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2022 Detroit Lions Name Bracket Tournament: Round 1, Part 3

This region of Detroit Lions names features four first names that have never been on an NFL roster in league history.

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The 2022 Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament has been awfully quiet thus far. Through the first two regions, there have only been two minor upsets, and ballot stuffing does not appear to be an issue... yet (although someone may have pushed 11-seeded Kalif Raymond over 6-seeded Alex Anzalone. I’m keeping my eye out).

A modest start typically means the deviants are waiting to strike. And with a semi-strong top right region, the potential for chaos is here. Let’s get into it.

1 Halapoulivaati Vaitai vs. 16 David Blough

Vaitai leads the entire Detroit Lions roster with a whopping 12 vowels to his name, eight alone in his first name. In this name bracket tournament, vowels are like three-pointers, making Vaitai the Steph Curry of the competition. But, of course, the best part of his name—which I always have to remind our readership—is that his name fits perfectly to the lyrics

“Play that fun-ky mu-sic, white boy”

“Ha la poo-li vah-tee, vaiiii-taiiii”

As for David Blough, surely he’s thankful that his last name isn’t pronounced like it looks. But aside from uniqueness, there just really isn’t all that much we can do with that last name.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Halapoulivaati Vaitai
    (759 votes)
  • 56%
    David Blough
    (1001 votes)
1760 votes total Vote Now

8 Tom Kennedy vs. 9 Frank Ragnow

In previous tournaments, I have been scolded for not giving Tom Kennedy a higher seed, but this is as high as I can reasonably give him. I get it. The Kennedys are an eccentric, important family in American culture. At some point in your life, you’ve undoubtedly pronounced Tom Kennedy in that iconic Kennedy Bostonian accent: TAWHM Ken-ih-dee. And while the Bostonian accent is usually repugnant, for some reason when you give it that Irish Kennedy twinge, it’s not quite as abrasive.

But I think the edge here should probably go to Frank Ragnow, despite my lower seeding. I feel like as a fanbase, we have failed at not making Ragnowrok a more pervasive thing. The man is an All-Pro level player. That Thor movie made nearly a billion dollars. Everyone in the NFL should be calling him Ragnowrok by now. You could even make the argument that Ragnow even looks little like Chris Hemsworth. I didn’t even photoshop this:

Is this a photo of Chris Hemsworth on the set of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ or Frank Ragnow warming up before a Week 3 contest? You literally can’t tell.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Tom Kennedy
    (65 votes)
  • 92%
    Frank Ragnow
    (788 votes)
853 votes total Vote Now

5 D'Andre Swift vs. 12 Jack Fox

It’s a bummer that speed isn’t a bigger part of D’Andre Swift’s game. Don’t get me wrong, the dude is still very fast (4.48 40-yard dash, if you need a reminder). But if he was one of those backs that defined his entire game around his speed, his name would be a good fit.

There’s not a lot else going on with his name, and if I can be completely honest, I have recent beef with apostrophe’d names. As some of you may know, I recently broke the pinky finger on my right hand. Thankfully, I’ll fully recover and be fine in a couple months. Unfortunately, in the meantime, it affects my typing a bit. The right pinkie isn’t used much, but it’s a particular pain in the ass to type apostrophes right now. What used to take just a single key-slide of the pinky now requires moving nearly my entire right hand, and I hit semicolon about half of the time when trying to hit the apostrophe key. Is this entire paragraph a petty complaint that will gain zero sympathy from every person that reads this? Of course. But that’s the benefit of being an editor in chief. No one can stop me from writing these sentences. It;s good to be the king. Damnit, I did it again.

[Editor’s note: I almost stopped reading after this pity party.]

I’m assuming many of you will be mad that Jack Fox is seeded this low, and while I will admit that Jack Fox is a solid name, I think this reaction is a symptom of a big problem in Detroit: y’all like special teamers a little too much. This city has a rich history of falling in love with its specialists, whether it be Jason Hanson, Don Muhlbach or, now, punter Jack Fox. This is only slightly less of an embarrassment of this franchise than their handling of Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson situations. I’m not saying you should hate specialists, but the fact that these are the players we hold in such high regard when just about everyone else on the field—including the coaches—is more integral to victory, is troubling. I don’t need to prove this to you (and I also refuse to do so in an article about names). But what exactly has Detroit achieved with its relatively solid—if not, spectacular—special teams for the past 40 years?

