2010 List of Blunders

Sure I could close out the year talking about the triumphs for the 2010 calendar year, but that would be soooo boring.  Here is my list of head-scratching fails this year in no particular order.  Be forewarned, a lot of these are sports related.

Michael Jordan’s Hitler mustache – He doesn’t make many missteps, but count Jordan’s Hitler-esque mustache in his Hanes commercials as possibly his biggest bonehead move since trying to make it in baseball. This is the problem with becoming an icon before you die.  People aren’t honest with you.  They just tell you what you want to hear.  How else do you explain no one in his Airness’s life telling him, “Hey, Michael that Hitler ‘stache is so 1930’s Germany”?

Maryland fires the ACC’s coach of the year – For some inexplicable reason, the University of Maryland decided to cut ties with Ralph Friedgen, Maryland alum and successful head football coach for their program the last ten years.  He had a bowl record of 7-2, and he inherited a program that was basically dead and it took him only one year to turn it around.  Yet, apparently it wasn’t enough.  Here’s hoping he gets a job in conference and gets a chance to punish his former employers for years to come.

Lane Kiffin proves Al Davis right – We all thought Al Davis was just being a bitter old man when he held a press conference to berate Lane Kiffin a few years ago, but it turns out the old Raider was right.  Lane Kiffin is a brat with zero loyalty to the people who give him opportunities to coach the greatest game on the planet.  He left Tennessee after just one year to take his “dream job” at USC and, as karma would have it, walked into a nightmare filled with NCAA violations, lost scholarships and a two-year ban from bowls.  Kiffin didn’t leave Tennessee quietly.  Turns out he had his assistants on the phone trying to convince a handful of Tennessee recruits to follow him to Southern Cal. You know what they say about reaping what you sow.

Obama Congratulates the Eagles for employing Michael Vick – I covered this in yesterday’s post, but it’s worth repeating.  This was a stupid move by a very smart man.  I’m not sure why he felt the need to praise an organization for employing a man who tortured and killed innocent animals, but it pissed me off, and I’m an Obama supporter.  This shows an uncomfortable lapse in judgment on his part.

Mel Gibson just can’t control himself – I’m of the mind that Mr. Gibson was a nice guy at one time that got along with everybody, but something has fried his brain.  For some strange reason, he decided to leave highly inflammatory and threatening messages on his estranged girlfriend’s answering machine. Even his staunchest supporters had a hard time defending his over-the-top rants. He revealed himself to be a misoneist that is capable of being very scary.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that biting the heads off kittens is his favorite hobby.

Simon and Schuster gives Snooki a book deal – In an act that verifies the publishing industry has given up, Simon and Schuster signed Jersey Shore twit Snooki to a publishing deal.  We’re not talking about a lame memoir or a literary tour of her favorite tanning booths.  We’re talking about a novel.  The pint-sized booze-bag openly admits to only reading two books in her life. It will have a week of modest sales and may be read by a handful of people.  Way to go Simon and Schuster.  You just squandered a publishing deal that could have gone to a deserving writer… yes, I mean me.

BP and the government’s response to a horrific oil spill – For months we watched as an oil company with more money than God, floundered and fumbled and failed at stopping an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico stemming from a Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. For some reason, our government decided to let BP take control of the disaster instead of stepping in and handling it themselves.  That would have been fine if BP was run by competent people, but it became apparent early on that they had no idea what they were doing. In fact, it became apparent that no one really knew what to do.  BP worked harder at repairing their public image than they did at capping the leak.

NBC’s late night shell game comes to an awkward end – NBC split with the funniest man on their network, Conan O’Brien, because they couldn’t part with a cardboard cutout of Jay Leno… wait, you mean that’s actually Jay Leno?  Whoa!  The experiment of moving Leno to 10:00 pm five nights a week had one major drawback, Jay Leno.  A primetime audience was reminded why most of them didn’t stay up to watch him when he was on Late Night.  He’s not that funny.  He’s a terrible interviewer, and he doesn’t even really look like he wants to be there.  His show started to hurt NBC’s affiliate’s local news ratings that followed his timeslot because the audience simply left the channel to watch something more interesting like the TV Guide Channel.  NBC’s solution?  Fire O’Brien and move Leno back to where not many people see him.  O’Brien landed on his feet on TBS, and probably will soon rule late night for as long he decides to do his show.

