IDIOT OF THE YEAR: The annual descent into madness continues (40-31)

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Welcome once again, dearest and most beloved reader, to Deadspin’s vaunted IDIOT OF THE YEAR awards, the global phenomenon in which we say churlish things about people we dislike. Huzzah!

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

That can be the only conclusion when seeing how Trevor Bauer, an export of sludge that no one asked for — right up there with Fords — landed with a splat in Japan back in May. 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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Everything this man does is stupid, but this one was especially so. The man inexplicably elected by Alabama voters to the United States Senate went on record to defend white nationalists in July, claiming that it was merely “some people’s opinion” that racism was innately tied to the ideology. He quickly retreated from that position, but, jeez, what a moron. Great job, Alabama.

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Christopher Michael Russo, aka Mad Dog, recently caught flack for going back on a verbal “promise” he made on air in October concerning his career.

Russo pledged that if the Diamondbacks came back from down 3-2 against the Phillies to win the series in seven games and advance to the World Series, he would retire on the spot. Indeed, Russo is a dope, and should apologize, but not for picking against the D-Backs, who came back from down 3-2 to defeat Philly.

Mad Dog should apologize to all the other dopes who actually believed someone would give up their livelihood over something they spewed on air for ratings. Russo may be an idiot, but he’s no dummy. He knows people eat up stuff like this and would be compelled to tune in to hear him on Sirius XM or watch on ESPN.

It was a win-win for this fool and a disappointment for those he grifted. Russo never had any intention of retiring. Stop believing these buffoons, especially those named Russo or Stephen A. Smith. They continue to show us time and time again who they are. It’s time we start believing them.

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Stephen A. Smith took up his vacation home on our Idiot Of The Month list in November for once again treating a female coworker as something of his property, or at least his ward. For no reason whatsoever, Smith decided to admonish people, real or imagined, texting him about Kimberley A. Martin, and decreeing that none of them could “have her.” Somehow, in SAS’s mind, he’s become the protector of Martin, who you’ll never believe is an actual adult woman trying to do her job that has nothing to do with her social life, of which she can make her own choices.

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In January, influencer Maicol Quinonez appeared on video with “Messi” tattooed across his forehead. He has since said he regretted his decision.

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As if he couldn’t lean any further into the muck, Brett Favre sank deeper into the mud in May by calling for a Fox News boycott over the right-wing propaganda network firing host Tucker Carlson (who also appears on our Idiot of the Year list.) 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.

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When you’re one play away from Zach Wilson being your starting quarterback, and the man keeping the worst No. 2 overall draft pick since Ryan Leaf off the field is 39 years old, it was always hard to understand why Jets fans hyped themselves up so much this offseason. The team was good, but clearly not good enough to make a serious push for a Super Bowl. And the team’s savior, Aaron Rodgers, didn’t complete a pass in his first season with the Jets. He only lasted four plays before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury back in September. What did Jets fans get excited about again? Now, the Jets have missed the playoffs after losing 30-0 against Miami in Week 15, and the man himself said he won’t return this season.

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Screenshot: ESPN

The Buffalo Bills attempted to steal a page from the Seattle Seahawks book in their Week 10 loss to Denver back in November. Buffalo utilized the 12th man play only they implemented the extra player on the field instead of in the stands. This inexcusable extra man on the field penalty helped keep the Broncos alive, which subsequently led to them kicking the game-winning field goal as time expired.

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Screenshot: Big 3

The lengths climate change deniers go to now include blaming space lasers for catastrophic wildfires. The blaze in Hawaii during mid-August was one of the deadliest natural disasters in United States history, yet former NBA player, and current BIG3 open gym participant Royce White wants to “Investigate Maui.” So much so that he wrote it on the side of his head during a BIG3 game in the same month.

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Armstrong has repeatedly poked his head out of his ass since getting canceled before the term even entered the American vernacular, and it’s usually to promote a podcast like every other person who thinks their vocal cords are a gift to humanity. In June, he decided to tackle the issue of fairness in sports as it relates to transgender women. Yes, that’s right, the guy who’s synonymous with blood doping, has some thoughts on what’s fair. Judging by his moral compass, I’m surprised he didn’t don a wig and stuff a bra in an attempt to enter the women’s Tour de France after being exiled from the men’s side. The only good to come of this is fodder for slideshows about morons — which, hey, that’s what this is.

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