Yes, we have flipped the page on the calendar 12 times since last we identified The Meathead of the Year (MOTY). Lest you worry that there will not be worthy nominees this year, this observation by Aldous Huxley should put your mind at rest:
“The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.”
This year, the names are different and the behaviors are different – - but the meatheadedness carries on. Some physicists believe the universe is finite; I have no ability to comment on that assertion or to refute it. I would observe, however, that the supply of human behavior that can hold aloft the banner of “Meathead Abides Under Here” seems to be unending.
To that point, if I were ever in a coma for most of a calendar year, awoke around 28 December and felt the need to gather info for this traditional year-ending rant, I could do so simply by doing a quick review of a half-dozen Reality TV programs. The people who conjure up the notions for these programs have to be meatheads; the people who cut, paste, and recreate images to produce the programs have to be meatheads in order to portray the “characters” as meatheads; and indeed, the “characters” are all meatheads of the highest order. Therefore, I will ignore this segment of society in presenting these awards for several reasons:
1. It is low-hanging fruit.
2. I need to save this for a year when I am in fact coming out of a coma.
3. I cherish the time I spend not watching this idiotic genre of television.
Allow me to begin this year with two generic awards meaning I do not have specific names to attach to the awards. However, you know the people I am talking about and they know who they are too. When you go to a store sometime in late August/early September and you find Christmas merchandise for sale along with decorations and Christmas music playing in the emporium, you may be sure that you are in the vicinity of a meathead. Christmas in August Merchandising Manager, Meathead.
[Edit: Based on the first comment on this rant from Ric, I must amend this first generic award. In the event that the Christmas shopping environment you encounter in August is mandated by someone higher up on the corporate ladder than the local merchandising manager, then the local manager is absolved of the meatheadedness and the award should be shifted. Corporate Bigwig Mandating “Christmas Shopping Environment” In August, Meathead.]
Second, I would like to acknowledge in a completely negative fashion any and all men who think that it is a good idea to propose marriage to the woman they nominally wish to spend the rest of their lives with at a sporting event on the video-board. Whenever I see one of these pathetic displays, I wonder if the person doing it is sufficiently afraid of intimacy or rejection that he cannot bring himself to do this in a one-on-one setting or, possibly, if the person doing this is a stone-cold attention whore. Moreover, before anyone sends me a note telling me that this kind of proposal is “cute” or “off the beaten path”, let me answer that right now:
No, it is not cute! It is stupid and annoying.
Video-board marriage proposers, Meatheads.
The world of sports provides us with an opulence of material once again this year – but alas, no contenders for the not-so-coveted MOTY. Therefore, I shall present the sporting world’s meatheads as a continuum before getting into other areas of society. The first award in the sporting world goes to a segment of the fans of the San Francisco 49ers. In a playoff game last year, Kyle Williams muffed a punt and then lost a fumble in overtime that led to the 49ers loss and ouster from the NFL playoffs. His teammates rallied to support him as did some 49ers fans. How did the dark-side segment of Niners’ fans of the team treat this man? They took to Twitter with these sorts of messages:
“I hope you, youre [sic] wife, kids and family die, you deserve it.”
“Jim Harbaugh, please give @KyleWilliams_10 the game ball. And make sure it explodes when he gets in his car.”
They wanted a member of the team they support to die because he fumbled a football. Dark-side segment of 49ers’ fans, Meatheads.
Oh by the way, isn’t it wonderful that the world has Twitter now so that these unvarnished pearls of wisdom can go out to the human community worldwide instead of being limited by the distance at which the voices of these great philosophers may be heard. Sigh…
Speaking of segments of the NFL fanbase, consider the subset of fans in the Indianapolis area who got themselves so caught up in Super Bowl Fever that 7,000 of them paid $25 each to sit in the stands to watch Media Day. That is the day when players and coaches are in the stadium and members of the media from all over the world have access to them for several hours so that the stupidest questions imaginable can be asked. This is the venue where – allegedly – Doug Williams was once asked if he had always been a Black quarterback. People paid real money to sit in the stands and watch folks mill about and ask other people questions that the people paying the money could not hear. Oh, but it gets worse… After all the tickets sold out, there was an “aftermarket” for these tickets where some folks paid a price higher than face value to sit there and watch people being interviewed. Super Bowl Media Day Audience Members, Meatheads.
