We are one step closer to crowning a new Name Bracket champion.
2021 is turning out to be the year of the underdogs in the Detroit Lions Name Bracket Tournament. We are entering Round 3—or the Sweet 16—and we still have five names that were seeded 10 or lower in the tournament. That’s high, even for a vengeful audience like yourself, who aims to anger me at every turn of this tournament. (More on that later)
But even so, there are plenty of worthy names still left in this tournament, including a heavy Nigerian influence. Romeo Okwara, Jeff Okudah, Amani Oruwariye, Levi Onwuzurike, Godwin Igwebuike and Ifeatu Melifonwu are all still in the tourney.
Then there are those that have no reason to be here: Don Muhlbach and Joel Heath. One has made it this far as a touching tribute to a Lions legend. The other here simply out of bitterness.
And there is no better recap of the Name Bracket tournament than that. So let’s get into it.
1. Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. 5. Charlie Taumoepeau
The way Amon-Ra St. Brown is dominating this tournament makes me believe he has a very good shot of winning this entire thing. In the first round, he beat TB12 (not that one) 95-5. Then he followed it up with a blowout over the underappreciated Randy Bullock, 90-10.
I think we’re in for another blowout here, because as good of a last name as Taumoepeau is, it’s just a tough sell to the masses. It’s like the TV show “Frasier.” It’s a really, really good show, but for the large majority of people it was simply too much work to truly enjoy.
You really have to study its pronounciation (TOU-mo-PAY-uh) to get the full experience of Taumoepeau, but I’m not sure even those that do will like it more than Amon-Ra.
14. Jeff Okudah vs. 2. Penei Sewell
Jeff Okudah is having a fascinating tournament. He has won both of his matchups by the skin of his teeth. Both polls ended up with 50/50 splits, but he edged out by a total of 11 votes in both polls combined.
It’s hard to believe a name like Jeff could get into the Elite Eight, but the man just knows how to close out games. Still, a win over Penei Sewell would come as a complete shock. Sewell’s got the vote of the immature and the support of fans who believe he could be an All Pro.
1. John Penisini vs. 4. Levi Onwuzurike
Speaking of the immature vote, John Penisini just rammed through the first two rounds of this tournament. No matter the opponent, he always seems to find the hole in their game and exploit it.
That’s going to be a little tougher with a contestant like Levi Onwuzurike. According to BabyNames.com, Onwuzurike means “Take your time, death. Take a rest.” I love the casual conversation with death. “Quit being such a square, Death, and just chillax, bro.”
Will Levi be able to stave of death from Penisini, or will his tournament hopes also be gashed?
3. Godwin Igwebuike vs. 2. Ifeatu Melifonwu
This is one of those matchups you dream of. Like the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady clashes back in the day or Bulls vs. Pistons and Red Wings vs. Avalanche. There is no commentary to be had here. Just sit back and watch two fantastic names face off against each other.
1. Corn Elder vs. 12. Don Muhlbach
There is a growing faction in our comment section hoping to give Don Muhlbach one last ride before he presumably retires and lives a life in solitude, skipping rocks on ponds by flicking it between his legs, because that is the only way Don Muhlbach knows how to feel alive. That’s the only explanation for wanting to play for this franchise for as long as he has.
But I say no better way to go out than against his Elder.
11. Romeo Okwara vs. 7. Geronimo Allison
I don’t care for this matchup. Neither name should be here. This could have been Jahlani Tavai or Quinton Dunbar against Sage Surratt. Y’all done messed up, and I will abstain from this matchup. Congrats on turning this tournament into the American presidential race: two crappy, undeserving options.
16. Joel Heath vs. 4. Amani Oruwariye
To the person(s) who is hacking the Name Bracket Tournament to combat my anti-toffee agenda: I do not give into terrorism. If you think I value the integrity of this tournament over the resolve of my food takes, you don’t know me very well.
Toffee sucks. Worst of all, it takes something beautiful like caramel, and ruins it. Or to put in SAT terms:
Heath Bars :: Rolos
Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka :: Gene Wilder
Don’t you dare desecrate the grave of Gene Wilder, y’all.
11. Damion Ratley vs. 2. Alex Anzalone
Finally, we have an 11-seed that is actually worthy of the Sweet 16. Ratley scurried his way past Round 1 with an impressive win over rookie Alim McNeill. Then he edged Quintez Cephus in a closely-fought battle. Based on vote tallies, there was likely some meddling going on there, but this was in the name of good. Ratley deserves to be here.
This is likely where his run should end, though. The Italian Stallion (not actually Anzalone’s nickname) has a name that is just too fun to say.