Standing up proudly for their right to revel in double meanings, "Early Morning Stiffness" rode to a landslide victory in voting for The Inlander's 2004 Hoopfest Team Name Tourney.
Funny, though, how eight of the votes for EMS came in on Thursday morning between 11:41 and 11:53 am, all with the same background noise.
Some of the reasons given by the Early Morning supporters suggest that these were voters who were absolutely on top of the contest's purposes: "because it's so funny," "because it can be read both ways" and "because it kinda has a double meaning" top our list of the most perceptive commentaries. But perhaps the real motives for all the ballot-stuf... er, the widespread, grassroots support for EMS are revealed in a particular pair of voice mails we received: "it's real unique and original and they're very good boys" and "because it makes sense and because it's my brother's team."
One voter -- she sounded like a middle-aged woman -- remarked approvingly that "if I played that hard, I would be stiff in the morning too." We're pretty sure she didn't catch the second meaning.
One of the team names running a distant second was that model of subtlety and decorum, "Butt Sweat." Late Thursday night, it received three votes from some obviously inebriated bar patrons: "That's ridiculously funny, just ridiculous, I mean, who would ever do that?" (That's right, basketball players have always frowned on the slightest hint of posterior perspiration.) And "because Butt Sweat is the sweat of determination and heart, and that team has it [burp]."
A fourth vote for Butt Sweat came in at 3 am on Saturday morning: "because who else would ever think of it, or even if they did, they wouldn't have the guts to write it down [words slurred] ... I just think it's the best team name in history, not just in the Disgusting [Division]. Butt Sweat."
Some people hoped for victory in our Team Name Tourney even though we didn't select them among our top 128 entrants. For example, a representative of "Elimination Happens" pleaded, "We're a late entry, but you should consider us, because it can be read in that double entendre kind of way."
Unlike that woman anxious about experiencing early morning aches and pains.
The reasons given for selecting "Shock Tarts" ranged from the egotistical ("because I'm on that team") to the political and supportive ("because it gives strength to a word -- 'tarts' -- that is usually a sexist term, and they're strutting their stuff and doin' their best") to the inexplicable ("sounds like a going concern for a group of young girls").
Three consecutive voice mails on Saturday afternoon recorded the voices of three little girls, all voting for "Super Sour Gummy Worms." What a coincidence.
Teams receiving one or two votes included We Are Efforting (they won their bracket!), Lead Squanderers, Ode to World B. Free, Shock and Awful, Butte Ankle Breakers, Ya Bref Stank, I Climb Tree With Pandas, Dude Where's the Court?, Moldy Mayo, Beer Made Us Do It ("because we have lots of hockey coach friends where beer made them do stuff"), and Idahomies ("because it's a fun combination of local Idaho spirit and rap/basketball culture").
One voter, in her own absurd way, favored the absurdity of "I Climb Tree With Pandas," choosing it "because it makes no sense and has nothing to do with baseball."
Our voters may be inattentive on occasion, but goshdarnit, they know a fact when they see one. Because she's right: "I Climb Tree With Pandas" has nothing to do with baseball.