As many of you know, Notre Dame football is currently in the golden age.
“Golden age?” you say skeptically. “How can that be? The Irish haven’t won a significant bowl game in over 20 years!”
Well, clearly we aren’t talking about just football success here, you goofus.
No, instead, we’re talking about names.
“What’s in a name?” you might ask, if you were a freshman in high school studying Shakespeare.
Well, we honestly don’t know how to answer that question - that’s a weird response to all of this. But, what we can tell you is that Notre Dame players have some fantastic parents who bequeathed them with fantastic monikers.
Montgomery VanGorder? Heck yes, that’s fancy.
Greer Martini? Double heck yes, that’s even fancier.
Drue and Alizé and Studstill and Onwualu and Daelin and Bongiovi? We can dig all of that.
But the crown jewel of the Notre Dame name game (hats off to me for this fantastic rhyme)? None other than projected starting wide receiver and sophomore, Equanimeous St. Brown, whose full legal name is in fact Equanimeous Tristen Imhotep J. St. Brown.
I am confident - nay, CERTAIN - that this name ranks among the best in the country. But, we here at One Foot Down don’t like to make assumptions based on gut feelings. So, I meticulously combed through the ~90-or-so-player rosters for each and every team in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (so I’m talking, conservatively, about having read somewhere between 11,000 and 12,000 names because this is how I choose to spend my free time) and marked down every name I thought was funny, cool, ridiculous, or just super unique.
This exercise left me with a list of 532 spectacular names. We’re talking everything from Troy’s KE’Marvin Pitts to Cincinnati’s Mike Tyson. However, this was an absurd amount of names, and needed to be whittled down A TON before I could come to you, the beautiful readers of this fine website, with some sort of esteemed collection of elite college football player names.
So, I began making cuts. I lost guys like Florida State’s Sh’mar Kilby-Lane and Louisville’s Finesse Middleton by cutting the number down to 226, and then when I cut it down to subsequent totals of 187, 121, and 74, I lost the Occupation Chads (Tulsa’s Chad President and Utah State’s Chad Artist), the Butt squad (Michigan’s Jake Butt, Virginia’s Evan Butts, and Iowa’s Angelo Garbutt), and some of your favorite celebrities like Arkansas State’s Jonah Hill or Miami’s Michael Jackson.
Then, knowing the ultimate goal was to create a 64-name ultimate tournament to decide the greatest name in the country, I had to make immensely exhausting, tear-your-hair-out cuts of 10 more names.
Before I get to who those 10 poor souls were who just barely missed the cut, I figure I should probably quit rambling and give you all the scuttlebutt on what we are doing here.
I took the 64 victors and I seeded them, 1-16. Then, I assigned each of them match-ups based on said seeds, and pieced together a bracket for you all to follow. Please see that bracket here.
Feel free to print that out in some way that won’t use like 6 sheets of paper (or do it that way, who cares) or make a copy of the Google Sheet and fill it out in Google Docs for your bracket pool that you’ll certainly hold with all of your friends and family.
Then, keep coming back here (or follow along on Twitter and Facebook) as we periodically release Google Forms within which you can vote for each name match-up and have your voice heard in the only election that matters - the 2016 College Football Player Nomenclature Championship.
So, here’s the Google Form for the first round, featuring four regions named for college football players with wondrous names gone by. Please lend your voice to this important national discussion.
Now that we’ve covered all of that, here are the poor saps who will have to wait until next year to see if they can crack the big dance:
Kourtland Busby (New Mexico State - sounds like a Hogwarts student)
Quanterio Heath (Arkansas State - stellar first name)
Zamore Zigler (San Jose State - alliteration, especially with Z’s, rocks)
Alex Boy (Nevada - talk to me in a year or two when you’re Alex Man)
D.J. Polite-Bray (Texas Tech - I liked to imagine him as a very well-mannered donkey who DJs in his free time)
Conrad Dudenhoefer (Wisconsin - couldn’t be more fun to say)
Jake Shake (Indiana - his parents love rhymes too!)
Joey Slye (Virginia Tech - I was hoping he could team up with Memphis’ Joey Magnifico for some sort of magician duo but it wasn’t meant to be)
Dixie Wooten (Houston - sounds like a basketball coach in the south in the ‘50s)
Ondre Pipkins (Texas Tech - innovative spelling of a normal first name and a fun last name)
Thank you all, and we look forward to your active participation (it’s your civic duty, for crying out loud) and fruitful commentary on who really has the best name in college football.