Idiot of the Month: The worst of March

Idiot of the Month: The worst of March

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Huzzah! It is time to single people out and call them names. Welcome to Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE MONTH. As always, we are proud to present the Trevor Bauer Trophy to an impressive March crop of dipshits and fuckgoofs.

Bauer, of course, is something of an Idiot Emeritus for the purposes of our humble list. He’s been placed into soft retirement and given a cushy title because he’d win every month if he were allowed to compete.

It’s also important to distinguish in our competition between an idiot and an asshole. There’s plenty of overlap, sure, but this is why you will find neither Michael Rapaport nor Kevin Durant on the list; they are both assholes. The Trevor Bauer Trophy is so named because Bauer so perfectly embodies idiocy. That’s what we’re looking for here.

Otherwise it’d be called the O.J. Simpson Trophy, and we all know how Juice can get about hardware with his name on it.

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Honorable Mention: Kristi Noem

Honorable Mention: Kristi Noem

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Image: AP

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is never far from our thoughts when coming up with IDIOT OF THE MONTH candidates, but this month she outdid herself, taking time off from running the state that boasted the highest COVID death rate in the nation and suggesting that Donald Trump join Mount Rushmore to make sure that trans kids are even more marginalized than they already are.

After Noem vetoed a bill banning trans girls from playing sports because she knew the NCAA would never stand for it, she issued an executive order to the same effect, once again making sure that she’s spending her time in office pandering to the fake culture war the right loves to use to rile up voters while doing absolutely nothing for his constituents or, frankly, the human race.

Congrats, Kristi Noem, for picking on a bunch of school kids. Well done.

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Honorable Mention: Creators of the Hand Sanitizer Cam

Honorable Mention: Creators of the Hand Sanitizer Cam

Illustration for article titled Idiot of the Month: The worst of March
Screenshot: Milwaukee Bucks

Look, we know porn has become more and more mainstream, but presenting Peter North-as-Jackson-Pollock on your Jumbotron (maybe need a new term for that now) is pushing it. When something like this happens, it’s always entertaining, if not frightening, to think about the layers of hierarchy this had to clear before getting on the video screen.

There’s the guy, and it had to be a guy, who thought of it. And either he was oblivious or he knew exactly what he was doing and just wanted to see how far up the chain of command it could get. And perhaps he was as mortified as the rest of us that it got a greenlight.

Then perhaps that guy went on to oversee the project, or maybe someone else had to do the actual production. It could be two separate people. But then there’s their boss. And probably a boss above that. And then, finally, the gameday producer. And all of them went, “Yeah, that looks good. Nothing wrong with that. Innocent fun!”

Nothing this dumb ever comes to light without the support of a dim bureaucracy.

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5. Johnny Damon

5. Johnny Damon

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Image: AP

Johnny Damon’s memoir is titled Idiot, and while that book is more than a decade and a half old, the former Red Sox center fielder doesn’t need to change the title to write a sequel.

Damon’s idiocy really happened in February, during the 47-year-old’s DUI arrest in Florida. And yeah, that’s plenty stupid. But the reason that Damon makes the March Idiot of the Month list is the release of the video of that arrest, in which the vocal Trump supporter makes clear that one of the things he likes so much about the ex-president must be flouting the law.

A clearly drunk Damon, who came up with a blood-alcohol level of .30, slurred his speech while he and his wife got testy with the police, disobeyed their orders, and touched them despite being warned not to.

That must be the other part of what Damon admired about Trump, some combination of “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” and “very fine people.” Not that Damon is an active white supremacist, but he certainly enjoys the white privilege of acting like he did with police officers arresting him, and then living to tell the tale.

Damon’s wife, Michelle Mangan-Damon, really earned her idiot cred by managing to get arrested at a traffic stop where she wasn’t the drunk driver. She, along with her husband, got out of the couple’s SUV despite being told by police to stay in the vehicle, and… why? Who does that? Who gets pulled over by the cops and just decides to take a stroll?

What’s not clear is whether Damon’s idiocy extends to his description of where he got drunk that night in February, “London House.”

“It’s a guy who had a lot of money to uh, I don’t know, take care of taxes,” Damon said. “So he’s uh, we were just having a good time there.”

Sounds totally legit and not like something that could all blow up as a result of a dumbass who’s 47 and keeping the haircut of his late 20s, despite a receding hairline making him look like a strip-club owner in the worst way, all while driving drunk around Florida.

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4. Tim Peel

4. Tim Peel

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Every sport has its own referee problems. While some claim that the “human element” is part of the game, that’s always a copout for those who can’t really formulate a coherent argument against better arbitration of the rules of the game. It’s nebulous. And Peel showed exactly what the “human element” actually is. It’s the natural inclination to either balance out penalties and power plays for a false concept of evenness, or it’s simply having a vendetta against a team. That’s the human element, and that’s why it’s garbage.