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    D’Andre Swift
    (564 votes)
  • 33%
    Jack Fox
    (286 votes)
850 votes total Vote Now

4 Kerby Joseph vs. 13 Nolan Givan

Kirby is one of the most underappreciated video game franchises ever. Kirby's Dream Land is not only a pleasure of a game to play, but the music is absolutely whimsical. The most overlooked game in the Kirby franchise, however, is Kirby’s Pinball Land, which somehow manages to turn a three-storied pinball machine game into a narrative with bosses much like a more typical side-scroller. I don’t think I had a single road trip between 1994 and 1999 in which I didn’t play that Game Boy classic. I hope to one day find a single person who appreciates this game as much as I did/do.

As for Kerby Joseph, he throws an E in there to be different, and it worked. According to the Pro Football Reference archives, there is just one NFL player who ever spelled Kerby with an e: the fantastically named Kyler Kerbyson.

Nolan Givan has a nice tempo to the name and gives off some iambic pentameter vibes. Also, I like that Givan is going to throw some hasty writers off. However, it’s hard to impress me when you’re only working with 10 letters here.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Kerby Joseph
    (640 votes)
  • 23%
    Nolan Givan
    (202 votes)
842 votes total Vote Now

6 Jermar Jefferson vs. 11 Devin Funchess

The second of four double Js in our tournament and, in my opinion, the best. Jermar Jefferson has a lot of things going for him. There has never been another Jermar in the NFL, and he also brings the presidential surname with Jefferson. Perhaps I’m playing favorites with a first name so similar to my own, but my name is perfect, so I admire those who chase perfection.

Devin Funchess is another potentially underseeded competitor here, and he swiftly overcame John Penisini in this tournament’s first ever play-in game. Bunches of Funchess. What else needs to be said?

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Jermar Jefferson
    (356 votes)
  • 57%
    Devin Funchess
    (478 votes)
834 votes total Vote Now

3 Quintez Cephus vs. 14 Jason Cabinda

According to word.tips—a website for dirty, rotten Scrabble cheaters—there are just over 100 words that have both a Q and a Z in them, and I very much question the legitimacy of some of the words. Ventriloquizes? Queazy? Nah. If this was a first-name tournament, Quintez is a one seed and potentially the favorite to win it all. There is simply nothing like it.

I don’t know what it is about the last name Cabinda that draws me in, but it does. It’s almost like that extra nice neighbor you have that is so annoyingly nice that you can’t hate them no matter how much you try. There is nothing flashy about Cabinda. It uses common sounds in a relatively common order. But at the same time, it’s still unique.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Quintez Cephus
    (785 votes)
  • 7%
    Jason Cabinda
    (67 votes)
852 votes total Vote Now

7 Demetrius Taylor vs. 10 Jerry Jacobs

I get the feeling Demetrius Taylor is on upset watch here. Jerry Jacobs is yet another double J’d name, but he’s also one of the most beloved players on the team after a tenacious rookie season. He’s a fantastic story, and while I’d like to think that would have little impact on a tournament based entirely on names, I’ve been around long enough to know that it does.

All that being said, these are two evenly-matched opponents. Demetrius isn’t all that uncommon anymore, but it remains an extremely pleasant name to say. It’s got a solid vowel-to-consonant ratio, back-to-back “ee” sounds, and has that regal tone to it that commands respect.

I respect both competitors here, and hope for a clean, well-fought battle here. Please respect the sanctity of two honored challengers.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Demetrius Taylor
    (404 votes)
  • 51%
    Jerry Jacobs
    (429 votes)
833 votes total Vote Now

2 DJ Chark vs. 15 Jared Goff

While I got sick of the “Baby Chark” thing about two minutes after the Lions signed him, the name DJ Chark is still undeniably amazing. If that god awful song hadn’t existed, right now I’d probably be photoshopping one of the Street Sharks behind a DJ booth. As a newcomer, I expect him to make a deep run in this tournament.

Jared Goff’s name came in handy after Detroit’s first win last season, which has been commonly referred to as “The Walk Goff” since. Not sure there’s really anything else there, though.

Poll

Who has the better name?

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    DJ Chark
    (763 votes)
  • 8%
    Jared Goff
    (68 votes)
831 votes total Vote Now