Meathead Of The Year – 2013

The Moon has waxed and waned a sufficient number of times since the last time I identified a menu of exquisite meatheadedness for your consideration. Typically, I wait to write this until the very end of the year lest some late entry into the Meathead Sweepstakes emerges during the Christmas Season. That will not be possible this year so meatheads who have postponed acting out as a result of their numbskull proclivities will get a pass. In a sense, procrastination has its virtues here…

The world of sports usually offers up more than a few candidates for the not-to-be-desired label of Meathead of the Year (MOTY). However, in 2013, the pickings from under that tree were definitely meager. There is one sports figure who deserves mention here. Tim Brown is a former Heisman Trophy winner and a wide receiver who spent 15 years with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders. Earlier this year, he was reflecting on the Super Bowl game that the Raiders lost to the Tampa Bay Bucs in January 2003. In that game, Jon Gruden was coaching the Bucs after he had been traded to the Bucs by the Raiders in exchange for several draft picks and $8M. Bill Callahan took over for Gruden in Oakland and the two teams met in the Super Bowl after Gruden’s first full year in Tampa.

Tim Brown said in an interview that he is convinced that Bill Callahan “sabotaged” the Raiders that day out of Callahan’s friendship with Gruden. [Callahan had been Gruden’s offensive coordinator in Oakland.] Right there, you have a behavior that would put Tim Brown on the “watch list” as a meathead because if he held that position for the last decade, it would have been logical that he would have pursued the issue. Essentially, he said that one of the Super Bowl games was “rigged” if not “fixed”. However, Tim Brown must watch Emeril Lagasse’s program on The Food Network because he took it up a notch from there.

When confronted with the import of his accusation, Tim Brown tried to backpedal to the point where he vehemently denied ever using the word “sabotage” in his interview. Here is the problem; the interview was on tape and Brown indeed had used the word “sabotage”. Let me review the bidding here:

    Tim Brown – after ten years of holding his water – felt compelled to accuse a former Raiders coach of sabotaging the Super Bowl game because the opposing coach was a “BFF”. He offered no proof for that assertion.

    When confronted, he denied saying what he said – forgetting that the interview was on tape.

    When he denied using the word “sabotage” and the evidence subsequently showed that he did use the word “sabotage”, what Tim Brown did was the sabotage his credibility on the issue.

    Tim Brown, Meathead.

Senator John McCain (R-Jurassic Era) took time away from trivial matters the US Senate was trying to resolve such as a government shutdown, raising the debt-ceiling to avoid a government default and other stuff like that in September 2013 to chastise the Los Angeles Dodgers. What might the members of that team have done at that point of history that was so egregious that a US Senator would lose focus on critical matters to weigh in on such alleged bad behavior? Surely, it threatened the very fabric of Western Civilization… Well, no it did not.

When the Dodgers clinched the NL West title last season, they did so in the Arizona D-Backs stadium and as part of their celebration, the Dodgers jumped into the pool, which is part of the stadium. They celebrated by jumping in a swimming pool with their uniforms on. That’s it; that’s what they did.

You mean to tell me that this moment of silliness merits a distraction from the business of the US Senate?

    Sen. John McCain, Meathead.

I want to present a “group award” here to a subset of sports fans in the United States. Thousands of golf enthusiasts volunteered to work at PGA Tour events over the course of 2013. Think about it for a minute; the PGA has enough money to offer as prizes that a caddy (or maybe even two) can walk away from a tournament to make a six-figure deposit in his bank account. The PGA needs volunteers?

However, it is not just “golf enthusiasts”. Reports say that more than 16,000 people have volunteered to assist the NFL at the Super Bowl in New Jersey next February. Can anyone believe that the NFL does not have sufficient resources to hire people to perform whatever tasks these volunteers will take on? Let me do some math for you:

    Assume the average volunteer works 3 days for 10 hours per day.

    Assume the NFL – in its largesse – were to pay them $10 per hour, which is in excess of the minimum wage.

    The total cost for the 16,000 “temporary workers” would be $4.8M.

    That comes to $150K per team…

    Sports volunteers, Meatheads.

James Blankenship broke into his mother’s house “against her will”. The fact that I can write that previous sentence indicates there has to be meatheadedness involved here on someone’s part. There is no real doubt that he did so because he pleaded guilty to that charge. However, according to a Huffington Post report, he told police officers that he could not be arrested for burglary because he broke into the house in the daytime and burglary only happens at night. Click that link if you think I am kidding…

    James Blankenship, Meathead.

It is not uncommon for adults involved in youth sports to release their inner meathead leaving no doubt about its presence. A father went to see his kid play in a 7-8 year old baseball game in Moody, AL and it was clearly Dad’s opinion that the coach of the team was not playing his kid a sufficient amount of the time. So, Dad decided to make his feelings known to the coach regarding that subject and those kinds of interactions rarely end up in a positive place. However, this one plummeted down through the “less-than-positive level” and all the way to “horrendous” when the father allegedly pulled out a .45 caliber handgun in order to emphasize his point and another spectator at the game had to “disarm him”.

Obviously, the gendarmes arrived on the scene and arrested Dear ol’ Dad on charges of “menacing, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia”. [The marginally good news here is that he did have a permit for the gun involved in the incident.] I do not know the resolution of those charges, but I hereby level the following charge:

    Alabama baseball dad, Meathead.

A 43-year old man in Hidalgo County, TX was arrested and accused of having sex with a horse on two different occasions. He was arrested back in 2012 on charges of trespassing and cruelty to animals and then he got caught doing it again to the same horse in the same place in 2013. The 2012 incident motivated the owner of the horse and corral to install a security camera – no surprise there – and so the entirety of the second “tryst” was caught on tape.