There is no need to balance out things. Nowhere in any rulebook does it say that penalties or fouls should be called equally against each team just because. Previous results should not come into play when evaluating what’s in front of a ref. Every play is exclusive to itself. There is no context.

Peel lifted the lid on that not being the case, which fans have pretty much known for their entire hockey-watching lives. NHL refs have always felt a need to balance things out, simply because. Perhaps it’s the too problematic attitude of hockey that no one should stand out. That if you call too many penalties, the ref will stand out, just like individual players are terrified of most of the time.

Or maybe it’s another arrow in the quiver of the NHL to enforce their fake parity. That’s what the standings system does, and this is something on a lower level to help achieve it. To keep teams closer in the standings. If things were called as they should, the Lightning or Avalanche might average 10 power plays per game. And they probably should.

Peel got an early retirement out of it, and the league will hope that introducing him to the bus’s bumper and undercarriage at high speeds will be enough to keep everyone off their back. Hockey media is so quickly mollified that it probably will. But the cat, which was mostly out of the bag, is now completely free.

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3. Joe Herbert

3. Joe Herbert

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Screenshot: Instagram/Illustration

Labeling Joe Herbert as an idiot is putting it kindly, as it’s quite apparent that the 19-year-old has never watched American Gangster, a movie that all who participate in “illegal activities” should use as reference material.

The movie is based on Frank Lucas, who in the early ‘70s was making somewhere around $1 million a day selling drugs. There’s a classic scene in the movie, based on real events, in which one of the biggest drug kingpins on Earth blows his cover because he wore a chinchilla coat and hat to the Ali vs. Frazier fight, where he had better seats than celebrities.

Before that day, Lucas was an unknown to the authorities. After that day, he was on their radar. Joe Herbert pulled a Frank Lucas and chose fame over fortune.

Herbert was featured in Bloomberg for his lucrative sneaker resale business. Soon after, it was really easy to connect the dots, as “West Coast Joe” told the publication that “if you know the right people here, this is the city to sell shoes. The right people ‘can give you access to stuff that, like, a normal person would not have access to.”

The “here” he was talking about was Portland, Oregon, where Nike is headquartered. It’s also the place where his mother worked for 25 years. The story went viral and soon after, Ann Hebert, the former Nike VP/GM, North America, resigned.

Snitching on yourself definitely makes you an idiot.

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2. Matt Rowan

2. Matt Rowan

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There has been no shortage of racist idiocy lately, which is infuriating in it’s own right. We’ve heard all kinds of dumb shit. We’ve been dealing with a boiling point of race issues since last summer. However, through all of that, never have we heard someone blame their shitty racist behavior on blood sugar.

Enter Matt Rowan, a commentator for a high school girl’s basketball game in Norman, Oklahoma, on March 11.

“They’re kneeling? Fucking n——-s. I hope Norman gets their ass kicked. Fuck them. I hope they lose. C’mon, Midwest City. They’re gonna kneel like that? Hell no,” Rowan said into a hot mic.

Racist says terrible, wildly unacceptable racist-asshole things. Happens all the time, right? Too often. But what makes Rowan unique, and a true idiot, came later in a statement he issued.

Blaming the diabetes.

That’s a bold strategy, Mr. Rowan. Naturally, he had to first give the qualifiers that he is indeed a family man, is married, has two children, at one time was a youth pastor, and is still a member of a Baptist church, as if these qualifications eliminate him from any responsibility for what he said. On top of that, he said his blood sugar was spiking. As someone whose daughter was recently diagnosed with diabetes, I can confirm that at no point was I warned by her daughter that racism was a potential symptom of rising blood sugar. Apparently, a good ol’ shot of insulin would have prevented this entire ordeal. If only he had remembered to do so.

Disgusting. And that, Matt Rowan, is what lands you on our March Idiot of the Month list.

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1. Meyers Leonard

1. Meyers Leonard

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Meyers. Meyers. You can’t be doing that shit, bruh. All of us who play video games have cussed out somebody, even that quickly into a stream, especially when on the receiving end of a Call of Duty death. Even the holiest among us have motherfucked a 725 shotgun. But the k-word as a slur of choice? The Jewish homies deserve better than that.

What happened, man? You were the dude who had people of color defending your decision to stand for the National Anthem in honor of your brother when everyone else took a knee. You even hopped on Inside The NBA to explain yourself alongside your brother. You were the chosen one, some would say. You not only failed, but you failed while out for the season due to a shoulder injury.

But, sheeeit, Trevor Ariza was a nice pickup for the Miami Heat, not gon’ lie. Shoutout to your $9 million, and to the Oklahoma City Thunder who acquired and cut you, just to land a 2027 second-round pick. Do you know what that means, Meyers? It means that the motherfucker OKC might draft as a result of this deal might be 2008-born. If you said this in 2021, Lord knows what you were saying in 2008.

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