These, good gentlemen, are your candidates from the name of the year. There are four of them. That's why this post is here. I don't like having four names of the year. I posit we should have one name of the year.
And it's on you to decide them.
So, you're probably wondering: Northwestern's last football game was a month and 20 days ago. How come we're just voting on the best opposing football player name today?
Well, I'm glad you asked. You see, I like to do things big. Check that. I like to attempt doing things big, then not doing them. I had two truly phenomenal (in my opinion) concepts for improving coverage of the Name of the Year.
1. Name of the Year roundtable: I was going to get like five or six of Northwestern's greatest name debaters under one roof, turn on a mic, and let us go to work on dissecting the Name of the Year poll, PTI style, for like 25 minutes. This fell through because I'm lazy.
2. Partisan analysis: I was going to ask a blogger from the school of each nominated football player why they felt their school's nominee deserved to bring home the title. This fell through because I'm lazy and because the Auburn dudes never got back to me when I tried to interview them pre-Outback Bowl, so I figured getting them to discuss the merits of Eltoro Freeman would be a lost cause.
But, instead, in the spirit of the posts I did throughout the year, all you got is me. Things I wrote, and a buttload of it. Next year, I'm planning on integrating some of those other ideas, and maybe more, but for now, you got this.
(Oh, and for the record, I'm aware of Name of the Year, and that I'm kind of a ripoff. That being said, this was a really fun way to kill time and provided me some good posts during the year, it got us all familiar with opposing rosters, gave us somebody to root for on opposing teams, and, uh, we had fun. I'll take being unoriginal and good over being innovative and crappy any day of the week.)
Now vote! The poll is directly below, and also at the bottom if you hit the jump. I urge you to hit the jump, cuz there's all sorts of crazy nonsense down there.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Previous performances: PSU Name of the Week poll: 26 of 72 votes, notable competition included Knowledge Timmons, Ollie Ogbu, and Tariq Tongue.
Name of the year preliminary round: 2nd place, 20 votes.
What's been said:
Penn State post: "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."
Name of the Year preliminary voting post: "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."
Football performance: Christian redshirted this season, and was therefore inactive against Northwestern.
Defensive End, #85
Previous performances: Illinois name of the week poll: defeated Wisdom Onyegbule 13-12, Michael Hoomanawanui received the other seven votes.
What's been said:
Illinois post: "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."
Name of the year preliminary round: "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 PA announcer said it. Merciless. Jesus."
Football performance: Mercilus saw spot time at DE this year, playing 11 games and coming up with 7 tackles. Because he was super proud to get elected name of the week, Mercilus had his best game of the year, recording 1.5 tackles for loss, both on the same drive against Dan Persa, during the stretch of time where we ran about the same play, known in our playbook as "HEY REMEMBER LAST WEEK WHEN DAN PERSA WON US A GAME AT IOWA YEAH, SCARED AREN'T YOU, WELL HE'S RUNNING DIRECTLY UP THE MIDDLE AFTER AN EXTRAORDINARILY UNCONVINCING ATTEMPT AT FAKING A HANDOFF OR PRETENDING TO PASS BECAUSE THOSE ARE BOTH THINGS QUARTERBACKS DO SUCK IT", roughly 16 straight plays on two drives. Mercilus sniffed it out, surprisingly, twice and showed next to no mercy while doing it. (Actually, I'm being told he showed no mercy.)
Defensive Back, #31
Previous Performances: Wisconsin Name of the Week: unopposed, no poll, called off due to lack of suitable competition.
Name of the year preliminary round: 1st, 21 votes
What's been said:
Wisconsin post: "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."
Name of the year preliminary round: "Well, I had to do what I had to do. It was painful, but there was nobody worthy of polling besides the Prince. "
Football performance: The moody Prince spent all of his time on special teams this year, recording four tackles. He didn't play against Northwestern.
Previous performances: Auburn name of the week poll: 93 of 171 votes, notable competition included Quindarius Carr, Dontae Aycock, and Woody Parramore.
What's been said:
Auburn post: "I sat for a good three minutes trying to come up with the proper way to convey my initial reaction to there being a human being named "Eltoro Freeman" over the internet. It was something like a "NOOOO!" but not like "no!" as in "I'm really disappointed in this", it was a "no" like, "I can't believe that this just happened." It was a combination of shock and joy and amazement and wonder, but mixed in with a little bit of fear and trepidation. I mean, naming your child "Eltoro" redefines the game. The closest approximation to the way I immediately reacted would be Gus Johnson's assorted noises after this Jamal Crawford gamewinner from 2006.
The etymology of "Eltoro" is a simple one, I assume: it's a one-wordization of the spanish "el toro", which means "the bull." Notably, "el toro" is one of the few nearly universally understood Spanish words, along with "la fiesta" and "la biblioteca." Why, I'm not sure. I assume it's because of Spain's obsession with bullfighting. However, if someone named their child "Lafiesta Freeman", I wouldn't be awestruck: that's just weird.
