These days the news cycles are fast and often short-lived. Stories hit the papers and the Internet, blaze for a day or three and then become consigned to the dustbin of irrelevance. In the past year, we have seen stories about plenty of meatheads but until you sit down and think about them, you can forget just how many there were.
Here I will try to categorize some of this year’s meatheads into aggregates of annoyance and outrageousness – - culminating with a single citation for The Meathead Of The Year for 2009. My criteria are simple – - actually, there is only one criterion:
I have to find the individuals here to be lacking in some essential element of humanity.
Just so there will be no misplaced anticipation, I have not included Tiger Woods in this list. Woods is not a meathead; he is merely a horndog…
Let me begin with the category of sports/celebrity figures who think their “celebrity status” justifies outrageous social behaviors:
1. Miami Dolphins’ defensive end, Randy Starks, went cruising in Miami in a tricked out Freightliner truck cab. He managed to hit a traffic cop; that got him a citation for assault on a police officer. According to the arrest report, the cab – with room for 4 people – carried 13 folks to include a woman sitting in Starks’ lap as he cruised.
That is relatively outrageous but Starks’ lawyer took it up a notch when he proclaimed that the police report had it all wrong. There were not 13 people in that 4-person truck cab; there actually were only 9 and that the “woman on his lap” report was wrong because she was “perched on the center console of the truck”. Randy Starks, Meathead.
2. Phoenix Suns’ shooting guard, Jason Richardson, took his 3-year old son out for a ride in the car. Police stopped Richardson doing 90 mph in a 35 mph zone. Not good. Oh, did I mention that the 3-year old boy was unrestrained in the back seat while the car was going 90 mph. It is hard to find words to describe that level of nonchalance when it comes to the safety of one’s child.
But wait, there’s more… Richardson was driving like this with DUI charges pending against him from only 2 months prior.
Oh, and it doesn’t stop yet… After this arrest for speeding and failure to use a car seat, Richardson said that he always strives to “be the best father he can be”. Wouldn’t you think that the best father you can be might be on the lookout for ways to keep the kid out of harm’s way as much as possible? Jason Richardson, Meathead.
3. Disgraced NBA referee, Tim Donaghy, served a portion of his sentence related to illegal gambling activities on NBA games. At that point, Donaghy was eligible for release to a halfway house. Soon after that supervised release, Donaghy was arrested again and sent back to prison for violation his parole. What did he do? He did not show up for the work portion of his work release. How hard is that concept to understand? Tim Donaghy, Meathead.
4. Octomom … Enough said. Octomom, Meathead.
5. José Canseco claimed in his book, Juiced, that he wrote that book back in 2005 because he had been blackballed by MLB. This year, Canseco claimed that because he wrote the book he is now blackballed by MLB. Here we go ‘round the mulberry bush… José Canseco, Meathead.
6. Manny Ramirez missed 50 games for a banned substance suspension this year – - and then came back to the Dodgers as a less-than-fearsome hitter. His claims regarding how that stuff got in his bloodstream seemed less than fully forthright, but that is not why he is on this list. When Manny was in Albuquerque on his “rehab” assignment and getting ready to rejoin the Dodgers, this guy who made $25M last year stiffed his minor league mates.
Traditionally, when a big league star has to go to the minors to prepare for a return to the majors, the big time guy funds a big spread in the clubhouse for the small time guys hoping to make it to the bigs. Manny never did that. In fact, if reports from there are correct, Manny did not even hang around for the end of those games and was not even in the clubhouse when his “teammates” got there after the game. Manny Ramirez, Meathead.
The next category involves folks who are not worth the time of day – - but imposed themselves on the consciousness of others:
1. The White House Party Crashers are platinum level attention-whores. For that reason, I will not type out their names here lest they get another Google hit when they go searching on their own names sometime later today. They do what they do only to draw attention to themselves with the hope of developing a TV reality show that will focus on them – - of course. Here is my idea for a TV reality show for them:
Take these two jamokes, pair them up with “Balloon Boy’s father”, stick them all in a makeshift balloon, and set it loose over the Antarctic continent. If those fools want reality, that would give them a dose of reality.
White House Party Crashers and Balloon Boy’s Father, Meatheads.
2. Two Arizona Cardinals’ fans took the opportunity on the eve of the Cardinals game against the Eagles in last year’s NFC playoffs to burn some messages into the lawn with diesel fuel at the Arizona home of Eagles’ QB, Donovan McNabb. Left behind at the scene of the mischief was a shipping carton with a label that had at least one of the two goofs’ names on it. Police had little difficulty tracking down these masterminds.
Genius Arizona Cards’ fans, Meatheads.
3. Seemingly, a bazillion sportswriters/sports-talkers just had to tell the world what they had constructed as a mock draft for the NFL. Some of those folks published so many mock drafts that they had everyone taken in the first round of the draft in exactly the right position at least once. Any “mock draft” published more than 48 hours before the actual NFL Draft is lame; anyone who publishes more than one “mock draft” has more deadlines than ideas.
Mock Draft Producers, Meatheads.
I have one special category this year for two people who probably have never met; but perhaps, they should have.
1. Michael Barrett is the miscreant who stalked Erin Andrews and shot a video of her in her birthday suit in her hotel room. Then he tried to peddle that video and finally put it out on the Internet. He has entered a guilty plea in the matter and will face sentencing soon. Michael Barrett, Meathead.
2. Carrie Prejean was a former Miss USA contestant who was kicked out of the pageant for whatever reason the organizers came up with. She filed a lawsuit but then withdrew that suit when it became known that she had made at least one sex tape – - described as a “solo act”. Carrie Prejean, Meathead.
Now it seems to me that if Mr. Barrett and Ms. Prejean had known one another, he could have made his video with a more willing “star” and avoided jail. At the same time, Ms. Prejean might have gotten her film career going more quickly. Too bad…
Now for The Meathead Of The Year. His name is Micah Grimes; many of you will not recall that name easily. Micah Grimes was the girls’ basketball coach of The Covenant School in the Dallas Texas area and his team beat Dallas Academy by a score of 100-0. Hey, I understand that at that level of play, there are going to be huge mismatches every once in a while. However, consider some circumstances that surround the final score of 100-0:
1. Dallas Academy is a school that focuses on students with learning disabilities. It had not won a girls’ basketball game in almost 4 years.
2. When the headmaster of Covenant Academy apologized for his team running up the score, Micah Grimes took public umbrage at such an allegation and challenged the headmaster.
3. That got Micah Grimes fired. Subsequently he said:
“I respectfully disagree with the apology, especially the notion that the Covenant School girls’ basketball team should feel ‘embarrassed’ or ‘ashamed’. … We played the game as it was meant to be played and would not intentionally run up the score on any opponent. Although a wide-margin victory is never evidence of compassion, my girls played with honor and integrity and showed respect to Dallas Academy.”
4. Covenant Academy forfeited the victory.
There was no way Micah Grimes could have kept that game close given the obvious disparity in talent. Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways that he could have kept the score below 100 points and there are plenty of other ways that he could have taken to assure that his team did not “pitch a shutout”. Employing any of those techniques would have better “shown respect to Dallas Academy.”
Memo to Micah Grimes: When the headmaster of the school you represent feels required to apologize publicly and to declare that this outcome “clearly does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition”, the best thing to do at that point is to make your own apologies and keep any other thoughts you might have to yourself.
Micah Grimes, Meathead of the Year.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…