DUN-DUN FREAKIN DUN, PEOPLE.
That's right. As you may remember, for the majority of the season, every week I selected the four or five best names from the team Northwestern was playing against and allowed you, the public, to select which you thought was the best name from that team. I'm not talking the best as in the funniest, I'm talking about all-around best. The most magnificient name.
Now, with 12 weeks gone, and nothing for us to talk about, I bring you the 12 champions. The Sippin' on Purple Names of the Week.
And again, I bring these men before you, and I ask you to determine their worth.
Of these 12 (actually 11, we'll get to that), pick your favorite. The top three will advance to a final round of voting with the best name from our opponent in the bowl game, as I optimistically left a slot for a 13th week on my impromptu name plaque (né a sunday night dinner flyer that i took down while putting new ones up), even though at the time, we were 3-1 and 1-1 in conference. Yeah optimism.
Anyway, since that fateful day like two months ago, the plaque sifted to the bottom of my desk, but I just went through the pile, retrieved it, and updated it with the names that have won since. Here is that plaque, as pictured via my iPhone.
Below, you see the poll. After the jump, I have the names listed in chronological order and what I wrote about those names at the time, plus a contextual line or two about how I feel about that name now.
So today, we separate the wheat from the chaff. We separate the Lorenzo Seaberry III's of the world from the Nate Paopao's. If we never went through this stage, those Seaberry's would potentially draw votes away from the Paopao's in the final, and I hope to avoid any Naderization of the potential final result in this poll.
Gentlemen, vote, and vote well.
Towson: Tamba Tongu.
Historic quote: "This is a great name. It's alliterative, and it's got a nice rhythm and a nice flow to it. It just rolls off the tongue (Tongu-e?) very nicely."
What I think now: You have to remember, this was back in the preliminary days of the Name of the Week poll, when there wasn't actually a poll, and the name of the week was embedded in a larger post about Towson football. Tamba's stiffest competition was probably Alex Butt, so, he had an easy ride to victory, but he'll always go down in history as Sippin' on Purple's first. And you always remember your first.
Tamba recorded a special teams tackle against NU, which is more than your average name of the week candidate did, surprisingly, although most got in the game.
Eastern Michigan: Nate Paopao.
Historic quote: "Paopao, who has one of the best football names I've ever heard. Nate is a juco transfer, and thanks to the EMU official pronunciation guide, we can find that his name is pronounced "POW-POW", the only name to get the all-caps treatment. Nate has six siblings, all of whom manage to have better names than him, but I won't drag them into this, because they don't deserve to google themselves only to find that somebody's writing about them on the internet, so, find his roster page to see for yourself.
Historic quote: "This is a ridiculously good name, and it's not even my pick for the week. First off, the guys first name is "Shady". Shady. That's his government name, as far as I can tell. Shady, like, when there's, like, trees over you, or when you're skeezy and people don't trust you. And Salamon sounds like Solomon, which is a first name old timey people had. Therefore, when you combine "Shady" and "Salamon", you get a name that sounds like it belongs to, like, a Mormon drug dealer or a wild west brothel owner. And that's awesome. Shady, a sophomore was a backup RB last year and started two games, totalling 181 yards on 49 carries on the year, but hasn't seen the field yet this year."
What I think now: Shady beat an absolutely STACKED name field that week, which included Logan U'u and Xzavian Brandon. But in retrospect, judging from how enthusiastic I was in this description, he deserved it. And like I posted a few days later, Shady has a pretty impressive life story considering what he's been through, and reading that article immediately made me feel bad about putting his name in my stupid little blog post about good names.
Purdue: Waynelle Gravesande:
Historic quote: "Yeah, Waynelle Gravesande.
First off, it's pronounced "grave-sandy" according to Purdue's media guide. But what I like about this name is that "Waynelle" matches up with "Gravesande" really well, they're both really long, very poetic, and both aren't actual names. If Waynelle weren't a football player, he could totally be a British dude from the 1500's. It's a mad courtly name. It just rolls off the tongue."
What I think now: Waynelle was the first time my candidate in the poll won, and admittedly, he was up against a weak field, as evidenced by the fact that he took 31 of the 36 votes. But it doesn't take away from the mad courtliness I wrote about. He's also the only name that didn't fit in the little box I made for it.
Waynelle returned a punt for nine yards in the NU game, and also drew a fair catch interference penalty costing the Cats 15 yards, the sly bastard. He never fumbled though, making him different from every other Purdue kick returner that day.
Miami (OH): VACANT.
Historic quote: "I've come to the conclusion that there's not a single player on the team which I would be comfortable anointing with the title of Name of the Week. Let's be real: RedHawks' Anthony Shoemaker and Sean Redwine simply don't belong in the same conversation as guys like Nate Paopao, Waynelle Gravesande, and Shady Salamon. And to put them amongst those winners would be a disservice to the trophy. I apologize to any readers who this will disappoint, but it's a decision we need to make. I hope you'll agree with me."
