Some would call this stretch between mid-June and late July the worst stretch in professional sports.
Those idiots would be dead wrong. Those bags of meat have never heard of the Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament.
Ever since 2016, we here at Pride of Detroit have attempted to find the best name on the roster. It all began with Deadspin’s Name of the Year Bracket, which included former Lions tackle LaAdrian Waddle. I, personally, took umbrage with Waddle’s inclusion in the tournament, not because it was a bad name, but because I thought there were other players on the Lions roster at the time with a better name.
So we put on our own tournament, and I was proven correct. Ezekiel Ansah was the first winner of the contest, and since that fateful tournament, things have spiraled out of control. There has been recruiting, poll hacking and controversies since that inaugural year, but that’s half the fun. It’s a meaningless tournament meant to provide some entertainment while the good sports are quiet.
Here are our four winners of the tournament in the past.
2018: Quandre Diggs
2017: Storm Norton
2016: Jace Billingsley
2015: Ezekiel Ansah
Now we enter unfamiliar territory in the 2019 Name Bracket Tournament. In 2015, the Name Bracket Finals was between two names: Ezekiel Ansah and Golden Tate. For all four years, those two name have carried high seeds and high expectations going into the tournament. Now those two have been spared of the tournament. They rest easy in Seattle and New York, free of name judgment. Free of name terror. Throw in 2016 Name Bracket Champion Jace Billingsley, and this tournament is now missing three one-seeds from last year’s bracket.
So who will arise in their absence? Who will be subjected to the gauntlet and controversy that is the Name Bracket Tournament?
Here is a look at the 2019 Detroit Lions Name Bracket.
If you’re wondering about methodology, it’s simple. I cut the roster from 89 to the best 64 names. From there, based on my own personal preference, I seeded each name one to 16. Then I randomly placed each seed into a region. That's’ it.
New to Name Bracket Tournaments? Here’s what happens next. In the next day or two, I’ll break down one of the four regions and each first-round matchup. There will be polls for each matchup that will determine the winner. The first round we’ll split into four posts. The second round will be split into two posts. Then we’ll have the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship in separate posts.
Alright, who do you like in this year’s field?