Back in January 2015, out of total frustration with the profound idiocy of the Deflategate controversy, my editors here at Sports on Earth and I began discussing where it ranked among the dumbest sports stories of all time. Then I realized: When you take a step back, all sports stories are pretty dumb. We think these things are so important at the time, and people on television yell at each other at increasingly loud volumes about them, and then a week later we move on to something else.
Thus, a regular feature: a look at the 10 dumbest sports controversies of each month. It is shockingly easy to come up with them -- stories that rattle around the sports biosphere, get us all riled up and then go away.
10. Georgia athletic director apologizes for giving Ludacris condoms. Greg McGarity -- a man who shops at the same Publix in Athens, Ga., that I do, for what it's worth -- admitted that he regretted the already infamous rider in the contract of rapper Ludacris, who performed for 13 minutes (and was paid $65,000) at Georgia's Spring Game. He said, "few things in my professional life have bothered me more than this situation." Remember, that rider had condoms, tequila (Patron, of course), vodka, cognac and, for good measure, one Crest Spin rechargeable toothbrush. It is perhaps not a coincidence that this was most exciting Georgia Spring Game in decades.
9. Matt Harvey is a monster! Wait, no he's not! Man, do Mets fans -- and their media -- ever lose their minds about Harvey. We have gone from "Let him pitch!" in the World Series to Harvey struggling early to Harvey the evil terrible person who won't talk to the nice media people to Harvey throwing a shutout and having everyone love him again. It's almost as if baseball is a difficult game with millions of different variables that are not nightly referendums on a person's worth as a human being.
8. Michael Wilbon thinks black people don't like analytics. I think that's what he was saying? He was really just saying, of course, "Michael Wilbon doesn't like analytics." Here's a better fisking of Wilbon than I can give here.
7. Tony LaRussa invades Pirates booth and a fight ensues. This is some good between-innings banter! I supposed it was inevitable that when LaRussa began watching games in skyboxes, there would be fights in skyboxes.
6. Drunk refs! Drunk refs.
5. The NCAA bans "props" from dugouts during College Softball World Series. One of the more enjoyable subplots from past CSWS have been teams wearing mascot masks and being goofy to inspire rallies during big games. No more!
Do you like this?
Well, that's over now. "The point of emphasis that we're talking about is our coaches are responsible for ensuring that their players are legally equipped and properly attired to reflect a positive image of the game," said some NCAA stiff.
4. The Milwaukee Bucks fall prey to online scam and give out players' financial information. It's a hacking scam, and can I say I'm pleasantly surprised no one has blamed the Cardinals yet?
3. Horse Tweeting. Horse Tweeting!
The results are in I have an elevated white blood cell count, I will be treated w/stronger antibiotics. When ready, will be going home.- TheNyquist (@TheNyquistHorse) May 24, 2016
2. People believe Dikembe Mutombo had a scoop on the NBA Draft Lottery. This absolutely did not happen -- the Tweet itself was a completely innocuous "let's go get 'em!" before the lottery began, albeit one that was phrased inelegantly -- but people are going to talk about this for years like it's a real thing. I hate the internet sometimes.
1. Tom Brady is appealing his suspension. Again. He has every rightt to do that, of course, and I even hope he wins … but this story has now gone on for 500 days. It's possible it exists only to make me, personally, unhappy.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow me @williamfleitch; or just shout out your window real loud, I'll hear you. Point is, let's talk.