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. The gassiest red card. Swedish soccer player Adam Lindin Ljungkvist had been having some intestinal issues during a match between Järna SK's reserve team and Pershagen SK, so he, well, he passed gas. Loudly enough, apparently, that the referee heard him and thought it was a "deliberate provocation." (Which I suppose it always is.) So he gave him his second yellow card, leading to the red, leading to an ejection. Ljungkvist was unapologetic. "I asked the referee, 'What, am I not allowed to break wind a little?' 'No,' he replied … I don't get it but maybe he thought I farted in my hand and threw the fart at him. But I did not. […] I spoke to the referee afterward, I was annoyed, but there were no bad words. I just said he was a buffoon." Can I say I'm pretty surprised an angry manager has never tried to throw a fart at an umpire before?
9. Florida State gives out "state championship rings." Seriously, they gave out rings for beating all the Florida teams they played.
Do they give these out for being the best FBS team in Wyoming? (There is only one FBS team in Wyoming.)
8. The very bad school dunk. I can't say it any better than one of my favorite Deadspin headlines of all time: "Man Attempts To Dunk Over Seven Children, Dunks Over Six."
7. Draymond Green's month of groin terror. It started in late May and continued all June, to the point that Green's peculiarity with the nether regions of others may have contributed to his team not winning their second consecutive championship. This guy's going to cause an international incident at the Olympics.
6. Seth Smith calls off a fan. Baseball broadcasts have long honed their expertise at avoiding footage of Idiots on the Field … but you can't help but show a guy when he has a legitimate chance of catching a fly ball.
I was at this game in Seattle when it happened, and I swear, I was sure he was going to tackle Smith as the ball was coming toward him. That would have been the most baffling instant replay case yet.
5. Jeff Van Gundy's O.J. Simpson story. While doing an on-air promo for the brilliant "O.J.: Made in America" film, the ESPN analyst told this story.
There is absolutely no way this is true. Van Gundy's a smart guy. Does he really think that's true?
4. Stephen A. Smith has some thoughts about Stephen Curry's wife. The key to being Stephen A. Smith is being absolutely assured that you know more than everybody about everything, including "how to be an NBA superstar's wife."
3. Johnny Manziel's lawyer accidentally texts a reporter. Manziel, an addict who is ignoring everyone who is trying to help him, has enough problems without a lawyer who texts things like "Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle" to a reporter. He probably still billed the Manziel family for that hour.
2. Deflategate. It takes a lot to knock Deflategate out of the top spot, particularly when Ben Affleck gets a chance to weigh in.
1. Cleveland's poop eating fan. Is this the visual equivalent of the last 18 months of Deflategate stories? I think that it is.