Dearest reader! We meet again. It is that time of the year again… uh, namely, the end of the year, when we at Deadspin are proud to present our globally acclaimed celebration of stupidity, IDIOT OF THE YEAR! We’ll be with you as we count down the haughtiest, most hypocritical, and just plain dumbest people, places, and things from the year that was but perhaps should not have been. Hot damn!
Olivia Dunne is set up such that she can do basically nothing for the rest of her time at LSU and graduate with millions of dollars in the bank. Why would she accept a sponsorship in March from a company that sells AI-generated homework help and risk pissing off her school? Not her brightest moment.
Jewish volleyball standout George Santos found himself on this list back in May, after he was finally indicted on charges including fraud and money laundering.
What’s that saying? “If someone shows you they’re an irredeemable piece of sh*t, believe them”? Case in point, alleged sex criminal Jackson Mahomes.
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 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 in January, 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.
Between the $787 million settlement in Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit hinging on the content of his and other colleague’s embarrassing text messages, the impending $2 billion civil suit being pursued by Smartmatic, and the civil suit filed by a former Fox News producer that specifically names Carlson, chairman Rupert Murdoch had enough of Carlson, and unexpectedly canned him on April 24.
Carlson’s text messages which were made public exposed him as a charlatan who’ll take any disingenuous position that would advance his career. As opposed to being a serious member of an adversarial press, Carlson was publicly a Trump lickspittle while privately texting colleagues, “I hate him passionately,” and that “We are very very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights, I truly can’t wait,” only to do a complete 180 on air. Carlson was one of many Fox News entertainers posing as journalists who privately espoused thoughts that ran counter to their public positions.
The final straw may have been texts from Carlson that described a Fox News exec as the other C-word. Carlson’s reputation still hasn’t recovered from Jon Stewart bodying him for pretending to be CNN Crossfire’s Stephen A. Smith nearly two decades ago. Now, Carlson will be relegated to the graveyard of former Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck. Like most dark spirits, Carlson will rise again on OAN, Blaze, or whichever stupid outlet emerges as the television version of Truth Social.
She’s the porn star who exposed Zion Williamson in June. Mills revealed Williamson’s infidelity in a series of explicit tweets.
For almost the entire month of June, Mills inundated all of Twitter (now X) with all the personal information we never needed about Williamson’s sex life and has been on a month-long rampage bordering on corrosive obsession. What started out as an instance of a woman scorned reached its boiling point when Mills threatened to release an explicit video of herself and Williamson if the Pelicans didn’t trade him before the NBA Draft. Ironically, in doing so, she may have tanked his trade value while rumors swirled he would be shopped for a top-3 pick.
In June, news of Zion Williamson’s unfaithfulness to his long-time girlfriend was unveiled after he shared they were expecting a child. Despite being with the same women since high school, Williamson has been recklessly chasing women in these social media streets. After all, this is the same guy who was getting his business put on front street while asking UNC coeds out on Snapchat while he was at Duke. Williamson hasn’t learned much since then and appears to be enjoying the trappings of superstardom too much.
We’d like to be more descriptive in identifying the idiot behind the shooter at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago during a White Sox game back in August that injured three people, but we have no idea who did it. So we, as observers, can only make this deduction: Because guns can neither transport nor fire themselves, there must ultimately be a person at fault. And that person is, at best, criminally stupid.
Circumstances surrounding the apparently unintentional gunfire were only made more confusing earlier that week, when a small crop of too-wacky-to-be-true details began to emerge, including a claim that the suspect was a woman who snuck a firearm into Guaranteed Rate Field by “hiding it in the folds of her belly fat” before shooting herself and two others in the stands a short time later. Another outlet, Sports Mockery (which covers Chicago teams and, despite its name, is not satirical) claimed the woman repeatedly set off the stadium’s metal detectors but was waved through anyway by security guards, who “did not want to overstep their boundaries” by making physical contact with an armed Rubenesque lunatic.
Marcus Freeman better be careful. The Notre Dame head coach brought a defensive acumen and youthful exuberance to a vintage program that’s fallen behind the times. Unfortunately, that experience cost the Fighting Irish in the waning moment of their 17-14 loss to Ohio State back in September.
Lining up on the 1-yard-line with one fewer defensive lineman ultimately allowed the Buckeyes to scoot in for the game-winning touchdown. Too many men on the field is a common mistake discombobulated teams make amid the fast-paced substitutions that happen at pit crew speeds from time to time. Better safe than sorry. However, undercounting is an egregious error that can’t be explained. Yet, Freeman tried and actually made it worse.
When Freeman was asked in his postgame presser why he didn’t take a penalty to get the extra defensive lineman on the field, Freeman explained that they were out of timeouts, and didn’t couldn’t afford to take the penalty. That reasoning would fly if Notre Dame were at the 10 or 20-yard line. However, from the 1, the most yardage that could be tacked on was half the distance to the goal. Even in the moment, Freeman didn’t seem to understand he was implying that having one fewer defensive lineman on the final play from scrimmage wasn’t worth half a yard.