Rev. Pat Robertson is not a sporting figure but the reason he belongs here should become apparent shortly. Please note that Rev. Robertson has been in the running for MOTY in previous years but has never been the winner. He will fall short of that mark again this year. Here is why he is on the list…
After the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning to play quarterback earlier this year, the team quickly traded righteous and evangelistic Christian, Tim Tebow, to the NY Jets. Given that Tebow had been able to help the Broncos make the playoffs the year before, Rev. Robertson and some Broncos’ fans thought that he was shuffled out of town without proper respect/fanfare/appreciation. Tebow himself gave no indication if he agreed with or disagreed with that feeling. Then Rev. Robertson took his feelings to the next level; he said that it would serve the Broncos right if Peyton Manning were permanently injured and they were without a competent QB. Wishing permanent injury is admittedly a step short of wishing death on someone or some group of people, but it does seem a bit over the top given that it would merely be retribution for a trade Rev. Robertson did not like. At least he stopped short of calling on God to visit the Biblical plague of “Death of the Firstborn” upon any and all people in the employ of the Denver Broncos. Rev. Pat Robertson, Meathead.
The plentitude of sports meatheads continues to yield fruit. In 2012, Antonio Cromartie – cornerback for the NY Jets – became a father. Actually, he became a father for the 10th time at the age of 28. There are 8 mothers for his 10 children living in 6 different states in the US. Reportedly, his contract with the Jets pays $3500 per month to each of the women who bore his children. That comes out to $28K per month or $336K per year. So where is the meatheadedness in this situation – other than the seemingly obvious fact that Cromartie seems not to have yet figured out what causes these children to erupt from these women. Well, it seems that most if not all of the baby mamas are trying to interest producers in creating a “Reality TV show” that will expose and explain their “modern family” to the rest of US society. [Remember what I said above about Reality TV and the people who produce it.] Some reports say that Cromartie would participate in such a Reality TV undertaking and other reports say he is unwilling to do so. The fact of the matter is that this is not a “modern family” this is a “family” with a father and a bunch of mothers. If the father were not an athlete in the most popular sport in the US, we would be labeling this situation with words like “polygamy” or “cult”. Antonio Cromartie and his “Modern Family”, Meatheads.
Bobby Petrino was the head football coach at the University of Arkansas and had a team that some thought could challenge for the national championship in 2012 after posting an 11-2 record in 2011. He had a contract that still had about $20M left on it that would deposit to his bank account – except that he had a small motorcycle accident back in the Spring. In that accident he broke 4 ribs and a vertebra, totaled his bike and lost his license to ride a motorcycle in Arkansas. Oh, did I mention that he had a passenger on his bike at the time and he asked the police/first responders not report the crash or the presence of the young woman who was also on the bike at the time of the crash. He then lied to the Athletic Director at Arkansas – his boss – about the accident and the presence of his girlfriend. But a little investigating uncovered that he had hired her for a job for which she had no qualifications – well, no professional qualifications – that paid here more than $50K per year and he gave her an extra $20K, the source of which I never did see clarified. All of this cost him his job, the $20M he would have collected on his extant contract and potentially his family all because he thought with his glands instead of his brain with regard to a 25-year old woman. Bobby Petrino, Meathead.
The cornucopia that is the meatheads of the sports world continues to provide sustenance. Two fathers were attending a Little League awards ceremony – not a place you might suspect you would find a candidate for MOTY. Nonetheless, here is a portion of the report related to the incident in question:
“In Columbus, Ga., a pair of adult males started to brawl just outside of the left field fence just as the District 8 All-Star Tournament championship little league medal ceremony was about to take place. According to the [Columbus GA] Ledger-Enquirer, a dispute about the volume of someone’s music sparked the fight:”
These chronologically adult males should heed the following words from people far wiser than I:
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you.” Robert Fulghum
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs, 22:6
Little League fathers in Georgia, Meatheads.
