IDIOT OF THE MONTH: Legends of stupidity return to May leaderboards

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Welcome to Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE MONTH. Please enjoy our latest offering to the pageview gods, presented thusly in a convenient slideshow format.

Image for article titled IDIOT OF THE MONTH: Legends of stupidity return to May leaderboards
Image for article titled IDIOT OF THE MONTH: Legends of stupidity return to May leaderboards

What’s that saying? “If someone shows you they’re an irredeemable piece of shit, believe them”? Case in point, alleged sex criminal Jackson Mahomes.

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Before you tweet, think about what’s happening around the NFL these days. Think really hard about it, particularly if you’re soliciting a massage therapist. C’mon.

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Jewish volleyball standout George Santos finds himself on this list after he was finally indicted on charges including fraud and money laundering.

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This titan of idiocy bought an arena football team and it went to shit pretty much immediately. Who could have seen this coming, except everyone?

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We don’t take enough people’s passports away.

That can be the only conclusion when seeing how Trevor Bauer, our most recent export of sludge that no one asked for, right up there with Fords, has landed with a splat in Japan. You could argue that Japan is the one that welcomed him, so they’re getting what they deserve. And boy are they getting it.

Bauer showed up with at best an ill-conceived and at worst insulting — and it’s Bauer so always assume the worst — strikeout celebration before he’d ever thrown a pitch. His teammates were already on alert after seeing it, which in a shocking bit of actual awareness he shelved. Perhaps the language barrier prevented him from invoking the usual “it’s your fault if you’re insulted” excuse.

Then again, Bauer didn’t have much excuse to be pulling out any celebrations, seeing as how he spent his first three starts getting his ass kicked up to his ears by NPB hitters, to the tune of an 8.40 ERA. If you’re going to be a galactic asshole who can’t change his ways, the least you could do is pitch well.

Maybe he’ll blame it on the lack of sticky stuff, or the fact that Japanese baseballs are pre-tacked, or maybe he’ll come up with something new to absolve himself. It’s always been his best skill.

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If there were a shitgibbon parade, Brett Favre would be in the running for grand marshal. As if he couldn’t lean any further into the muck, Favre sank deeper into the mud this month by calling for a Fox News boycott over the right-wing propaganda network firing host Tucker Carlson. It’s not entirely surprising that Favre is a loyal viewer of Carlson’s, though. What a boycott of Fox News is supposed to accomplish is still up for debate, but it’s still not the most worthless thing Favre has been involved with lately.

Favre clearly shares a deep parasocial connection to Carlson’s face on his TV. For years, Carlson was the face of the network’s pro-Trump faction. Favre endorsed Trump in 2020, golfs with the Hair Fuhrer and Carlson’s show was often a gentle landing spot for Trump’s nightly drivel. They also have similar problems, which include sending text messages whose contents wind up being used as damning evidence.

Carlson’s text messages played a significant part in Fox News being sued for billions of dollars by Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems. Former Tucker Carlson Tonight staff member Abby Grossberg’s lawsuit allegedly also played a factor in Carlson’s departure. Carlson suffering consequences for his misconduct may also have been triggering for Favre, who has dodged accountability thus far and who also has his own dubious history of sending illicit text messages. Favre’s text messages with the former Governor of Mississippi have him under investigation as well, although he has denied any wrongdoing.

Favre’s troubles stem from a civil lawsuit filed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services which is seeking to recoup welfare funds diverted to vanity projects, among other misallocated funds. Favre knows the feeling of swimming in lawsuits related to his own foul actions.

One incontrovertible truth about America in 2023 is that grifters will gravitate towards other grifters like magnets. Carlson clung to Trump once he sensed the grift gene and Favre is doing the same thing with Carlson. Favre is going to need friends in high places soon and likely views getting into the good graces with fallen miscreants like Carlson and Trump as his only potential escape.

Commence the shitgibbon parade.

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Did we learn nothing from Pete Rose, whose name is still akin to Lord Voldemort in parts of Cincinnati despite being the city’s greatest athletic export? Well, at least former Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon didn’t understand that being allegedly associated with betting on games he was managing was a bad thing. The Crimson Tide are a great baseball team, good enough to be one of the top 16 teams in the country, and host an NCAA Tournament regional this weekend. Bohannon’s managerial skill isn’t in question. Do you know how badly you have to fuck up to get fired at a school that cares about three sports (football, spring football, and football recruiting), and you’re not involved in any of them? When all your program does is add meaningless icing on a self-deprecating Nick Saban cake? Yup, you did that Braddy boy. How’s unemployment? At least betting is not ethical for you!

Bohannon was axed on May 4 for “among other things, violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees,” per a statement from Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne. While how heavily Bohannon was involved in the sports betting that led to him getting the pink slip isn’t publicly known, and may never be, but his quick ouster does all the talking for both sides. Maybe Bohannon thought he could get away with it, or it wouldn’t be a fireable offense (the most idiotic option), or he was looking for a quick way out of coaching forever. Having no moral compass or external reference point to think this was a bad idea shows Bohannon isn’t fit to run a Division-I athletic program. It’s actually twisted to think this was going on for a while before he was caught. How many results were influenced by slimy tactics that somehow didn’t derail the Southeastern Conference baseball season?

