Thanksgiving 2013: Believe It or Not, I Am Thankful for Idiots
The tendency for many in my business, those who have a broadcasted voice and a platform, is to preach to the ne'er-do-wells and the meatheads, preach that they stop with their chicanery, stop with their self-destructive behavior, stop with their narcissism.
Truthfully, I never get why my peers do this.
I mean, without the morons, without the fools, how do we fill in the other 75 percent of the content wheel in radio and print? After all, most of what we discuss each day consists of people screwing up royally, and many times in the most idiotic ways possible. Let me make this very clear -- I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!
No, no, no, not the Aaron Hernandezes of the world, not the violent criminals nor the sociopaths. The transgressors I'm talking about are more the misdemeanor variety (either actual misdemeanors or understood, societal misdemeanors). Indeed, I'm talking about your garden-variety idiot, not the kind of idiot who probably has a blood-splattered shirt hidden somewhere in his house.
And on this day where we give thanks, as someone who is responsible for 22 hours of radio and several thousand words of content each week, I want to thank the idiots!
In particular, four groups of you:
4. Twitter thugs
Bravery in most forms is an admirable trait. Bravery from behind a keyboard using an anonymous identity shrouded behind some user ID with multiple Z's, all CAPS and the number 69 in it somewhere isn't bravery, it's cowardice. Twitter does a lot of good things for the 2013 Web user, but it also provides an avenue for "keyboard courage" to flourish. In particular, it's become a tool for rabid college football fans to harass recruits, like Notre Dame fans did when nose tackle Eddie Vanderdoes chose to change his commitment to UCLA, and for insane professional sports fans like the ones who threatened to flog Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley because he accidentally hurt Russell Westbrook's knee in the playoffs.
I mean, say what you will about the Iron Sheik, but at least when he bullied Arian Foster off of Twitter, he did it using his own identity and his own name. (I'm pretty sure that the name on his driver's license is "Sheik, The I.")
3. Random idiots on video (Zapruder!)
In the content generation business, it's always good to have a gimmick to fall back on, and it appears as though I've stumbled into mine. There's nothing cooler than getting a random YouTube video sent to me and having a person request that I "Zapruder" it. It's flattering, and dammit, it's fun!
The idiots can come in many flavors. For example, there was 50 Cent trying to kiss Erin Andrews on the infield of a NASCAR race. (Hint: She was not down with that.) The Zapruder gimmick gave us a chance to provide hard-hitting analysis on a relevant topic like Riley Cooper's apology for use of a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert.
But the sweet nectar of the Zapruder gimmick is tasted when random civilians fall on their faces -- either by reaching for their 15 minutes of fame, by pounding the ever-loving crap out of another sports fan at a live event, or by...well...actually falling on their faces!
My plea to society: Please keep filming everything you do. It helps pay my bills!
2. Royce White
At the end of the year, I'm going to go back and add up the numbers and see which sports personality or topic garnered the most posts by me on this blog. I'm going to guess the winner will be Johnny Manziel, but former basketball player Royce White will not be far behind. If you're an athlete and you played exactly zero minutes of your sport's regular season during an entire calendar year, and yet I still wrote about you on a regular basis, go ahead and assume that you're probably an a-hole (or that you allegedly killed someone in cold blood in an office park in Massachusetts, which, to be clear, would also make you an a-hole).
Royce White found his way into my work by knocking up groupies, trash tweeting at Kevin Durant during the playoffs (from his home, not from anywhere near Toyota Center) and finding his way into a domestic violence investigation, among other things.
In fact, the only basketball reasons that led me to write about Royce White were ESPN.com's naming him the worst player in the league and the Sixers' subsequently validating that by cutting him before the season.
When it comes to idiots, it truly takes one to know one, and in 2013, when I wasn't falling for the Chandler Parsons food poisoning hoax (thanks a lot, Dream Shake!), I was dishing out weekends of football picks with like 40 percent winners against the spread like they were so many nickels and dimes. In fact, if you followed my picks this football season, you probably owe your bookie many, many nickels and dimes!
Because I suck at picking football this year, and as Gary Kubiak would say, that's on me. Well, "wagering" me, the biggest idiot of them all!
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! And long live the IDIOTS!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.!--strong-->