IDIOT OF THE YEAR: Ten more for the worst of 2022

IDIOT OF THE YEAR: Ten more for the worst of 2022

Just about halfway through and things are getting grim

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Oh, the hell with it, you know the drill by now. Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE YEAR continues on, as does the meaningless treadmill of existence. All is for naught and free will is an illusion!

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30. The Hue Jackson Foundation

30. The Hue Jackson Foundation

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Hue Jackson is a terrible NFL head coach. In 2022, we found out why. It’s because he’s a horrible decision-maker. After trying to hire the disgraced Art Briles to his coaching staff at Grambling State University, Jackson found out why real journalists matter so much.

For some reason, Jackson thought it would be smart to put out a statement through his foundation in defense of Briles. What he didn’t expect is that it would lead to ESPN’s Dan Murphy uncovering a potential tax evasion scheme.

By opening his mouth, Jackson dry-snitched on himself when all he had to do was not say anything at all. Or better yet, not try to hire a coach that turned a blind eye when his football program was sexually harassing and assaulting countless college students.

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29. Denver Broncos

29. Denver Broncos

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Defend the Russell Wilson trade all you want, but there is zero argument for hiring Nathaniel “Check out my I’ve-given-up goatee” Hackett. Who knows why franchises have to immediately give massive contracts to big-name quarterbacks that they acquire — they just do, and now Broncos’ new ownership is basically kneecapped for three years by the extension and the draft picks they gave up to get Wilson.

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28. Anthony Edwards

28. Anthony Edwards

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There’s no doubt that Anthony Edwards represents the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves. In just a couple of years, he’s become the most impactful player on the T-Wolves’ roster, even when Karl-Anthony Towns is on the floor. It’s just too bad his social tolerance level isn’t equal to his basketball IQ.

Edwards posted a video using homophobic slurs aimed at a group of men whom he assumed were gay. As someone who’s likely been judged for who he is on the outside at some point, you’d hope there’d be a certain amount of empathy from Edwards. Whether the men are gay or straight, it doesn’t matter. For him to ridicule them in this manner was uncalled for and showed his considerable level of immaturity. Edwards apologized later and said he’s “working to be better.” Hopefully, those words are being put into action.

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27. Jonathan Allen

27. Jonathan Allen

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In February, Commanders defensive lineman Jonathan Allen decided to have a question-and-answer session with his then-67,900 Twitter followers. He received the lay-up question: “You can have dinner with three people. Dead or alive. Who are you inviting?” Allen’s first of the trio of responses is a great one: “My grandad.” Perfect answer. His second choice is at the opposite end of that spectrum: “Hitler.” One of the worst people to ever live, who was at the helm of Nazi Germany during World War II, and whose harm is irreparable on this planet. Let’s disregard Allen’s third choice of Michael Jackson, spelling the King of Pop’s name wrong in his tweet.

Allen’s reasoning for wanting to swap military tactics with Hitler due to an incorrect label as a “military genius” is disgusting. He was fooled into thinking the D-Day invasion would take place from France’s Pas de Calais region, about 150 miles northeast of Normandy. He also failed to properly plan Operation “Barbarossa” in 1941, considered one of the largest military operations of modern warfare, per the Holocaust Museum.

Later that day, Allen did damage control, tweeting Hitler was “one (of), if not the most, evil persons to have ever lived.” Of course he was, but you don’t get to post both sentiments. Allen then finally came to the right conclusion and fully apologized. Doesn’t mean what you said was completely avoidable and dumb.

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26. Major League Baseball

26. Major League Baseball

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Major League Baseball’s idiocy is best counted up not by ways in which they are idiots, but by ways in which they are not. Trust me, that would save you a lot of time and effort.

Do you know how far Major League Baseball has fallen as a credible sports organization? Just a few weeks ago, a report came out offering evidence that MLB had been using different types of balls throughout the season to promote certain narratives. Heavier balls that would fly further off the bat were often used in Yankees games so that Aaron Judge would have an easier time chasing the American League home run crown. Dead balls were used more often in games that were supposed to promote stellar pitching matchups. If this type of information came out about any other league, the public would be up in arms, demanding an explanation, but NOBODY cares! Major League Baseball, year after year, time after time, has been caught in scandal after scandal, offers some half-witted apology, and then continues hoping everything gets swept under the rug. It has become exhausting and not even the diehard baseball fans can defend the league much longer.

For a league starved of media attention, and looking to build a bigger audience, the constant destruction of the integrity of the sport turns a lot of people off. What should’ve been a year of celebration where we saw Judge make history, Pujols join the 700-home run club, and the Seattle Mariners break a playoff drought so long it would’ve made the Irish Potato Famine wince, was once again marred by MLB’s endless cycle of altering the sport, hoping no one finds out, getting caught, and moving on to their next scheme. It’s shameless.

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25. Jim Jordan

25. Jim Jordan

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Jim Jordan is an unofficial lieutenant of the National Sleazebag Society. He’s a mouthpiece who appeals to the dregs of different swaths of society, which also makes him one of the most versatile dirtbags in the country. From his Jan. 6 involvement to his stint as a human stain on the House floor and his past life as an assistant wrestling coach who allegedly ignored sexual abuse, Jordan has touched every corner of American society with his stercoraceous touch.

