IDIOT OF THE MONTH: Four nuts to start your November

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Hello there, esteemed reader, and welcome to Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE MONTH, the world-renowned series in which we mostly just make fun of Aaron Rodgers every few weeks.

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Sports media has become as scripted, if not more so, than anything the WWE has ever produced. Everything is said for effect, and it’s becoming hard to believe anyone, especially those personalities on major networks like ESPN, and others. Christopher Michael Russo, aka Mad Dog, recently caught flack for going back on a verbal “promise” he made on air 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.

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.

On an unrelated but hilarious note, the Associated Press image wire now features an AI tool that appears to believe Russo and “Who’s the Boss?” star Tony Danza are the same person: 

Image for article titled IDIOT OF THE MONTH: Four nuts to start your November


Image for article titled IDIOT OF THE MONTH: Four nuts to start your November

Photo: Getty Images

Contrary to popular belief, the definition of insanity isn’t actually “doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.” Merriam-Webster defines it as:

  • “a severely disordered state of the mind usually occurring as a specific disorder”
  • “unsoundness of mind or lack of the ability to understand that prevents someone from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or that releases someone from criminal, or civil responsibility”
  • “extreme folly or unreasonableness”
  • “something utterly foolish or unreasonable”

Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal fits perfectly with the fourth explanation.

Cristobal is on the list because earlier this month, his then-No. 17 ranked Hurricanes, who were 4-0, lost to (2-3) Georgia Tech. They were leading 20-17 with 33 seconds left on the clock when Cristobal decided against taking a knee and running the clock out for the guaranteed win. Instead, Miami ran it, and fumbled. Georgia Tech recovered, eventually scored, and won in the final seconds.

He was the laughingstock of the sport. But what made it so funny is that he somehow made this version of the joke funnier than the original.

Back in 2018, when Cristobal was the head coach at Oregon, the Ducks were up 31-28 late in the fourth against Stanford. Instead of taking a knee for the win, Cristobal’s team ran it. They fumbled. Stanford recovered it. Stanford eventually won — in overtime.

Once was a terrible choice. Twice was an idiotic repeat of a terrible choice. Mario Cristobal is an idiot. Those aren’t our words, they’re Merriam-Webster’s — “a foolish or stupid person.”

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Dillon Brooks will never change.

His metric for success is supposed to be his aggressive defense and ability to knock down open threes. However, for the last few years in Memphis, their supposed 3-and-D wing was a 0-level scorer who resorted to buffoonish antics to keep pace on defense. In his preseason debut against the Indiana Pacers, Brooks showcased the depths of his idiocy by going back to the familiar role of nut tapping.

After initially getting called for a defensive foul seconds earlier, Brooks was whistled a second time for a flagrant 2 tech after violently slapping Daniel Theis in the groin while trying to run through his screen. It’s a move Brooks has tried before. Somehow most NBA players and professional boxers are able to go their entire career without needlessly punching opponents below the midsection. Worse, he still refused to take responsibility for his clownish behavior.

“I might have tapped him below the waist, but he got right back up. I don’t know. It’s weird that every time it happens to me, I get picked on. I guess it’s part of reputation.” Brooks told the media after the Rockets preseason opener.

Somehow, Brooks hits below the belt more than prime Johnny Knoxville, and he’s under the impression that he’s the victim. Over here in reality, the worst form of Brooks emerges when he gets frustrated. That’s when Brooks becomes a vindictive wing defender who can be easily baited into putting himself and his team in a hole. He shot Gary Payton Jr. out of the air on a breakaway layup attempt during Game 2 of Memphis’ 2022 playoff clash with the Warriors. The hit and The Mittens’ impact with the ground resulted in a fractured elbow. He’s one of the few active dingbats who could get eviscerated by Draymond Green on a podcast and have his biggest haters siding with the vet who has accumulated more techs than anyone over the last decade.

Brooks has made too many overtly dirty plays to count. Donovan Mitchell nearly unloaded on him during a regular season matchup for taking a jab at Mitchell’s groin after faking a cartoonish fall.

He plucked LeBron James in the gonads when he got cooked for running his mouth and referring to the all-time leading scorer as “old” during the playoffs. After the Lakers series, he resorted to page 1 of the guilty party handbook to deflect blame.

“The media making me a villain, the fans making me a villain, and then that just creates a whole different persona on me,” Brooks whined after his ejection for punching LeBron below the belt.

If you thought he would change up after the nadir he hit last season, those dreams were dashed by the Rockets and the $80 million they threw at his feet. He’s showing everyone that he’s arguably gotten worse, and there’s not much anyone can do about it.

The following text is not explicitly about Boston, but it’s about Boston

The following text is not explicitly about Boston, but it’s about Boston
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You can argue that fans who send racist messages to players, or yell racist slurs from the stands, shouldn’t be considered “idiots.” Their vitriol comes with way too much baggage, in a country still struggling with the legacy of racism, to be so trivialized; their statements are calculated to cause way too much pain. Alas, until we roll out “Evil Bastards of the Month” as a regular feature, “idiots” it is.

Racist fans in sports are nothing new — just ask Hank Aaron or Serena Wiliams. But one good thing about technology advancing to the point where everyone has a cell phone on them at all times is that their cruelty (and, yes…idiocy) is captured for posterity, where we can mock, and expose them in perpetuity.

This month, it was Broncos defensive back Kareem Jackson, who shared a racist message he received following getting ejected against the Packers. “Stop behaving like a f***ing n** 🤡,” a “fan” sent him via private message. Back in September, it was Vikings’ running back Alexander Mattison sharing screenshots of racist messages he was sent, and that was also the month we saw Alabama fans screaming racist and homophobic slurs at Texas players.

So let’s be clear for those whose parents did raise them right: Despite what certain corners of the internet may tell you, there is no place this is acceptable in the United States of America in 2023. If you are so triggered by your team losing at sports that you revert to your basest and most unseemly urges, you need to seek therapy. You certainly don’t get to watch games where most of the players putting their bodies on the line are Black men (and women), and then resort to racist slurs and taunts when things don’t go your way. Grow up and find a way to stop wasting so much skin.

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If idle hands are the devil’s plaything, explain Aaron Rodgers. The OG Idiot of the Month was spouting nonsense on The Pat McAfee Show before it was sponsored by ESPN, and his recent run of interviews is just as unhinged as pre-Achilles tear Rodgers. The difference is McAfee can only ask him so many questions about Zach Wilson’s attempt to give Jets fans Stockholm Syndrome before viewers’ eyes glaze over. Almost on cue — as if prompted by an inner voice telling him to “Dance, monkey, dance!” — A-Rodg looks into the camera mischievously and calls Travis Kelce “Mr. Pfizer.”

Or challenges Anthony Fauci and Kelce to the most depressing iteration of The Match ever. Sure, let’s give Robert F. Kennedy and Rodgers a semi full of cash, a livestream, and let them espouse the dangers of vaccines. The human population added COVID boosters to their annual flu shot regimen because guys like Aaron Rodgers got pissed that a virus, which killed millions of people, disrupted their Burning Man plans.

Is there a way to remove all vaccine-prompted immunity from Rodgers’ body and cough Polio on him? How about leprosy? Anything that forces this sideshow clown to make the debate from his deathbed would be ideal.

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