What I think now: Miami of Ohio, you disgust me.
Michigan State: Denzel Drone
Historic quote: "Apparently MSU took Denzel Washington, star of such films as Inside Man, American Gangster, and my personal favorite film of all-time (you think I'm joking, but I'm not) He Got Game, removed his soul, and set him loose as a brainless killing machine. Because this Denzel Drone they have is a defensive end. Be worried, people."
What I think now: FEAR THE DENZEL DRONE. HE'S MERCILESS, REALLY GOOD AT ACTING, AND ATTRACTIVE, IN A REALLY DISTINGUISHED WAY.
He only barely held off TyQuan Hammock in a 22-18 fight for the top spot his week, but I think this is one of those dark horse names that can put up a fight here.
Indiana: Damarlo Belcher.
Historic quote: "It's like you took this guy and this guy (who I played in high school, btdubs), but just made their respectively names better. Damarlo Belcher. Ahhh, yes. Works perfectly. I really see no way I'm not inscribing this name on the chart next week, so, go for it."
What I think now: As I hinted at in the quote, it was a weak name field that week, and Damarlo blew away the competition, winning half the vote. But he's still got an average or above name.
Damarlo did work against NU, catching five passes for 60 yards, one of the more successful NOTW performances.
Penn State: Christian Kuntz
Historic quote: "Look, people, this is a family site. I don't put words that will startle the children in most of my posts, unless I'm quoting someone. So I'm not going to go into the precise details of why someone's last name being Kuntz is tremendously unfortunate for that human being. But I think you all understand why.
Now, think about how humorous it is to have a name like Kuntz. Think about how much more humorous it is that Kuntz's first name denotes the Christianity of said Kuntz. Ahh yes, Christian Kuntz. The most pious Kuntz in all the land. (mark this post down under "posts that will probably come back to haunt me some day later.") Anyway, we're talking about multiple Kuntz, and talking about how much they revere Jesus. This is what your name is. I mean, it's a step up from Rusty, but it's a baby step."
What I think now: Man, this is going to be a hard name to beat. And that's not because it's a great name. In fact, it's far from my favorite of the names here.
But it's a runaway force of humor, and that's going to draw some votes. Everybody I mention Christian Kuntz to laughs. I laughed when I first saw it. The people in the BlackHeartGoldPants podcast laughed. Everybody laughs. I see no way this one doesn't make it into the next round, at the least.
Iowa: Pat Angerer
Historic quote: "An angerer. A person whose job is to anger others. An equivalent name would be Greg Pisseroffer, or Steve Guywhotellsraciallyinsensitivejokestopeopleofthatraceforthesolepurposeofprovokingthemerer. And he's a linebacker. Which is probably the most angering position possible. "
What I think now: I probably overhyped this name, in retrospect, it ain't that great. But it did win the most voted in name of the week poll of all time, just just just just eking past Marvin McNutt 40-39 in the only poll I've had that drew over 100 votes.
Pat, as always, was a beast in the NU game, recording 17 tackles, 13 unassisted, as well as breaking up a pass.
Illinois: Whitney Mercilus
Historic quote: "If my name was Whitney Mercilus, I'd do two things every day: first off, I'd be angry that my name was Whitney, because that's a last name, as evidenced by Eli Whitney, and, well, anybody ever to be named Whitney.
Then, having done that, I'd contemplate showing mercy. But would I? HELL NO. My last name would be pronounced MERCILESS. And therefore, even if all I know about humanity were to dictate that I was in a situation that deserved mercy, you can be sure as all hell that I would not. WHITNEY MERCILUS. A great football name too. Now, if middle name was "The", I would begin to worship him."
What I think now: FELLAS, LISTEN UP. Whitney has my vote this week. His freakin' name is MERCILUS. HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO STRESS THIS FACT. It's pronounced "merciless." I know this. The Illinois guy said it. Merciless. Jesus.
Whitney recorded two tackles against NU, both of Dan Persa behind the line of scrimmage. Neither were sacks, because they were both on one of those drives where Fitz just sent Dan out to eat up about eight plays by running and not pretending a running back would run it or that he might throw, even though these are both options in a football playbook.
Wisconsin: Prince Moody.
Historic quote: "Therefore, it is my solemn and painful duty to tell you that there will be no name of the week poll. I'm preemptively awarding the regular season's final title to the owner of the far and away best name on the team,Prince Moody.
Surely, there will be some disappointment - especially from the Prince himself, knowing how moody that poor chap is - but I hope we can all agree it's the right thing to do. I hope you respect Prince with the same veneration deserved of all name of the week winners."
What I think now: Well, I had to do what I had to do. It was painful, but there was nobody worthy of polling besides the Prince.
So there you go.