What's in a Name? A New Sort of March Madness

Athletes top our favorite NCAA Tourney alternative bracket, Name of the Year

American sport has long been home to outlandish personalities, bizarre hijinks, hilarious bloopers, and extremely funny names (Scientific Mapp, anyone?).  Tragically, these names have never gotten the attention they deserve -- until now.  At a time when the country's gone so completely bracket-mad even the President is submitting his NCAA picks to ESPN, Name of the Year pops up to remedy this egregious oversight with their own whimsical bracketology.

Just like its famous forefather, Name of the Year's bracket pits 64 "participants" together in regional play. Not just any regions, mind you, but regions named after previous winners including Assumption Bulltron and Doby Crotchtangle.

NoTY doesn't require that all their contenders be athletes -- one of last year's favorites, Spaceman Africa, may or may not have been an Irish soccer fan who drunkenly changed his name after losing a bet (he found himself in a dead heat against Kansas Jayhawks softballer Destiny Frankenstein, whose sister Cherish appears in this year's pool) -- but sports is represented well in the field each year. Some favorites from the 2009 bracket: Jazzario Barrios, a high school offensive tackle from Illinois; Barkevious Mingo, who just signed a letter of intent to play football at LSU; Murray State's women's golf coach Velvet Milkman; and Dolphins cornerback Scorpio Babers. There's a few other favorites, but we'd blush to print them here.

Perhaps the most charming thing about NoTY, which ESPN's Bill Simmons declared "the best March Madness time-waster," is that it doesn't include sports figures we've already laughed at. Coco Crisp (Kansas City Royals), Harry Colon (NFL defensive back), basketball's Ruben Boumtje-Boumjte, and a certain race car driver have been through enough already, don't you think? Not to mention this guy.

It's time Tonic Chabalala (soccer, South Africa) and Wacey Rabbit (hockey's Providence Bruins) get the attention they deserve.

Don't forget to get out the vote!

Janie Campbell is a Florida native who believes in the pro-set and ballpark hot dogs. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.

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