    When I mentioned this incident to a former colleague, she said that perhaps this “gentleman” was seeking a “soul mare”. I wish I had thought of that line first…

    Texas Horse Lover, Meathead.

In April, the NY Daily News had a report that a woman named Katherine Thurston attacked Huge Jackman with an electric razor because she did not like his unshaven visage. The reason that mattered so much was the Thurston was sure that she was in NYC in order to marry Jackman – who happened to be married to someone else at that particular time. [By the bye, the NY Post reporting on this incident said that the razor was filled with Thurston’s pubic hair. I could have gone a lifetime without knowing that tidbit.] A month prior to that incident, Ms. Thurston went to the school where Jackman’s daughter is enrolled and confronted Jackman’s wife and daughter there.

I do not know what the next chapter in this saga will be but I do think that there is a long-term therapy regimen in order for this woman.

    Katherine Thurston, Meathead.

The best way to describe our next Meathead is to quote from the ABC News report that brought it to my attention. A 19-year old mother:

“… put her 5-week-old baby on top of her car in his car seat and drove away, apparently forgetting he was there, not even noticing when the seat fell off the car and landed in an intersection, police said.”

The good news here is that the child was found in his seat uninjured by neighbors and that the child was taken to Child Protective Services. The mother was arrested and charged with aggravated driving under the influence (of marijuana) and with child abuse.

    Pot-smoking, kid-in-a-car-seat Mama, Meathead.

The runner-up for Meathead Of The Year in 2013 is 18-year old Florida resident, Michael Smeriglio. He made news when he shot himself in the penis and testicle while cleaning a gun he had recently purchased. Originally, he told police that someone had shot him while he was walking down the street but that story crumbled upon questioning by the police. He told police that he had just bought the gun “at a party”. That story leads me to ask two questions:

    1. At what kind of party does one buy a gun? I have heard of Tupperware parties and Mary Kay parties. I was not aware that this was a new marketing initiative on the part of Smith and Wesson.

    2. How dumb would one have to be to try to clean a loaded gun?

    Michael Smeriglio, Meathead.

The not-very-coveted Meathead Of The Year Award for 2013 goes to Gilberto Valle a former NYC police officer who was convicted in March of “conspiring to kidnap women, then cook, kill and eat them.” [Aside: With regard to the quoted material in the previous sentence, I would suspect that he would kill them before cooking them but that is only a minor quibble here.] Prosecutors said that Valle had been using the Internet for guidance as to how to abduct kill etc. a list of women to include his wife, two former college friends and a local softball player at a high school in Queens. They said he sought “human meat recipes” on the Internet.

Valle’s defense was that he was merely engaging in online fantasies with other “death fetishists” and that Valle was being prosecuted for having anti-social thoughts, which is not a crime. The jury did not agree and found him guilty of conspiracy.

The NY Daily News calls him the “Cannibal Cop”.

Because there is a cachet involved in calling someone associated with cannibalism a Meathead, I call him:

    Gilberto Valle, Meathead Of The Year.

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  • Rickey  On December 19, 2013 at 7:19 am

    At the local PGA event the volunteers have to pay $50 to be a volunteer. That is crazy. For that you get a shirt, lunch and a parking spot.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On December 19, 2013 at 10:47 am


      Welcome aboard.

      Let’s see… The shirt costs the PGA about $15. Lunch probably costs them another $10. The parking spot is free. The cost of labor for the day from the volunteer is zero. The revenue per volunteer is $50.

      So, in your example, the PGA has turned volunteer labor into a profit center. Wow!

  • Doug  On December 19, 2013 at 8:02 am

    For years I was on the organizing committee for the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta. We had thousands of volunteers, who received, at most, a T-shirt. The race has 60,000 runners who dish out about $20 per.

    As for cooking first, then killing, my blue crab recipes call for dump the little guys into the boiling cauldron alive. I am not sure which comes first in that case.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On December 19, 2013 at 10:52 am


      I would not put the Peachtree Road Race in the same category as the NFL or the PGA in terms of the money on hand for the three organizations. There are lots of organizations and activities for which volunteer labor is the grease that makes the wheels turn. However, for the PGA or the NFL – - or for MLB, the NBA, the US Olympic Committee, March Madness too – - there is sufficient revenue to pay the folks who show up to do whatever it is volunteers have to do.

      Regarding your culinary comment, had the so-called “Cannibal Cop” been contemplating a meal of crab or lobster, I do not think he would have been in a courtroom in the first place.

      • Rickey  On December 19, 2013 at 5:18 pm

        The Olympics I forgot about the story my sister told me. It was when the Olympics came to Salt Lake City. She thought it would be neat to volunteer to help out there. Something to tell everyone about. Well between work and family she thought she could squeeze in 2 hours a day and maybe more during the weekends. She had the husband’s blessing that he would pick up the slack around the house during the two weeks. Off she goes to her volunteer meeting. The lady giving the briefing is talking about working 10-12 hour days. My sister said she finally asked/told the lady that she could only work about two maybe three hours a day. The lady then said if you can’t work at least 10 hours then you might as well leave because you are just wasting everyone’s time. My sister said she was ready to tell her something but stopped when she saw the look on the lady’s face when almost the whole crowd got up and left.

        • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 5, 2014 at 11:02 am


          Add the USOC and/or the IOC as two more sports organizations that have sufficient money to play folks to help them stage their events…

  • Douglas E  On January 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Sorry, but from the Colorado perspective, it has to be the Nuggets ownership!!! :-)

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On January 5, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Douglas E:

      Welcome aboard.

      From the Colorado perspective, do you really think the Nuggets’ ownership is worse than the Rockies’ ownership? Sitting about 2000 miles away and looking in, I would say the Rockies would be the “standard of silliness”…

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