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 on 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.

Well, we've made it through another whole year. Every month, I've found a brand new batch of completely stupid sports stories. Thus, we wrap up 2016 as we inevitably had to: With the 10 Dumbest Stories of 2016.

10. J.R. Smith high fives Jason Terry during a play, lets up easy layup. First off, a look at our Honorable Mentions:

OK, back to J.R Smith. Honestly, this should make you love him -- and miss him -- more.

9. Brackileaks. Oh, don't think we're ever gonna let CBS forget that the one document they pay billions of dollars to protect was leaked halfway through their sacred telecast. Remember, too: They totally deserved this to happen.  

8. Chris Sale doesn't like throwback jersey, cuts it into shreads, gets suspended for it. Add this to Sale's "Adam LaRoche's son was a leader in this clubhouse" comments and … well, Chris Sale meets The Boston Press should be interesting!

7. Bill Belichick writes a note to Donald Trump on the eve of the election. Seriously, of all the things we learned in 2016, "Belichick writes in private the way Trump talks" is one of the more staggering ones.

"Congratulations on a tremendous campaign. You have to help with an unbelievable slanted and negative media and have come out beautifully. You have proven to be the ultimate competitor fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you for the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow's election, the results will give the opportunity to make America great again.

Best wishes for great results tomorrow,

Bill Belichick"

6. Curt Schilling does something. Schilling did lots of things this year! You should still vote him in the Hall of Fame. But you also should not forget this:

(Probably don't need to reiterate this, but, uh, Prince never said that.)

5. All-Star Game tenor randomly throws "All Lives Matter" into "O, Canada." This was totally an appropriate message at an appropriate time!

Those blasted rogue tenors!

4. Tebow is a baseball player now! Well, sort of. The Mets want him at Spring Training, but he's not sure he wants to show up yet. Sounds like the sort of drive that propels all our great baseball stars.

Also, sorry, this will never not make me laugh.

3. Ryan Lochte's Rio misadventures. This hasn't been the best year for America's image around he world, but nothing we did -- well, almost nothing -- was worse than let this dolt loose upon the world wearing our flag.

2. Guy eats horse poop off the ground at Cavaliers victory celebration parade. The human soul is a many splendored beast.

1. Deflategate. It ended this year -- right? Right? -- so we give it one last spot atop this list out of respect and honor. Now please, please never come back.

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Email me at leitch@sportsonearth.com; follow me @williamfleitch; or just shout out your window real loud, I'll hear you. Point is, let's talk.