In June, Jordan had no patience for the investigation into a billion-dollar corporation’s workplace mistreatment of women. You’d think he’d try to change the narrative on him given the allegations he ignored sexual abuse at Ohio State — he’s denied accusations of turning a blind eye to itbut that would probably hurt his brand. When the NFL was subpoenaed to discuss the sexual misconduct permeating throughout one of its franchises, Jordan used the opportunity to harp on Barstool founder Dave Portnoy being banned from NFL games, asked Goodell’s opinion on the NFL’s fine of Jack del Rio for referring to the insurrection Jordan helped spur, and calling the Commanders by their former name to troll Native Americans.

Jordan’s depravity is his defining trait and he lacks redeeming qualities to counter that character defect. Aside from his theatrics being the latest chapter in his clownish political career, he’s also a microcosm of all that that sane voters despise most about politicians who grandstand for headlines, but rarely contribute much to legislation that can actually help constituents. A 2021 study by the Center of Effective Lawmaking rated him the 202nd-most effective Republican in the House out of 205 examined. It’s a travesty that Jordan’s gained the following he has because his idiocy-to-effectiveness ratio isn’t worth our attention or energy.

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24. Adam Schefter

24. Adam Schefter

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The curtain has gradually been pulled back on how the insiders get their information in the last two seasons. No one has been hurt by it more than Adam Schefter. Once “Mr. Editor” leaked, it was all downhill from there.

This year, a Washington Post profile revealed that Schefter gives over 150 gifts to (mostly) sources during the holidays. So if you can be the first to tell Schefter that Baker Mayfield was released, or that the independent study clause was removed from Kyler Murray’s contract, a delicious box of chocolates or delightful scotch may come your way this month. Your information is Schefter’s tax write-off.

Also, the way that he has delivered his reporting on Deshaun Watson this year has been cringe, at best. There was March when Watson wasn’t indicted and he tweeted out that Deshaun Watson welcomed a police investigation, “because he knew the truth would come out.” Not the best wording in a country that doesn’t handle these cases well. Then when Watson got reinstated earlier this month, Schefter’s report came off almost as complimentary of him. He wrote that his sources said Watson was showing “signs of progress” but offered no specifics.

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23. Cale Gundy

23. Cale Gundy

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Cale Gundy’s decades-long run as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State came to an end because he thought the N-word was a plaything. Well, he played that idiot game and he’s still winning idiot prizes. The equal exchange resulted in him losing the job he’s held for 20 years because he felt comfortable spraying the N-Word during a team meeting. Gundy’s firing was the cap on a 23-year run on Oklahoma’s staff that began when he returned to Bob Stoops’ inaugural staff in 1999.

Initially, Gundy’s exclamation was that he was having a Ron Burgundy moment and blamed an iPad, which had the N-Word written on it. Uncontrollably reading slurs off a screen is toddlers’ minds. In head coach Brent Venables’ statement about Gundy’s resignation, he noted that Gundy uttered the phrase several times not once.

There’s no context given, but what more is needed? Once may be a mistake, and twice is someone testing how much he could get away with it. Reportedly, Gundy said the N-word repeatedly, which is an unnecessarily elaborate way to sabotage your career. His brother is Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, so he may not be out of work for too long, but even OAN fanboy Mike would have to think twice.

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22. CM Punk

22. CM Punk

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Who wants to go from the literal top guy in a professional wrestling promotion to hated and unemployed in one night? CM Punk! The “voice of the voiceless” turned into the voice of hatred and hollow men everywhere after winning the All Elite Wrestling championship in early September. Nothing he did in the match caused much controversy. It’s the media scrum afterward, which AEW doesn’t completely script, where Punk got himself and many others in a lot of trouble.

Punk decided it was time to air all of his dirty laundry with every member of the AEW locker room he didn’t like. Maybe he felt it was his right as a pro wrestling veteran, or maybe he was pissed off. It doesn’t matter what Punk was thinking, because he came off as an unprofessional, whiny asshole. He called out former friend Colt Cabana, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, and others in a tirade that warranted a response. Most didn’t think it would happen quickly and as ferociously as it did.

The details of what occurred backstage have never been confirmed by the company, but some sort of a backstage brawl took place which led to the firing of company agent Ace Steel, a friend of Punk’s who allegedly bit Omega during the fracas. Punk was immediately stripped of the AEW title and hasn’t been seen on television since. His status with the company is unclear with many believing Punk’s days in AEW are done due to burning too many bridges in the locker room. It would be a shame, but Punk’s return to wrestling after a seven-year hiatus ended by his own mind-numbing actions.

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21. Greg Norman

21. Greg Norman

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The Shark spent his 2022 as a huckster for the Saudi (LIV) Golf League. He’s been in lawsuits, disputes, headlines, and Idiot of the Month lists. His most profound (not sure if that’s the right word) moment was when he tried to downplay the murder of US journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying, and this is a real quote, “Look, we’ve all made mistakes, and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can correct them going forward.”

Uhh, what? Go choke on it, Greg. Not a golf tournament, your nine iron.

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