Staying in the fertile fields of the sports world, consider the behavior of a football player at SMU, Uchenna Nwabuike, who hired a hooker to come to his house for some sexual activities. The negotiated price for her services was reportedly $50 but when the time came to “settle up” the player refused to pay. [Remember this scenario; it will appear again later in this compendium of meatheadedness.] He had a dinner engagement with some of his friends/teammates and so he left the “sexual service provider” alone in his house and went to meet his friends. When he returned, he found that a couple of laptop computers, televisions and video games had been stolen. Let me review the bidding here:
He stiffed a prostitute – in more ways than one evidently.
He refused to pay her and left her alone in his home to have dinner with friends.
He returned and found that stuff had been stolen.
He was sufficiently surprised to find stuff missing that he called the police.
Uchenna Nwabuike, Meathead.
Leaving the world of sports and athletes and submitted with no further commentary necessary, General David Petraeus, Meathead.
E. Gordon Gee is the pompous and preening President of THE Ohio State University. In the earliest stages of the investigation into the “Jim Tressel Situation” at Ohio State, Gee tried to make light of the whole thing by saying that he hoped that Coach Tressel would not be angry with him and fire him as university president. When the entirety of the duplicity performed by Jim Tressel came to light, E. Gordon Gee had to generate sufficient spinal strength to stand upright and fire his football coach – the guy who worked for him as university president but was beyond the reproach of the university president.
Ohio State fans did not take this kindly and in one of President Gee’s speaking engagements at Columbus at the Metropolitan Club’s monthly forum, he decided to take his feckless behavior relative to the Jim Tresssel Situation to a higher plane. He was asked about the difficulties involved in managing the multiple entities that make up THE Ohio State University and his response was:
“When we had these 18 colleges all kind of floating around, they were kind of like PT Boats, they were shooting each other. It was kind of like the Polish army or something. I have no idea what it was.”
When the audience exhibited forced laughter to cover for the discomfort from those remarks, President Gee decided to stick the other foot in his mouth without removing the first one:
“Oh, never mind, who did I embarrass now? … I’ll have to raise money for Poland now.”
E. Gordon Gee, President of THE Ohio State University, and serial sufferer of foot in mouth disease, Meathead.
Back in July, the San José Mercury News reported that 21 people suffered second or third degree burns on their feet after trying to walk across a bed of hot coals at a Tony Robins seminar in San José called “Unleash the Power Within”. Hmm… I wonder why these folks burned their feet:
Did they forget to put mind over matter?
Did they not focus on their goal sufficiently? Or … maybe …
Could it be that it is irrationally stupid to walk across burning coals in one’s bare feet in anything other than a life-and-death circumstance?
Tony Robins and these 21 firewalkers, Meatheads.
What began as a routine traffic stop in suburban Chicago produced a strong contender for MOTY ignominy. Police stopped a car with 6 passengers; inside there were two children who were not wearing any seatbelts or safety devices of any kind. That is not good by any means but it does not put the adults into MOTY territory. However, police noticed that a 19-year old in the car was making “furtive downward motions” to a 3-year old. An officer asked the driver (an adult) to step out of the car and the nervous 19-year old called to the 3-year old by a nickname, “Fatty” several times. As the officer approached the car and the driver outside the vehicle, he noticed that the 3-year old was holding a handgun, which she then threw on the floor of the car when the officer went to retrieve it. Oh, but it still gets better:
The gun had 8 live rounds in it.
None of the adults in the car including “Fatty’s” mother, grandmother, the driver or the 19-year old had a valid firearms ID permit to carry the gun.
Adding up the gun violations and the charge of endangering a child, the nervous 19-year old was placed under arrest and bail was set at $50K. “Fatty” is too young to be called a meathead; however, all other occupants of this vehicle, Meatheads.
