It’s the return of Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE MONTH awards, as we continue to cull the newswires for idiots from all over the sports world. Fresh off the smash hit The Top 50 Idiots of 2020, and the idiots of January, we bring you February’s Idiot Kings.
February may be the year’s shortest month, but we were not in short supply of pure idiocy.
2 / 7
5. North Carolina Hoops
5. North Carolina Hoops
Why are a bunch of college teenagers on a list that’s usually reserved for adults?
Because they earned it.
This isn’t about some of UNC’s basketball players being “idiots” for celebrating a win over Duke. It’s the fact that they willingly got on the internet to show us that they were celebrating by partying maskless in a pandemic that’s taken the lives of half-a-million Americans.
Until that point, Miami hadn’t dealt with a single cancelation or postponement all season. Which is why they had no problem turning around and flying right back home.
It was a wasted trip for the Canes, and an invitation for UNC to join this list.
3 / 7
4. Adam Silver
4. Adam Silver
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver joins our group of idiots for the month because of his reckless determination to play a meaningless game as the country tries to get COVID-19 under control. Silver not only refused to cancel the NBA All-Star Game and other on-court basketball activities, but he also chose to play the game in the city of Atlanta, which is one of the most dangerous cities for COVID spread in the nation. Multiple Players, and even Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, have apprehensions about the NBA putting its biggest party weekend in The 404.
What Silver fails to realize or frankly just doesn’t care about is the fact that whether fans are in the stands or not, people in Atlanta and its surrounding area are going to party extra hard that weekend just because they have a reason. Thanks to Silver and the NBA, respiratory droplets will be traveling through the air like they booked a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson.
Silver, who usually makes good decisions as a major sports league commissioner, certainly made an idiotic one this time.
4 / 7
3. Ted Cruz
3. Ted Cruz
Where do you even start with Ted Cruz, who legitimately does or says something weekly (daily?) that could land him atop the Idiot of the Month list in perpetuity?
Let’s start with the obvious. This month, while a massive winter storm took down the power grid in much of Texas, leaving his constituents fleeing their homes in search of warmth, food, and clean drinking water, Cruz took off for Cancun, leaving snowflake libs like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Beto O’Rourke to raise money and coordinate relief efforts for the people who elected Cruz to office. AND HE LEFT HIS DOG HOME ALONE. While the Stars were being forced to forego their game against Nashville to save energy in Dallas, Ted peaced the fuck out. Like his state’s NHL team, Ted needed some urging to do the right thing.
Immediately upon sitting down on the plane to the Yucatan (in first class, while presumably resigning his wife and children to coach), Cruz says he began to have “second thoughts” and that leaving his home state “didn’t feel right,” which was definitely entirely due to the fact that people were taking pictures of him and posting them to social media. Ted then lied to America’s face, claiming it was his daughters (not him!) who wanted to go to Cancun (which makes sense because we definitely let our teenagers decide when and where we go on vacation in my house), and that he was only seeing his wife, who is the managing director at Goldman Sachs, and daughters safely to their destination. Because God knows every woman needs a sniveling sycophant like Ted Cruz to help her fly to Cancun.
Let’s see, then Cruz go caught lying about intending to return immediately to Texas to help with the storm relief, mostly because he’s too stupid (or, more likely, thinks America is too stupid) to check with the airline to see if Cruz changed his ticket, which he did, from Saturday to Thursday morning. In true Cruz fashion, Ted never acknowledged that he had lied to the entire country in saying that he was always planning to return immediately, he just continued to plow ahead, even after it came out that it was Cruz’s wife, Heidi, rather than his 10 and 12-year old daughters who had planned the trip. He then proceeded to advise the person who leaked the texts from Heidi’s “Lovelies” group text not to be “assholes.”
There are so many things that qualify Ted Cruz for Idiot of the Month for February, 2021. His “I’m smarter than all of you” smirk, even while he’s being constantly caught lying. His cynicism in embracing the batshit crazy Trump crowd because he legitimately believes he has a shot at being President one day, while continuing not to understand just how unlikable he is to the vast majority of America, including his own party.
