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2022 Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament: Round 1, Part 4

Who will emerge from the lower right region? Godwin Igwebuike? Zein Obeid? JuJu Hughes?

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Much like the NCAA basketball tournament, the first round of the 2022 Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament is always the best. It’s our first introduction to a lot of these names, and I don’t run out of dumb things to say about them.

As we enter the Part 4 of the first round—the final region of the tournament—let’s take a moment to soak it in. I always wrestle with the idea of retiring the Name Bracket, simply because it becomes a bit tedious by the end of it, and it’s honestly a lot of work for a little pay off. In other words, this could be the very last first round of the Name Bracket tournament ever. Or I’ll just get bored, stop complaining about it, and do it again—especially if the Lions eventually draft Decoldest “ToEvaDoIt” Crawford.

1 Godwin Igwebuike vs. 16 Derrick Barnes

Godwin Igwebuike’s name is such an enigma, that a look at the Detroit Lions’ pronounciation guide doesn’t provide that much clarity on how to say it.

“ig-why-BYU-kay”

For one, I’ve definitely been saying “ig-weh,” not “ig-why,” because... well, because that’s what the name says. But the pronounciation guide just casually drops “BYU” like that’s a normal sound we say all the time. I’m pretty sure the sound is more like “bew” as in Buick. But I can’t help but see “BYU” and think “bayou.”

The pronounciation of Igwebuike is simply impossible to do quickly. It forces you to be deliberate and take your time. In that sense, it’s inspirational. We all try to be the fastest or quickest. Maybe we can appreciate the world a little more when we slow down and really take in each syllable that life has to offer. Really learn to love your surroundings by making yourself familiar with every little piece.

Derrick Barnes is a pretty boring name, though.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Godwin Igwebuike
    (657 votes)
  • 7%
    Derrick Barnes
    (53 votes)
710 votes total Vote Now

8 Romeo Okwara vs. 9 Garrett Griffin

The second half of the Lions’ Shakespearian-inspired brotherly couple, Romeo Okwara is a solid, but unspectacular name.

Because we’re all aware of the name by now, allow me to go on a mini rant tangentially related to Romeo Okwara. No one unironically uses the term “immortal bard” when referring to William Shakespeare anymore, because it makes you sound like a cartoon pretentious jerk. That’s why the Netflix show “Squid Game” lost me in the last few episodes.

SPOILERS AHEAD

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When it’s revealed that the Squid Games are being watched and wagered on by a class of rich American perverts, it unveils a series of scenes of horribly-acted stereotypes featuring awful dialogue. I’m sure it’s extremely hard to write in a second language, so I don’t want to be too harsh, but here are some actual lines from some of these scenes.

Pervert #1: “Who are you betting on this time?”
Pervert #2: “96”
Pervert #1: “What’s your reason?”
Pervert #2: “Well if I can’t do 69, I’ll try 96.”

This guy nails it:

Here’s the line of dialogue that was particularly eye-rolling.

Pervert 1: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
Pervert 2: “Another student of the Bard. I had no idea.”
Pervert 1: “Actually, it’s not Shakespeare. It’s Congreve. William Congreve.”
Pervert 2: “I like you better when you don’t talk.”

Just show me the Squid Games, “Squid Game.” I already got the symbolism. No need for the oversized mallet to drive the point home.

Garret is not an original first name. Griffin is not an original last name, but that’s a solid pairing. It’s like combining yogurt and honey. Individually, they’re just okay. Together, baby, you got a stew going.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Romeo Okwara
    (557 votes)
  • 19%
    Garrett Griffin
    (134 votes)
691 votes total Vote Now

5 Natrez Patrick vs. 12 Jashon Cornell

I have never heard of the name Natrez, but I kinda love it. There’s nothing like it. It’s so rare that I cannot find a reliable source to trace its origin or explain the meaning of the name. It may have derived from the Native American tribe of the Natchez, but I could find nothing to confirm Patrick’s identity as a Native American. All I could find out about the name is that it’s pronounced “NAY-trez.” A name that mysterious deserves a high seeding and a potential deep run. I will continue to investigate as long as he’s still in the tournament.