A woman named Bridget Coiker was arrested at a local WalMart after she was spotted stuffing a backpack full of feminine hygiene products and OTC medications. Oh, by the way, it was not her backpack she was filling with contraband; she nabbed one of them in the store too. Did I hear someone say this does not rise to the level of MOTY consideration? OK, add to the story that this woman had been caught stealing stuff from this same WalMart twice before. Better? Oh, and add to that the fact that as she walked into the store, the WalMart greeter noticed that she was wearing a house-arrest ankle bracelet – possibly from one of her previous shoplifting endeavors but that is not clear from the reports I read. When police arrived, she offered to put the stuff back on the shelves if everyone would just forget that this happened. You should not be surprised to learn that gambit was not successful. And to put the cap on all of this, the incident made into a website called The Dumbass Daily- News From The Shallow End Of The Gene Pool. Bridget Coiker, Meathead.
No Meathead of the Year rant would be complete without a contribution from those wacky folks at PETA who never fail to deliver. This year, one target of their anger was President Obama who – during a televised interview – dispatched a fly that would not go away with a gentle wave of the hand. Twenty-four hours after the interview aired on NBC, PETA issued a protest statement about the improper treatment of the fly. Seriously. PETA, Meatheads.
Now we come to the second runner-up for the Meathead of the Year award. The award this year goes to the dozen or so Secret Service agents who were in Colombia as an advance team for a visit by President Obama. After work hours one evening, these folks solicited prostitutes for themselves and the frivolities were to occur in the same hotel where the President would be staying soon after the fact. This all came to light when it was reported that at least some of the Secret Service agents refused to pay the negotiated price for the services rendered – [were these guys ever football players at SMU?] – and at least one of the prostitutes went public. A dozen or so of these folks were replaced on the job and an investigation by “Internal Affairs” evidently implicated people from other parts of the US government. [By the way, feel free to make any double entendre comments you want about prostitutes and “internal affairs investigations”…] I will merely observe that it is possible these folks misunderstood their initial agent orientation training and thought that they were joining the Secret Cervix and not the Secret Service.
About 40 years ago, one of the margarine manufacturers tried to convince folks that their product had a taste that was indistinguishable from real butter. Their ads showed Mother Nature confusing the margarine with butter and then becoming angry when confronted with her error. The tag line spoken as she called down thunderbolts from the sky was:
“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”
From this year’s compendium of meatheadedness, we might choose to add that:
“It’s not nice to try to welch on a prostitute!”
Secret Service agents in Colombia, Meatheads.
The first runner up for the Meathead of the Year is a late entry into the contest demonstrating his meatheadedness just four days before Christmas.. Wayne LaPierre is the executive vice president of the NRA and has taken some extreme positions over the years with regard to gun ownership and gun rights and the like. This year he landed with both feet in “meathead territory” with his call for legislation to put an armed presence in every school in the US as a deterrent to deranged shooters. He compounded the lunacy of that suggestion with his timing – a week after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut. Some folks have suggested that he was “tone deaf” or perhaps had a “tin ear” for the mood of the country. I think his problem is not with his sense of hearing; I think it is rooted in his brain. Wayne LaPierre, Meathead.
[Aside: In terms of a person with a despicable public image fostered in 2012, who is at the bottom of your ranking: Wayne LaPierre or Jerry Sandusky?]
Finally, for The Meathead of the Year we go to South Florida to meet Joshua Basso who reportedly called his local 911 service on seven different occasions over a 2-day period requesting that a female deputy sheriff come to his house for “sexing”. Finally, police went to his house – but not to relieve his pent-up sexual energies; they went there to arrest him. You read that correctly and if you are incredulous, you can read the report of the incident here. Oh, but it gets better…
It seems that Mr. Basso has done this before to the same 911 service. According to reports, he did this back in 2009 and this is supposedly his 14th arrest by the same police department. Mr. Basso is charged with making false calls to 911. I do not know if that charge will stick because he was probably absolutely truthful in saying that he wanted to have sex with a female police officer if she would just come to his house. The calls were stupid and inappropriate, but I doubt they were false. Joshua Basso, Meathead of the Year.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………