But mostly, he’s a political opportunist in the worst sense of the word, who thinks the rest of the world is too dumb to keep up with him. He has no real foundational belief other than “Ted Cruz should have all the things.” He doesn’t care about his state, GOP voters, the United States of America, or even democracy. What Ted Cruz cares about, at the end of the day, is Ted Cruz. He didn’t even defend his wife against Donald Trump, and he was willing to sacrifice his pre-teen daughters to the gaping hellmaw of social media for the sake of saving his own skin.
This country has a big problem with white men who went to Ivy League schools and therefore believe they can get away with anything, because, by and large, they always have. Ted Cruz is just the latest in a long line of these men to serve in the United States Congress. But it’s his belief that his schtick is working, that no one can see through his unrelenting disingenuousness, that makes him an idiot.
5 / 7
2. Kevin Mather
2. Kevin Mather
The disgraced (and now former Seattle Mariners President) Kevin Mather became an instant frontrunner for Tuesday’s illustrious month of idiocy due to his derogatory comments directed against Asian and Latino players in his own organization. It was also while on-camera at some bullshit luncheon none of us would’ve heard about unless something stupid like this happened. Despite the Mariners’ most notable franchise faces having been of Asian and Latino-descent, such as Ichiro Suzuki and Felix Hernandez, Mather decided to rail on the English of two of his players from those same broad communities, one of whom — Julio Rodriguez — actually speaks English well.
On pitcher Hisashi Iwakuwa, he expressed his annoyance for paying $75,000 for a translator.
“It frustrates me. For instance, we just rehired [Hisashi] Iwakuma, he was a pitcher with us for a number of years. Wonderful human being, his English was terrible. He wanted to get back into the game, he came to us. We quite frankly want him as our Asian scout, interpreter, what’s going on with the Japanese league.
“He’s coming to spring training. And I’m going to say, I’m tired of paying his interpreter. When he was a player, we’d pay Iwakuma X, but we’d also have to pay $75,000 a year to have an interpreter with him. His English suddenly got better, his English got better when we told him that.”
In the same speech, he suggested that Rodriguez’s English wasn’t good, which garnered a response from the electrifying pitching prospect himself.
Kevin Clancy knew that what he was doing was idiotic, did it anyway, and then tried to play it off.
Clancy, the Internet slime artist from Barfstool better known as KFC, reacted to the news of Tiger Woods’ car accident by tweeting, “Hoax city, population 1: Tiger Woods.” Three minutes later, as more news broke with the crash being confirmed by law enforcement, Clancy went back and added, “Hoax City, population 2: Tiger woods, and the LA sheriffs dept.”
Those tweets have since been deleted, although screenshots exist in the replies to his non-apology.
“I got no problem admitting when I got bad tweets/jokes/moments” might be the first good joke KFC has ever gotten off. He deleted the Woods “hoax” tweets “because it’s upsetting people, so it’s gone,” really? If that was the standard, KFC would simply delete his account, because his entire persona is upsetting people.
This is a guy whose bio is “Hater of the Year 2009-present,” and whose pinned tweet, which he refers to as “my magnum opus,” is a thread titled “Yankees fans are the WORST (My Masterpiece),” which is nothing more than cellphone pictures of Yankees fans captured off television, some looking kind of goofy, but generally doing nothing to warrant such treatment.
KFC defended his having called the Woods crash a hoax in the first place by citing several previous instances of athletes having been reported to have broken both their legs in a car accident that were revealed as hoaxes. Of course, that was a thing in 2013, which is multiple Internet lifetimes ago (just look at how many iterations of this website there have been), and in those cases, the initial reports weren’t coming from actual reporters who identified themselves as working for actual media outlets, let alone the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
In other words, it was extremely easy to tell, from the jump, that the Woods news was real, not a hoax, but KFC decided to be a shitheel about it anyway, including a tweet that he didn’t wind up deleting.
The grimly humorous part is that the jaws of life being used was the one part of the story that wound up not being true, as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department later clarified at the press conference on the afternoon of the incident.
Barstool’s KFC is the one man who could make Colonel Sanders’ KFC look good. And he is the Idiot of the Month.