The outrage over Bristol Palin’s success on Dancing with the Stars – The daughter of the most polarizing figure in politics, Bristol Palin, landed a spot on the curiously popular Dancing with the Stars television show and managed to make it to the finals even though she couldn’t dance.  In fact, some called her the anti-dancer.  Either fans of the show or people who want Sarah Palin to fall in a deep hole and disappear were outraged.  It was clear that Bristol’s mother’s supporters were rigging the vote by…. well, voting for her and ruining the integrity of the show. What the outraged masses failed to realize is that IT”S A STUPID DANCE COMPETITION ON A NETWORK TELEVISION SHOW.  In the grand scheme of things, it matters less than what I had for breakfast this morning.  Some idiot even shot his TV because Bristol got voted through to the next round.

Andrew Shirvell takes bullying to a whole new level – Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell went on a private crusade to stalk and harass University of Michigan’s student body president Chris Armstrong.  Why?  Because the 21-year-old college student is openly gay.  Shirvell, a UM grad, is afraid Armstrong has a gay agenda that will turn the entire Wolverine student body into flaming homosexuals.  The staunch heterosexual created an anti Chris Armstrong blog and followed the student around campus with protest signs.  The problem was it was a one man protest.  His actions got him on CNN, cost him his job and has been deemed the worst possible way to let ladies everywhere know you’re a single heterosexual male.

That’s it for 2010, but never fear, 2011 is sure to be filled with even worse missteps and misdeeds.  Thank God for the human condition!

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Lane Kiffin – The Clown Prince of College Football

I love a good gloat.  As a Tennessee fan nothing warmed my heart more than hearing the news that the University of Southern Cal was slapped with severe penalties by the NCAA for committing 18 recruiting violations.  Now, I feel bad for the student athletes and the fans of the Trojans.  They are paying a high price for someone else’s sins. But, I do not feel bad for the head football coach Lane Kiffin. In fact, I am positively giddy that he was flattened by the NCAA freight train of poetic justice.  And make no mistake about it, he deserved to suffer the brunt of these penalties, and I don’t say that because of what he did to my Volunteers. No, no.  Kiffin’s fingerprints are all over these violations.

The Clown Prince of College Football Finally Gets Busted!

During Lane Kiffin’s brief stint as head coach of the University of Tennessee’s football program he regaled the Big Orange nation with story after story of his recruiting prowess.  Hearing him speak, you would have thought he built a time machine and convinced O.J. Simpson to play for the Trojans.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but he often made claims that he was instrumental in recruiting Reggie Bush, and beyond his glowing lack of character, there is no reason to doubt Kiffin’s claims.  According to KFFL, this was his career trajectory at Southern Cal before he took the job with the Oakland Raiders:

In his six seasons at Southern California, Kiffin went from working as tight ends coach to serving as the program’s receivers coach, offensive coordinator and top recruiting coordinator this past season. He was considered one of the most sought-after young coaching minds and talent evaluators in college football before Davis snatched him up.

Kiffin is clearly at the center of these violations, and no one should feel bad because he is saddled with Pete Carroll’s baggage.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Pete Carroll’s reputation has been sullied by his association with Kiffin.  If you think I’m just lashing out as a bitter Tennessee fan, you are partly right.  I can’t stand the guy for the way he disrespected Tennessee’s fans and program.  But there’s also his track record.  The man has held more press conferences explaining his bad behavior and poor decisions than Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, and Jesse James combined.  He even admitted to recruiting violations at Tennessee while being on the job just a few months.  The clown is a menace to integrity, and it’s finally catching up to him.

The one thing that saddens me about this whole thing is that I was hoping that the current crop of players at Tennessee would somehow get a shot at playing Kiffin’s Trojans in a bowl game before they graduated.  Now it doesn’t look like it will happen.  If there is a God, Lane Kiffin will be out of football before USC finishes its probationary period.  So long, Lane.  It’s been nice seeing you get what you deserve.

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