For those of you who are new to the site: every week during football season, I rip off Name of the Year (who sadly, hasn't completed their brackets yet) by finding the best names on teams Northwestern is playing against, as for some reason, college football is particularly ripe for interesting naming conventions. I select up to six players from each team, describe their merits or lack thereof, and put them before the committee - you, the people - to see which one is the name of the week. It's a time-honored tradition, which means I did it last year.
Of the 13 teams NU played against, 52 names passed before the fold, and 13 emerged victorious.
But now that we've come to the end of the road, like Boyz II Men, we have a problem: what to do? Do we honor these men individually as patron saints of their individual weeks? Or do we put them in a DEATHMATCH. Obviously, the answer is deathmatch.
However, it would be unfair to just go in a one-on-one-on-one times 13 free-for-all, having already separated the wheat from the chaff, I feel we need to now separate the wheat from the chaffier wheat. Thus, the first round will eliminate eight of the 13 contestants, leaving us with the top five, who will face off later. (Also, this allows me another post!)
After the jump, you'll find the 13 names, with their original descriptions, then, I'll add a little extra commentary, because clearly you need it. The poll is also after the jump.
Gentlemen, choose wisely, and may your picks advance. For the sake of 2010 winner Whitney Mercilus - who didn't even advance to win Illinois' name of the week this year - choose the best man.
Week One, Vanderbilt Name of the Week: No. 70 Justin Cabbagestalk, C
At the time: "I'm genuinely surprised that "Cabbagestalk" is a real last name for a person and not like a troll or something. First of all, cabbages have stalks? Aren't they just like lettuce? Don't they just kinda grow out of the ground and just be there? Do cabbages really have stalks? Can you climb up them and reach a magical land inhabited by huge giants? The world will never know. Actually, I'm pretty sure many farmers do know, but I for one don't care. Anyway, Cabbagestalk is a pretty sweet compound word to have as your name, unless you don't like when bloggers mention that your name that sounds like a mythical, magical woodland creature from a Harry Potter book. If only his first name was something else magical, like (his opponent at the time, Vandy WR Udom Udoh). Udom Cabbagestalk would be a winner."
In retrospect: Vandy had a weak name stalk... errr... stock, so, hobbit or not, Cabbagestalk didn't have much trouble ousting Adam Smotherman 50-38. Cabbages, it turns out, per the Wikipedia, do have stalks.
On the field: Sadly, Cabbagestalk suffered a serious career-ending injury that prevented him from ever seeing the field in a Vandy uniform. No jokes, folks.
Week Two, Illinois State Name of the Week: No. 53, Xzavier Stewart, DT
At the time: Look, it's easy for me. You name your kid "Xzavier", they're getting in the Name of the Week. Depending on your viewpoint, Xzavier is even better than last year's Xzavian Brandon from Minnesota. It's worse because Xzavian is slightly crazier, but better because there is a high probability that Xavier is already a pretty cool name as is: it starts with an X, and Xavier McDaniel was named that, and everybody called him "the X-Man". (Xavier Nady - less cool.) And then, they took that already good name, and said, "hey, how can I make this name more like the name of famed rapper Xzibit", and then they did exactly that thing. So, that's how they got Xzavier. P.S. Xzibit if you're reading this, I'm your biggest fan. (The odds Xzibit is reading this are almost negligible.)
In retrospect: (X) REARRANGE THE WHOLE GAME WITH MY RUGGED SOUND (X) WON'T EVEN SPEAK YA OWN NAME WHEN I COME AROUND. There was almost no competition from his teammates, but I don't think we should judge him for that. Xzibit based his whole rap career around the fact that his rap name started with "X to the Z", a fact he chose himself. Xzavier didn't choose his own name, it shouldn't lessen his ability to base his whole name career around this.
On the field: Name of the week honors was arguably the highlight of Stewart's 2010 campaign. He registered the Cardinal's only sack against the Cats, but just two weeks after playing NU, he was dismissed from Illinois State for "conduct detrimental" to said team. "I was tired of him rearranging the whole game with his rugged sound," coach Brock Spack didn't say at the time. "Although I'm typically in the habit of speaking my own name - BROCK SPACK, BROCK SPACK, BROCK SPACK - I found myself unable to do so when Xzavier came around."
Week Three, Rice Name of the Week, No. 8, Brent Hotard, TE
At the time: Not an upper-tier name, but his last name is a combination of two things that 9th graders use as insults, if it is indeed pronounced "ho-tard." If it's pronounced "hot-erd", well, we're screwed. On the other hand, if by some stroke of majesty, it's pronounced "hot-turd", well, we have ourselves a winner. (File this under "paragraphs that will not help me get a job in journalism later in life".)
In retrospect: This week sucked.
On the field: Hotard's only receptions on the year came against Baylor. So, no biggie.
Week Four, Central Michigan Name of the Week, No. 34, Zurlon Tipton, RB
At the time: I can't decide if Zurlon Tipton is either a evil alien from a mid-80's Star Trek ripoff movie or a lesser figure in early Mormon history. Sadly, I'm not an expert in Mormon history, and happily, I'm not a huge nerd and a loser so I've never seen any of the Star Trek movies (sorry to any of my nerd/loser readers.)
In retrospect: The fact that I did not consider him being a Mormon Star Trek alien - something which could be plausible, knowing how little both Star Trek and, uh, Mormonism, you know, make sense, sorry Mormons and Star Trek fans - is disappointing. Zurlon truly deserved his runaway 68-44 victory over Valtorrey Showers.
On the field: Zurlon had a rush and a reception for a combined four yards against NU, however, he would later break out against Navy, putting up 62 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-37 loss.