But "Eltoro" is like bestowing some sort of perverted crown of awesomeness on your child. Like, "this kid is going to be so awesome, and strong and terrifying, it's going to take seven little spanish dudes on horses with swords to kill him, and he might gore one of them fools in the chest while he's at it. But they're probably going to get him anyway."
Football performance: Eltoro started ten games as a juco transfer sophomore in his first season at Auburn at the outside weak side linebacker spot. He was pretty decent, although the stats don't show it, as he only had a sack, two TFL's, and four QB hurries. Against NU, he was pretty absent, although he did get one tackle, on NU's third play from scrimmage, bringing down Jacob Schmidt after The Deliveryman had already gotten a first down.
Now: Other stuff.
Power rankings: me handicapping the bracket (not my personal preferences.)
1. Christian Kuntz: I was genuinely surprised to see Kuntz not win the prelim round, because his name is a runaway freight train of humor. It's easy to understand (Kuntz! Tee-hee!) but it also has that second level depth of how humorous it is that his first name is a religion and his last name is one of the more vile words in the English language, depending on who you ask. It's parallel to being named Buddhist Dicks, except it's a real name. Thus, I'll be surprised if the masses don't roll with Kuntz.
2. Prince Moody: Prince was a dark horse going into the prelims round because he went unopposed against Wisconsin, and it's safe to say he was a crowd-pleaser, winning the vote. I can't pick against success twice, so I have to consider Moody to be in the top half of likely winners. But it's also the most commonplace of all the names, so I don't see it pulling out the W.
3. Eltoro Freeman: Surprisingly, Eltoro is the least conventional first name to make it into the final round, and people are voters are suckers for unconventional first names. Eltoro won the biggest name of the week poll in a veritable landslide against stiff competition, so you can tell he appeals to the voters, but he's going up against the best of the best here.
4. Whitney Mercilus: For all Whitney's merciless charm, he was a paltry third in the prelim vote, and his performance in the Illinois name of the week poll was shaky at best. He's the least qualified candidate in terms of results, and I think the voters will see that.
My picks (that is, who I want to win. The guy directly under here next to the word "1" is who I'm voting for.)
1. Eltoro Freeman: Look, people, the guys name is Eltoro. El. Toro. He had spanish class this one time, and the teacher was like "today we're learning about animals. 'La vaca' means 'the cow'. 'El toro' means-" and then Eltoro said "IF YOU'RE GONNA SAY SOMETHING ABOUT ME SAY IT TO MY FACE PUNK" and then the teacher crapped his pants because there was a dude with big enough balls - or, if you're Eltoro's hypothetical brother, Loscojones Freeman, "los cojones grandes" - that he was able to live life as someone whose name means something that gores people to death by running into them with its head, and actually live up to it by being a really good football player. That, sirs, is manliness, and that is why I believe Eltoro Freeman has the best name of this year, this decade, and any other time period for the foreseeable future, and if you disagree, Eltoro Freeman will come to your house and ram my head into your chest until there's a hole there, then show up at your funeral and throw my Spanish 101 textbook on your grave and yell something like "THERE'S A VOCAB QUIZ ON WEDNESDAY, OH WAIT, YOU'RE DEAD BECAUSE I KILLED YOU" and spit on your next-of-kin. That's why I'm voting for Eltoro Freeman.
2. Whitney Mercilus. I'm going to hate it when Whitney loses. I've said it once, I'll said it again: his last name is pronounced the same as the word "merciless." When he's in formal situations, people refer to him as "Mr. Merciless." If he was a doctor, his name would be "Doctor Merciless." Picture being in that waiting room. "Sir, Dr. Merciless is ready to see you. Just sit in that next room, strip to your underwear, and PREPARE." I was listening to MM... Food the other day, and if you listen to MF Doom, you know he always finds these awesome old samples from Dr. Doom cartoon shows, and I'm always like "hah, there's no way some person's last name would actually be 'doom' in real life", and then I realized: that's basically what Whitney Merciless is like. He's like Doom. Think about it.
3. Christian Kuntz: It's a cheap joke, but it's a joke nonetheless, and I'm nothing if not susceptible to laughing at potty humor. Also, as mentioned, it has levels, which makes it somewhat unique among these names. The fact that Christian Kuntz is, in my opinion, the third best name here, shows how phenomenally great these names are.
4. Prince Moody: This name bores me. Yeah, it's funny - I'm picturing a dude in a prince outfit being all depressed all the time, then showing up to Camp Randall every Saturday in all this princely garb and whatnot to play football but still being depressed all the time - but look at what the Prince is up against. We've had Princes before - Kwateng, for example - and Moody's not a superhumanly great last name enough to make me vote Moody.
So there you have it. And for the last time, I'ma post this picture:
Vote or die, fools!
It's been fun, and whoever wins, deserves it. But vote. It's your right as a blog reader.