The person making the wagers that flagged questions was identified as Bert Eugene Neff Jr., of Mooresville, Ind., by Sports Illustrated, the parent of a current University of Cincinnati baseball player. His relation to Bohannon is unclear, other than through the baseball world, as Bohannon never coached in the state of Ohio. Either way, congratulations on being a huge dumbass, and thinking helping someone make money off your kids through sports betting was a good idea.

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The baseline question for every IDIOT OF THE MONTH selection is: How could they be so stupid? So obtuse? So… idiotic? However, in the case of Bob Huggins, it’s a widely known fact that he’s a dumbass. It’s only a matter of opportunities until he does something brainless, heinous, or both.

This time around, the West Virginia basketball coach jumped on a radio show and called Xavier fans the F-word that went out of circulation once empathetic human beings dropped casual homophobia from their vocabulary. And Ol’ Bobby said it not once, but twice when talking about the “Catholic f — s” from Xavier, The back-and-forth featured a tasteless transgender joke from Bill Cunningham, and the hosts of the show, who tried to stifle laughter — either at Huggins’ comment or his lack of decorum — throughout the Huggy Bear story hour.

And if you’re wondering how quickly Huggins got fired, he didn’t. Instead, the 69-year-old walking scandal received a $1 million reduction in salary (he now makes $3.15 million as opposed to $4.15 million), and has to go to sensitivity training. Lord help the counselor trying to teach old bigots new societal norms.

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Glen Kuiper did it to himself.

“I could not be more sorry and horrified by what I said. I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies,” said the Oakland A’s longtime announcer just before he got suspended a few weeks back for saying the N-word when discussing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

It’s kinda like the only word white people can’t say, and Kuiper still found a way to mess it up. And because of it, he lost his job.

“Monday morning, I was informed by an NBC executive that after a 20-year broadcasting career with the Oakland Athletics, my contract was terminated, effective immediately,” Kuiper wrote in a statement. “The termination was due to the unintentional use of an offensive word on the air during the May 5 pregame show.”

And if you were one of those people that think he made a simple mistake and didn’t mean anything by it, well, you fell for it.

“Please know racism is in no way a part of me; it never has been, and it never will be. I appreciate the Negro League Museum president Bob Kendrick and Oakland A’s great Dave Stewart’s public support of me in light of this. I am an honest, caring, kind, honorable, respectful husband, and father who would never utter a disparaging word about anybody. Those who know me best know this about me.

“I wish the Oakland A’s and NBC Sports would have taken into consideration my 20-year career, my solid reputation, integrity, and character, but in this current environment traits like integrity, and character are no longer considered. I will always have a hard time understanding how one mistake in a 20-year broadcasting career is cause for termination but I know something better is in my future.”

When you have to tell us you’re not a racist, you’ve probably been one for a long time. And when you tell us how much integrity you have, but then write a statement contradicting it, it leads to you being No. 1 on this list.

Aaron Boone wants to yell at real people, not robots

Booney got tossed — again

Aaron Boone has a knack for early showers. You can blame it on a short temper or having the pinky-up attitude of being the Yankees’ manager. Whatever the case, no one has spent less time helming his team from the dugout in Major League Baseball than Boone this season, or since the start of the 2018 campaign. Boone was ejected for the fourth time this season — the second time in a four-game span, and third over the last 10 games — on Thursday night for arguing about the strike zone by home umpire Edwin Moscoso.

“I’m not advocating for the robo,” Boone said post-game. “I think these guys do for the most part a great job and work really hard at it.”

The duo got into a heated exchange in the third inning, where, according to ESPN, some of Boone’s spit may have landed on the ump while arguing. It may have been an accident, but the notion incensed an already-irate Boone. The incident no doubt will be reviewed by the league, and could lead to suspension.

Aaron Boone is MLB’s most ejected manager since 2018

Boone is the most ejected manager in the league since the start of the 2018 season, with Thursday’s removal being No. 30 in his tenure with the Yankees, which started that year. That’s a crazy-high number, even if five full seasons — and a third of this one — fall into that window. Even with how many times Boone has been tossed, he’s still not in favor of robot umpires. That’s quite the juxtaposition, as Boone was seen holding up four fingers close to Moscoso, appearing to say that’s the fourth missed call of the game. The YES Network posted a graphic showing six of New York starter Clarke Schmidt’s pitches were in the strike zone, but called balls.

“My goal is not to get kicked out of games,” the Yankees’ skipper has said.

With umpires like Angel Hernandez drawing the ire of coaches and fans alike for their calls from behind home plate, combined with the speed of the game thanks to the new pitch clock, more wrong calls are happening at an alarming rate. 

