Welcome, once again, to Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE MONTH, where we mock the monthly bottom-of-the-barrel in the sports world. Special shoutout to the very dead Bobby Hull!
5. Ron Rivera, Washington Commanders coach
Riverboat Ron took a gamble in the Washington Commanders 2022 season waterloo when he opted to promote Carson Wentz back to his original station as the Commanders’ starting quarterback. That trust backfired in his face when Wentz’s imploded against the Cleveland Browns.
It turns out, Rivera thought he was playing with house money. While on the podium for his postgame press conference, Rivera was genuinely shocked during his exchange with a reporter to discover that the Commanders would be eliminated that day if Green Bay defeated Minnesota in the afternoon game.
For a strategist and two-time Coach of the Year who once prided himself on being Analytical Ron, this was a devastating oversight. I still dream that I show up to class I haven’t been to all semester and the final exam is being presented. Rivera lived it.
Coaches exhibit such a myopic focus on their jobs at the expense of family, friends, and their own health with the expectation that they’ll anticipate everything thrown at them or gamedays. The great ones have solutions for any wrinkle thrown at them and counters for their opponent’s counters. A coach getting caught off guard by a question regarding playoff elimination scenarios is a worrying development. Those scenarios should be near the top of every coach’s mind in the season’s final weeks.
It’s not clear which one is worse between Rivera thinking Wentz wouldn’t shrink like a pair of jeans in a dryer or him starting Wentz over the more stable Taylor Heinicke because he believed he would have a second bite of the apple. Wentz also crumbled when he felt playoff heat down the stretch in Indianapolis and threw a playoff berth away. The Commanders’ offense was playing above their baseline with Heinicke under center and he’d earned the right to finish what he started. Furthermore, Wentz backups seem to have a penchant for reaching Super Bowls. Alas, Rivera felt differently albeit with an overview of the stakes.
For Washington, this was just more of the same, but Rivera is better than this or at least they’d better hope he is.
4. Maicol Quinonez, fan with Messi face tattoo
Just look at his goddamn face! ‘Nough said.
3. Antonio Brown, NFL free agent
In what has become quite a routine occurrence, Antonio Brown kicks off 2023 the same way he left 2022, as an idiot. And if you tried to predict what Brown would be in the news for as a New Year’s resolution, and you got it right, please tell us what numbers to pick in the lottery. Also, you might be a psychopath.
A few weeks back, Brown looked like he was having a normal day, with his family and kids, constantly updating his Snapchat story to show us a pretty normal life by his standards. And then there’s a photo of him getting fellated by a woman with no censor and we can see everything.
And it’s disgusting and more of Brown than anyone wanted to see. Also, who shares it after a roll of content involving your family? That’s not normal. And should never be normalized. It’s sick. It’s truly a shame for such a great athlete to be outwardly dumb and ruin what could’ve been a Hall of Fame career. And there seems to be no low or blow he won’t take.
2. Dana White, UFC president
The UFC president could’ve made this list three different times in January even though the assumption is that he’s on here because he rang in the New Year by slapping his wife in public. Idiots of the Month is typically reserved for funny stupid stuff, not heinous behavior like domestic violence.
So, the real reasons why White has been selected are his response to the incident and the debut of perhaps the most tone-deaf “sports” league of all time: Ultimate Face Slapping. It’s not actually called that, but that’s exactly what it is — concussions not only included but required.
Back to his apology for slapping his wife. He said the real punishment was that he’d have to live with the shame for the rest of his life. While he said “real” he really meant “only” as the UFC prez deemed his actions didn’t merit a suspension. He even had to tell UFC fans to stop defending him. Little does he realize that he validated his behavior by skipping the much–needed timeout.
As far as a guy hitting his wife and then starting a competitive slap league in the same calendar month, not even us over at Idiots of the Month could’ve scripted it better (worse?).
1. Skip Bayless, resident ESPN doofus
(Deep sigh)… What else needs to be said about John Edward Bayless II?
For as long as we can remember, Skip Bayless has been pissing people off. But, in recent years, his terribleness has reached new heights. We could talk about his long history of being a jerk to his coworkers, and how it feels like Shannon Sharpe is going to jump across that debate table on FS1’s Undisputed at any moment to take a swing at Skip. But all that fails in comparison to the Damar Hamlin situation.
Football and America go together like Republicans and voter suppression, as they’re entities that have proven that they can’t live without the other. So when the world watched as Hamlin fought for his life on national television playing a child’s game that this country has committed itself to — despite understanding how violent of a sport it is — you know it’s a pivotal moment when we’ve all been stopped in our tracks by what we’ve seen.
Well, everyone except Skip Bayless.
At a time in which America was just hoping that we hadn’t watched Hamlin die on the field, Bayless was busy tweeting about playoff standings. And while his previous and following tweets were “more compassionate,” it was clear that he had chosen violence in a moment of united humanity.
John Edward Bayless II is an idiot. He’s earned his place on this list.