after voting opened, openly admitted his own campaign to stop Billingsley. “After last years fixing by the town of Winnemucca, or a few committed individuals, whatever it was, I thought I would cut it out early,” he/she/it said. Well, tough luck, IDontPlayFair, you, like many before you, have underestimated Winnemucca.
Ebron had a someone surprising upset over much more popular Joe Dahl. That speaks to just how good of a name Eric Ebron.
Vote stuffing aside, this is actually a fairly even matchup, but with a Jace Billingsley poll, I have no idea what to expect.
5 Armonty Bryant vs. 4 Leo Koloamatangi
Bryan easily slid through the first round, knocking out Robert Tonyan by a score of 83-17. He’ll have an uphill battle the rest of the way with such a common last name. That being said, Armonty is an excellent first name. If I ever find myself in a self-discovery phase in which I misguidedly buy an armadillo because I fear my life is too boring and believe owning a fringe pet like an armadillo will make me look young, edgy and cool... I will name him Armonty.
Leo Koloamatangi is the reason the 2017 Name Bracket tournament is the Year of the Vowel. His eight vowels is the most of the remaining names in the tournament, tied with Jeremiah Valoaga. That’s right, I’m bringing statistics into this tournament. Next year, I plan on releasing my PFF-style grades for each name.
6 Theo Riddick vs. 3 Thurston Armbrister
This is the most competitive second-round matchup we’ll see this year. On one end, you have Theo Riddick, easily the most punnable name in the tournament. On the other end, you have Thurston Armbrister, whose names—both first and last—start with a noun, though one, “thurst,” is misspelled.
That being said, both are facing serious hurdles. Theo Riddick is suffering from name fatigue, having been a contestant in all three Name Bracket tournaments. While Thurston Armbrister is quite unpopular after a rough 2016 season.
If we’re going purely based on name, I’ve got Thurston Armbrister by an inch here, but I expect a tight race.
7 Nevin Lawson vs. 2 Teez Tabor
In the closest matchup of the first round, Nevin Lawson just barely edged out Khyri Thornton by a score of 496 votes to 483. Nevin Lawson has a nice, balance to it with two syllables per name. Nevin is an excellent first name.
But it doesn’t stand a chance against Teez Tabor. Before Tabor gets too deep into this tournament, let’s address the controversy. “Teez” is technically a nickname and we don’t allow nicknames in this tournament. His real name is Jalen, but according to the Detroit Lions’ official roster list, his name is Teez. That’s why it’s Teez Tabor, but Ezekiel, not Ziggy, Ansah.
Anyways, I call shotgun on tweeting out “Don’t be such a Teez” when he drops his first interception.
1 Golden Tate vs. 9 Anthony Zettel
It’s hard to imagine getting to a point where the name Golden seems like a formality, but that may be where we’re at with this name. I think he’s very much in danger of being the first one-seed ousted in the tournament.
Because Anthony Zettel is no pushover. I just thought of something right now: If Anthony Zettel and Cornelius Washington ever combine on a sack, we absolutely have to call it a Zettel Corn. That is all.
5 Quandre Diggs vs. 4 Ameer Abdullah
I’ve talked a little about name fatigue in this tournament. Quandre Diggs has been around for three years (though rookies were not entered into the 2015 Name Bracket tournament), and has not suffered a bit of name fatigue. Quandre Diggs is still as fun to say as it was back in 2015. If Diggs ever finds his way back to the form he performed at in his rookie year, quarterbacks will be in a quandary when looking Diggs’ way.
Ameer Abdullah is fool’s gold, if you ask me. The two names are actually quite ordinary on their own, but they definitely bring the best out in each other when placed together. But alliteration only gets you so far. Abdullah was overseeded, and I apologize for that, but not really, because this is a tournament about names and all of my energy goes into making you all believe the same things I believe.
6 Ego Ferguson vs. 3 Jeremiah Ledbetter
I spoke too soon. This is the matchup I will be following closely. Fergie’s son vs. Bed Wetter. These are two titans facing off way too early in this tournament, but such is the Name Bracket. Grab your parkas, because there will be blood. The Name Bracket is a gruesome version of a Gallagher show.
7 Don Muhlbach vs. 2 Darius Slay
Much like his football career, Don Muhlbach continues to somehow hang around. He handily defeated failed club artist DJ Hayden, despite having a pretty boring name. That being said, the name Don automatically commands respect. But Muhlbach has pretty much lost any allure after Year 10 of his career.
Darius Slay also has a fair amount of name fatigue, but, come on, it’s Slay. A defender with the name Slay. That alone should carry Darius easily into the Sweet 16.