Jashon Cornell is kind of the opposite of Garrett Griffin. Both Jashon and Cornell are pretty unique names, but I just don’t feel like they mesh well together. Throw the word “present” in between the names, and it just sounds like you’re taking daily attendance. Still, it’s pretty cool to have an Ivy league school in your name. Jeremy Harvard has a nice ring to it.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Natrez Patrick
    (480 votes)
  • 28%
    Jashon Cornell
    (196 votes)
676 votes total Vote Now

4 Ifeatu Melifonwu vs. 13 Malcolm Rodriguez

Although it’s not pronounced like it looks—it’s “eh-FAH-too” not “eh-FEET-too”—Ifeatu Melifonwu is one of the more pleasant names to say out loud. I challenge you to find a last name that flows better than Melifonwu. It’s a verbal lazy river. Plus, what other name leads you directly into cheering for the player? “Melifon-WOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Malcolm Rodriguez is a perfectly fine name. It just fits. I guess the problem is that it fits too well. I’m absolutely shocked Malcolm Rodriguez the football player is the only Wikipedia entry under that name. Kudos to Malcolm Rodriguez for having what seems to be an extremely ordinary name while also apparently being quite creative. That’s a near impossible line to walk.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    Ifeatu Melifonwu
    (615 votes)
  • 8%
    Malcolm Rodriguez
    (60 votes)
675 votes total Vote Now

6 Michael Brockers vs. 11 Josh Paschal

You have to respect the last name Brockers. With hard B and CK sounds, it’s a name that commands respect like a 297-pound, 31-year-old veteran. It’s so tough that in German it means...

someone who lived by a swamp.

Oh. Well... moving on.

I’m not a religious person by faith or education, so the true impact of the last name Paschal is partially lost on me. Paschal is derived from the Hebrew word “Pesach” meaning Passover or Easter. Of course, the religious stories of Passover and Easter are tremendous tales of endurance, faith and perseverance through adversity and physical harm. Is there a person who better embodies their last name than Josh Paschal, who’s a damn cancer survivor?

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Michael Brockers
    (221 votes)
  • 67%
    Josh Paschal
    (453 votes)
674 votes total Vote Now

3 Zein Obeid vs. 14 Tim Boyle

Zein Obeid has an incredible origin story. His father was part of a documentary crew for the late, great Anthony Bourdain. Zein and his family was forced to flee Lebanon in 2006 during the Israel-Lebanon war. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has the whole story here, but needless to say, Obeid’s journey to the Detroit Lions is a remarkable one. I cannot find a clean pronunciation of Zein Obeid, because my usual strategy of looking up videos of someone interviewing him failed. When searching his name in YouTube, all you get is videos of this child singing in the Arabic version of “The Voice” for kids:

In case you were wondering, that Obeid finished in third place in season one.

I can’t imagine having the name Boyle was particularly fun during acne-riddled puberty, but Tim turned out pretty okay. That kind of perseverance should be rewarded in the Name Bracket tournament, but it’s a tough draw for him in the first round.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Zein Obeid
    (629 votes)
  • 5%
    Tim Boyle
    (39 votes)
668 votes total Vote Now

7 Chase Lucas vs. 10 Jonah Jackson

The battle of two first names. Normally, I view having two first names as a negative. It shows a lack of creativity. The world is your oyster for that last name, and you choose to just double up on first names? (I’m aware most people don’t choose their last names, relax). However, I think both of these two pull it off and in totally different ways.

Chase Lucas is the combination of two modern-day names in a nice, compact package. Three syllables and you’re out. Jonah Jackson is our fourth double-J’d competitor, but brings a nice balance in his name with two syllables in each. I just want to clap five times after saying his name.

Jo. Nah. Jack. Son. CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP CLAP.

This should be the closest matchup of Round 1.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Chase Lucas
    (260 votes)
  • 61%
    Jonah Jackson
    (407 votes)
667 votes total Vote Now

2 JuJu Hughes vs. 15 Anthony Pittman

If it weren’t for JuJu Smith-Schuster, JuJu Hughes may be a No. 1 seed. Still, I think Hughes may have the better name. Smith-Schuster is a mouthful, while Hughes is like a matching pair of socks to go with some flashy shoes.

I don’t really have anything clever or provocative to say about the name Anthony Pittman, which is probably a sign he shouldn’t have made the final 64. Let’s just give JuJu Hughes 98 percent of the vote and move on with our lives.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    JuJu Hughes
    (612 votes)
  • 9%
    Anthony Pittman
    (62 votes)
674 votes total Vote Now