Did you think I forgot about the Name Bracket tournament? Shame on you. I’ve been thinking about this tournament every night before I lay my eyes to rest.
But last round has me shook. The Name Bracket has seen its fair share of controversy and scams, but I’m not sure we’ve seen anything like we saw in the Sweet 16 round of the 2018 tournament.
We saw an act of aggression against a small city in Winnemucca. We saw bitter defiance towards myself, and now here we are, left in ruins. This is the worst, most undeserving set of Lions names to make it to the final three rounds of this tournament, and I would have it no other way. I embrace the chaos. It gives me strength like I’m Sonic the Hedgehog. You may think you’re destroying me by forcing Christian Ringo this deep into the tournament, but you’re actually feeding me.
Here are your final eight names left in the tournament:
1 Ezekiel Ansah vs. Christian Ringo
RIP to Josh Fatu and Levine Toilolo. You would have made a phenomenal Elite Eight matchup worthy of our serious consideration, but you were vanquished by misinformed and ill-tempered voters.
Instead, we kick off this round with a dud of a matchup. The only thing more tired than the name Ezekiel Ansah is seeing that name on the injury report week after week. If you’re the kind of person that is still making Ansah/Answer puns, you’re probably still dabbing on a regular basis, too.
As for Christian Ringo, if you’re just joining us in this tournament, the only reason Ringo has made it this far is because I have defamed Ringo Starr week after week. I have promised to post a horrible Ringo song for every round he makes it to, and that has been enough motivation for at least one person to ensure he advances each round.
So, as promised, here’s another horrible Ringo song:
I’m surprised The Beatles survived this song, to be honest.
5 Quandre Diggs vs. 2 JoJo Wicker
Winnemucca didn’t deserve this. It’s just an innocent town that has a passion and love for their hometown professional athlete, Jace Billingsley. Their devotedness and enthusiasm for Jace catapulted him to become the 2016 Name Bracket Champion.
But haters gonna hate. Ever since that day, Winnemucca has had a target on its back for the horrible crime of loving their own. Winnemucca got caught in the crossfire of the 2018 Name Bracket tournament and the name ‘Jace Billingsley’ died a horrible, embarrassing death. How bad? Most likely the most lopsided voting in Name Bracket history, thanks to some hacker.
So I just checked in on the Name Bracket polls for the first time in a week, and— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) July 25, 2018
WHO DID THIS? pic.twitter.com/rKA5qqHsjZ
Mind you, most “normal” polls in the Sweet 16 had a total of around 600-800 votes. This one had 15,639! Perhaps most tragic were the comments on the poll from the poor Winnemucca souls that could do nothing to save Jace from the anonymous ballot stuffer:
Have a sad, Winnemucca.
But enough eulogizing Jace Billingsley, because we actually have a pretty good matchup on our hands. Quandre Diggs and JoJo Wicker are two names worthy of contention here. I think Wicker Man is the clear better choice here, but Diggs could be riding high after a solid performance in the Lions’ set of comedic offseason videos.
1 Miles Killebrew vs. 2 Darius Slay
Finally, a one-seed versus a two-seed. The Rod Wood region has surprisingly been filled with little controversy and although I may have put Leo Koloamatangi over Slay in the regional finals, I am more than happy with this matchup.
Both of these defensive backs are suffering from a little bit of Name Fatigue, but only one of them had a beer created for them specifically because of their name. I think there’s no contest here. While Slay has lived up to his name and Killebrew has not, if we’re just going purely on title, I would walk 500 Miles to support Killebrew.
1 Golden Tate vs. 3 Zach Zenner
Golden Tate continues to prove that Name Fatigue may be a thing I just made up. Tate has made the Elite Eight in all four tournaments now, including two Final Fours and one championship appearance. However, he hasn’t made a Final Four since 2016, proving again that Diamonds—not gold—are forever.
Zach Zenner proved victorious in The Great Alliterative War of 2018 over formidable opponent Teez Tabor. That’s a pretty big dragon for Zenner to slay, and one has to wonder whether he has anything left in this tournament or if he’s spent. Either way, I expect this winner of this matchup to be blown out in the next round.