Is there still room for human error in the game?

Is the fix to have a machine do the job a human has done for well over a century? Did we learn nothing from the Terminator movies? It would make every pitch be a ball, strike, or Sarah Connor. It could be even worse, like in Naked Gun, with Reggie Jackson almost murdering the Queen of England if not for Enrico Pallazzo! Then again, some of Leslie Nielsen’s dance moves would make the game more interesting. Robot umpires would find a way to have their critics too. There’d be complaints about how it disrespects the game of baseball, how human error is better than a computer error, because at least there’s emotion and reason at play, not just science.

The notion of robot umpires taking over is foolish. Look at how other sports have included video reviews, most notably with soccer and VAR. It’s typically quick, decisive, and gets the calls right, which should be the only point in stopping a game anyway. The NFL has coach’s challenges and booth reviews. The most-annoying technology-assisted part of sports is probably in college basketball, with many NCAA Tournament games’ final three minutes taking a half hour. But with seasons on the line, it’s best as many calls are made correctly as possible. Human error has always been a part of sports, especially in a thankless job like officiating. Yet, stating that umpires in Major League Baseball need to do better and shouldn’t be replaced can coexist. Good on Boone for not trying to have T-X calling balls and strikes. 

“I don’t want that,” Boone said after the game.

Who does Hunter Dickinson think he is — a football player?

Here comes the monayyyy

Guys like Hunter Dickinson give do-good gaslighters, who love to rail against NIL deals and the transfer portal, more content to shove in our faces as evidence that unpaid athletes making money is fostering a Wild West culture in college athletics. That’s not exactly true. The underbelly is just exposed like someone who really shouldn’t be wearing a crop top. Fanbases accustomed to locking down recruits for four years are quickly realizing how the business runs when the supposed adults are too greedy to actually do it.

Dickinson, Jaden Rashada, and other players are becoming more outspoken over not getting theirs, and it hurts that they’re so crass about it. College sports fans are notoriously thick-skinned, and handle transfers and commitment reneging about as well as a 3-year-old at a sit-down dinner. So after Dickinson was on the receiving end of the most predictable backlash ever, he responded on a podcast*.

“The people hating on me would leave their job right now for a $10,000 increase,” Dickinson said. “I got, at Michigan, less than six figures. I got less than six figures at Michigan for the year.”

Telling Michigan alumni, who probably make six figures, and likely value the job security that comes with it, that they’d sell all their Maize and Blue gear for a measly $10K is a glaring oversight, and almost as bad as the time Hunter wore a ski mask the to Wisconsin game a day after the mass shooting at Michigan State.

Hearing student-athletes talk about money is a new development that people are turned off by simply because it’s not yet normalized. When a kid complains about not getting six figures, people who make less than that do a spit take and chuck their coffee mug at a wall.

(*Of course, it’s a Barfstool outlet that gave Dickinson a platform and probably encouraged the bombastic approach. This sidebar has nothing to do with this article, which is why it’s in parentheses, but what are the odds Dave Portnoy’s run comes to an end via a college athlete-Barfstool sportsbook scandal? Is Harrah’s even taking that action?)

Why are U-M supporters even mad about this yahoo leaving?

Dickinson led the Wolverines in scoring each of his three seasons in Ann Arbor, and the team will certainly miss his 18 points and nine rebounds per night. The big man’s contributions didn’t translate to a tournament berth in 2022-23 as they did his freshman and sophomore campaigns, and the team was relegated to the NIT— a drab, gray affair that’s even more blah after you’ve been a No. 1 seed in the real show.

Juwan Howard is probably on the hot seat, and even though that has more to do with Howard slapping an opposing assistant coach than on-court performance, the butt warmer is engaged. Players know that, and Dickinson knows Kansas offers a better opportunity to win, and more NIL money. That was enough to convince him to become a Jayhawk.

Not counting the COVID cancellation, KU hasn’t missed an NCAA Tournament since 1989, so Dickinson should return to the Big Dance in his last year to do so. Plus, he’s getting some extra cash, and those are all good things for him. He acknowledged the decision was “selfish” but also difficult to make.

If Dickinson was the starting quarterback, then Michigan fans should be concerned about the wealth of their boosters. However, they’re not going to pony up the same money KU hoops can offer. Don’t like the unequal footing? Paying the players is an option and one that could be regulated to offset the difference in NIL money in certain cases.

I’m told all the time that I should be happy to see Damian Lillard go to a contender, and that’s the same line of bullshit I’m going to feed to Wolverine supporters. Dickinson hasn’t done anything wrong per the updated rules of player movement, he’s just an asshole.

It’s not an indication that the system is flawed; it’s just someone using it properly — and I agree that the process doesn’t look natural. The way the soon-to-be senior went about it felt eerily like an NBA player dumping the team that drafted him for Golden State, and that ticks off college fans more than anything.

Fans expect loyalty to the school colors above all else, but we know a certain shade of green is the most powerful hue of all.