Week Five, Minnesota Name of the Week, No. 29, Shady Salamon, S
At the time: This is a ridiculously good name, and it's not even my pick for the week. (that was Jewhan Edwards.) 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.
In retrospect: Can't believe I didn't mention Em's "I'M SHADYYYYYYYY". This wasn't really close. Shady has a fantastic name, and earned 75 of 131 votes to run away with the W. I guess a bunch of you are clients at his wild west brothel and he's blackmailing you to vote for him. Noteworthy: for the second straight week, my description mentioned Mormons. Reminder: mention Mormons more. Salamon is one of two incumbents in this year's poll.
On the field: Shady played a lot of special teams, but didn't record any stats. He was Big Ten All-Academic, though, so, congrats.
Week Six, Purdue Name of the Week, No. 51, Kakpindi Jamiru, LB
At the time: It's well noted that I'm not a fan of making fun of foreign-sounding names because they're foreign. But homie's name is "Kakpindi." Kakpindi. I don't need to spell this out, do I? Sadly, it's actually pronounced "Kah-pin-dee" according to the athletic site, but, KAKPINDI.
In retrospect: I'm a little bit disappointed Kakpindi eked out the victory over Normando Harris. I mean, Normando. But, alas, Kakpindi ain't bad neither.
I guess you guys just love the Kak not funny.
On the field: Kak registered a single tackle. One.
Week Seven, Michigan State Name of the Week, No. 31 Darqueze Dennard, CB
At the time: This name's a doozy. The key, obviously, is the alliteration between Darqueze and Dennard. The other key is the fact that his first name is Darqueze, which, presumably is pronounced "Dar-keeze", which is awesome.
In retrospect: You people are fools for picking Darqueze over Denzel Drone and TyQuan Hammock. FOOLS.You could say that you made the Darqueasy pick, though, and you wouldn't be wrong.
On the field: Double D earned his second career start - replacing the imprisoned Chris L. Rucker - at Northwestern and recorded a sack, continuing in the tradition of inspired NoTW winners going beast mode against the Cats.
Week Eight, Indiana Name of the Week, No. 52, Marlandez Harris, DL
At the time: Bro, here's where the names get great. Marlandez? Marlandez! I see the roots of some actual names in here: Marlon, Orlando... um... Hernandez, which is a last name, but, still. But Marlandez? It's an awesome mashup of four names that don't really belong together. All I can picture is Marlon Brando in the Godfather speaking in a thick Hispanic accent.
In retrospect: I was surprised - though not fully disappointed - by Marlandez's W over incumbent Damarlo Belcher. Normally, you go for belching stuff, but here you went for the high-end nonsense. Congrats.
On the field: Marley Marl redshirted his freshman year, so, yeah.
Week Nine, Penn State Name of the Week, No. 34, Christian Kuntz, WR
At the time: 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.
In retrospect: Kuntz deserved his second straight Penn State honoree, and, quite frankly, could be a four-time- or maybe five-time - winner by the time he graduates. He actually was pretty close in fending off Tariq Tongue - of the Tongue-Kuntz WR tandem - winning 48-34.The allure of pious genitalia is that strong.
On the field: Kuntz has always suffered from knee problems, and didn't see the field in 2010.
Week 10, Iowa Name of the Week, No. 7, Marvin McNutt, WR
At the time: Heh. McNutt.
In retrospect: The people love McNutt. Marvin busted the widest margin of victory in poll history, earning 106 of 168 votes, and I can't blame you. McNutt is worthy.
On the field: Y'all know McNutt, who led the Hawkeyes in receptions and yards.
Week 11, Illinois Name of the Week, No. 20, Fritz Rock, WR
At the time: Never fight a man named Fritz Rock. He is the strongest person on the earth, a descendant of David Hasselhoff, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Attilla the Hun. His muscles have their own muscles. He will kill you and make you listen to Rammstein and the song "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by German band Scorpions while you are dead. Then he will kill you again.
In retrospect: The fact that I am still alive and have not yet been murdered by Fritz Rock scares me. I am so impressed of him for fending off 2010 champion Whitney Mercilus, who is MERCILESS, but Fritz Rock considers Mercilus to be downright merciful.
On the field: Fritz didn't play in 2010 and switched over from safety to WR in the offseason.
Week 12, Wisconsin Name of the Week: No. 28, Coddye Ring-Noonan, LB
I didn't do a name of the week for Wisconsin, but if I had, I assume you would've gone with CRN.
Bowl Week, Texas Tech Name of the Week, No. 36, Nubian Peak, CB
At the time: This is one of the best names I've ever come across, in my opinion. Nubia, of course, is the region along the Nile river in Northern Sudan that used to trade with Egypt and whatnot in ancient times. A person from Nubia is a Nubian. The region is best known it is best known for 1980's hip-hop group Brand Nubian, who were not from Nubia. (The region is also best known because the area was known to the Greeks by the name "Kush", which is now something people call certain types of weed.) Nubian Peak's name, amazingly, therefore, refers to a mountain in Africa. Most likely, his name could be interpreted as referring to a mountain in the Nuba range in Central Sudan. It could also refer to a fat, tall, African dude. Sadly, Nubian himself is 5-foot-11 and from Virginia, so, he himself is not a Nubian Peak, you know, even though, like, HIS NAME IS NUBIAN PEAK.
In retrospect: Pardon me, but, this is the pinnacle, or, as some might say, the peak, of all names, let alone Nubian ones. Pure awesome. Although I still have a soft spot for Texas Tech's Cqulin Hubert - CAH-QUELIN! - Nubian deserved the W.
On the field: Nubian transfered from Virginia Tech and still has yet to play for the Red Raiders, as he has some academic issues.
So, there you go. Vote.