Please forgive the delay, for I have still not fully recovered from the Elite 8.
The quarterfinals of the 2017 Detroit Lions Name Bracket were the most brutal in tournament history. In one matchup, the contenders were tied with just 14 minutes left and over 2,000 votes cast:
AHHHHHHHHH, WE'RE TIED WITH 14 MINUTES LEFT. pic.twitter.com/Skp5DEnwUD— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) July 29, 2017
In the other, the 2016 Name Bracket runner-up was quietly disposed of in an unjust and undignified upset.
In the end, both finalists from the 2016 Name Bracket tournament were slain. There will be a new champion.
But before we move onto the final four names in this tournament, we must eulogize Jace Billingsley and the city of Winnemucca, Nevada. Both have been the life force for this tournament over the past two years. They both represent exactly what this tournament is all about: grit, devotion, hard work, funny-sounding names, mob mentality and tweets from small town restaurants.
I’m not sure if this tournament will survive without Jace. I stand before you Batman without his Joker. Or was Jace Batman and I, the Joker? That’s what I could never really figure out. Was Jace Billingsley the hero of this tournament or the villain? Either way, this tournament will miss him, dearly. Thanks, Nate Washuta and a_a_ron_att.
2 Teez Tabor vs. 2 Darius Slay
Teez Tabor, the Giant Slayer, comes into the final four as a heavy favorite over Darius Slay. I have to respect the well-roundedness of Teez Tabor as a name. Put aside the controversy of “Teez” being a nickname, it has already been declared legal by the Name Bracket committee. Get over it. Teez is obviously ripe for puns, but the alliteration is really what puts this name over the top.
Maybe the most overlooked storyline of the Elite 8 was Darius Slay defeating Golden Tate. Back in 2015, Tate actually defeated Slay to advance to the finals that year. And even though Slay has been with the team longer, it was Golden Tate’s name that fell because of the dreaded name fatigue.
But I have to imagine this is where Slay gets off. For the third consecutive year, he has made the Final 4, and that’s something that only he can claim. But he has still never made the finals, and likely never will.
2 Storm Norton vs. 2 Zach Zenner
Every single name left in the tournament is a two-seed! This has never happened before! This is completely meaningless, but I can’t stop using exclamation points! Help! Let me out! Let me out! This is not a sentence! I’m beggin’ for help! I’m screamin’ for help! I’m not taking the loss of Jace Billingsley well!
Anyways, Storm Norton quietly disposed of Miles Killebrew in the Elite 8, proving to me that you all can never be trusted again. The mere fact that you think Storm Norton is a better name tells me you aren’t ready for such important responsibilities of voting in this tournament.
That being said, Norton has parlayed his success from this tournament into some success on the field. Now he’s gaining first-team reps, while Jace is muffing punts. WHAT HAS THIS DAMN TOURNAMENT DONE TO OUR REALITY?
Zach Zenner is a name with two Zs. I don’t know if you noticed.