The first round concludes.
After a short hiatus, the Detroit Lions Name Bracket Tournament is back in business. My old age necessitated a short recharge of my batteries, and we haven’t even gotten into the meaty part of this tournament. Well, unless you consider John P… you know what… no. We’re not going there. Not yet, at least.
Here’s the fourth and final region of the 2020 bracket.
1. Beau Benzschawel
vs. 16. Tony McRae
Last year, Beau Benzschawel fell victim to the Bracket Hacker of 2019, causing him to drop out in Round 2. He comes into 2020 with a huge chip on his shoulder and a scrabble score to match it.
Alliteration: He’s got it. An uninterrupted “nzsch”? Completely unprecedented. What I love about his name is that his first name is an appreciative nod to the power of vowels. Then his last name is like, “SCREW YOU, CONSONANTS ARE AWESOME, TOO.” It’s the most versatile name in the tournament, utilizing everything great about the English alphabet.
Tony McRae is the name of that guy in high school that pops up on your Facebook feed every now and then, and you wonder to yourself, “How did that guy become an ‘adult’ before I did?”
8. Kenny Wiggins
vs. 9. Jack Fox
A history lesson, if you will. Back in 2015, I created this tournament for one, simple reason. LaAdrian Waddle made the Name of the Year Bracket, as popularized by Deadspin . I argued—and succeeded, in my opinion—that LaAdrian Waddle, while a solid name, was not even the best one on the team. In the end, Waddle didn’t even make the Final Four (Isa Abdul-Quddus , Darius Slay , Ezekiel Ansah , Golden Tate ) and the rest was history.
Anyways, Kenny Wiggins is also a better name than LaAdrian Waddle.
Jack Fox is the name of a super secret agent or the first draft of “Jack Bauer.” He definitely doesn’t do things by the book, and he’ll undoubtedly have someone close to him killed, kidnapped or both. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s never really clear if the cold heart of Jack Fox is even capable of love. He’s simply programmed to protect.
5. Frank Ragnow
vs. 12. Chase Daniel
Frank Ragnow is a throwback to the 1950s. If he were to get a “23andMe” test, I’m fairly certain the results would show that he’s at least 33 percent Rat Pack. Of course, if you met the man himself, he couldn’t be anyless Rat Packy. He’s soft-spoken, considerate and thoughtful.
That makes him a rebel. He refuses to let his name define him, wanting to forge his own path in this crazy world. Kudos to you, Frank Ragnow .
Chase Daniel trended on Twitter this week, as the backukp quarterback again gained attention for the perceived crime of earning a ton of money compared to quarterbacks that are likely better than him.
Cam got screwed but I’m not gonna allow that to dampen my respect for Chase’s hustle https://t.co/bBc800UfH3
— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) June 29, 2020
Like Magary, I respect the hell out Daniel for what he’s been able to do for the entirety of his career. And with a name like Chase, it does feel like he’s in the middle of a heist movie with Tom Hanks nipping at his heels.
4. Reggie Ragland
vs. 13. Mike Jackson
Reggie Ragland is such a balanced name. It’s like looking into a mirror. Two syllables per name. Perfect alliteration. You’ve even got a nice “g” sound there right in the middle. Also, Ragland sounds like the worst amusement park.
The official Detroit Lions website has him listed as Mike Jackson , not Michael. Good call, Lions.
6. Jonah Jackson
vs. 11. Kevin Strong
More solid alliteration here, but I have to say the name Jonah hasn’t been the same since I watched “Veep.” There is no character in a comedy more terrifying than Jonah Ryan. It’s not that he’s just a terrible human being—there are plenty of those in television—it’s that he’s an only-slight exaggeration of reality. His arc in the final season of Veep is absolutely terrifying and nearly turned the show into a horror. Anyways, here’s a very, very, very, very, very not safe for work cut-up of his character.
Kevin Strong has the word strong in his name. Not sure if you caught that.
3. Arryn Siposs
vs. 14. Tyrell Crosby
Arryn Siposs comes from the Aussie football league, which gives us a fresh name in this Name Bracket the like of which have never been seen. Looking at the name is downright startling. But think about it. Isn’t “Arryn” a totally responsible way to spell the traditionally-spelled name “Aaron?” After all, we colloquially pronounce it “air in” not “air awn.” And don’t get too intimidated by Siposs. It’s just pronounced “sip-aws.”
Tyrell Crosby is probably a bit underseeded here. Tyrell is a fine name, and Crosby is classy as hell. But I just don’t see the two working together much. It’s like trying to combine Frosted Flakes and cheese. Those things are perfectly fine on their own, but no one in their right mind would put them tog—oh, jesus, REALLY PEOPLE??
7. Dan Skipper vs. 10. Matt Sokol
Matt Sokol made the bracket this year for his unconventional use of vowels. The o-consonant-o combination is extremely rare. Go ahead, try to think of an example that isn’t a word that ends in that second o. I’ll wait.
Plus, if you say Sokol in a thick Californian accent, it sounds like “so cool.”
2. Caleb Benenoch vs. 15. Victor Bolden Jr.
Caleb Benenoch —pronounced “Ben-en-knock”—is just one of two active Calebs in the NFL right now . And while I wish his last name was pronounced Ben-en-no-ck (like the beginning of gnocchi), Benenoch is pretty good, too. If I were to describe the last name Benenoch, I would say it’s the three-part sound of falling down the stairs. Ben…. ennn…KNOCK.
If a friend told me I had to meet his buddy, and he told me his buddy’s name is Victor Bolden Jr. , I would’ve 100 percent known immediately that he was an NFL receiver. It’s such an NFL receiver name. A mix of Victor Cruz and Anquan Boldin —but spelled with an E in defiance, plus the “jr.” that just comes with the territory of being an NFL player these days.