This time next week, the tournament from which we derive our structure will be over. For weeks, you’ve been flooded with lesser brackets. You’re probably already sick of the concept of brackets now, even with some basketball games left to play. In the words of 2014 naminee and Voice of the New York City Subway Bernie Wagenblast, we are sorry for any inconvenience.
We’ve been late before, but we’re always proud of the bracket we eventually deliver, and this year is no different. Good food takes time to prepare, and we are offering a feast: Help yourself to some Salami Blessing, Duckens Nazon, or Tuna Altuna — and that’s just one quadrant of our spread.
Please, dig in, make yourself comfortable. Let’s catch up. Did you hear about Reality Winner? She is currently being held in a Georgia jail, accused of leaking classified NSA material related to Russian interference in our latest presidential election. No fewer than 17 of our fans brought her to our attention. In some years, an NSA leaker named Reality Winner would be the height of absurdity in the news, but as far as Trump Era supporting characters go, she’s somewhat middle of the road. That’s how we felt about her name, too. Once upon a time, back when NOTY was a few sheets of paper tacked to a dorm room wall, she would have been a high seed, but after combing through so many monikers, her name didn’t sound like a winner at all.
Have you tried a Lukas Chalupa? It goes great with a little Yo’Heinz Tyler on top.
The more names we look at, the easier it is to suffer from fatigue. Many of the names we feature are assisted by the surprise of hearing them for the first time. The first time we came across a person called Taco, it was a delight. Now, it’s a stomachache, and not a single Taco made the 2018 bracket. And don’t even get me started on the Dicks.
The only to combat the fatigue is to dig deeper, to seek out new surprises even when it feels like the best ones have already been uncovered. To find this year’s one seeds, you checked in with us from football fields in Florida, high schools in Missouri, doctor’s offices in California, and universities in Nigeria. Without You The People, we never would have been able to keep up our promise of a bracket we can take pride in.
So I’d like to propose a toast to you, the amateur onomasts of the world. You’re the only reason we’re able to combat name fatigue. Without you, we would not be here, on the precipice of our 31st tournament, ready to spend several more weeks bemoaning the defeat of our favorite contenders, done in by underdogs whose names describe bodily functions or repeatedly mention watercraft (please don’t make a mistake like that again.)
Now then, let’s pop our Corky Boozé, pour some Chardonnay Beaver, and raise our glasses to another wonderful year of ballots, debates, upsets, and, ultimately, the reality of a winner. The Sir’Zion Dance will begin in a couple of days, at which point it will be up to you, the voter, to decide the 2018 Name of the Year.
Voting will begin shortly on nameoftheyear.com.
Sam Gutelle is a Brooklyn-based blogger who predominantly covers the online video industry for Tubefilter. He has helped run the Name of the Year blog since 2012 despite his relatively boring name. You can follow him on Twitter @gutelle.