How many of you have heard of the Darwin Awards?
More than 30 years ago, a newsgroup began discussions about people who met their ultimate demise in a rather silly manner.
As its website states: “In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species' chances of long-term survival."
Honorable mentions are awarded to those who survive their stupidity.
It's given way to a series of successful books to chronicle some of these stories for posterity.
If you look on Twitter now, you can follow a handle that posts videos (non-lethal, of course) of people doing stupid things, kind of like "America's Funniest Home Videos" with more pain involved. You see people doing things like trying to ride a surfboard off a roof, jump a skateboard over a dumpster or ride an office chair down a steep hill. You can envision the outcomes.
The folks in the videos must have thought they could really pull it off, but probably didn't think through the consequences of failure.
We think about this sort of thing as we watch see how the NFL season has started. The dominating story so far hasn't been great performances, but about someone who has yet to take a snap.
Antonio Brown isn't catching passes, but his off-field antics, sheer stupidity and alleged behavior have dominated the headlines — and not in a good way.
It makes you wonder why the Raiders and Patriots really thought they could pull this thing off with an embattled receiver.
There were plenty of red flags about Brown from the start.
It wasn't always this way, but the Pittsburgh Steelers now are one of the best run organizations in the NFL. The Rooney family is beloved by so many who have worn the black and gold.
Star players are idolized by the fans.
Brown certainly received his share of this adulation. In each of the last six seasons, Brown has caught more than 100 passes for more than 1,200 yards. He has snared 67 TD catches over those seasons.
He had the most lucrative contract in the NFL for a receiver, paying him $17 million per year, but he wanted out of the Steel City
What went wrong?
Publicly feuding with your quarterback isn't a good thing. Showing up late for meetings and blowing off practices won't help.
Pittsburgh also found that giving a player star treatment doesn't always yield the dividends you want.
So the Steelers traded a future Hall of Famer for third-round and fifth-round draft picks from Oakland. While that deal appeared awful light, it looks like a bargain now.
The Raiders, who will be in Las Vegas next season, were willing to overlook some of the things that caused problems in Pittsburgh.
What were they thinking?
Brown's short tenure with the Raiders was punctuated by frost-bitten feet from a cryotherapy session, disputes over approved NFL helmets, a public spat with the team's GM, the release of a private phone call with the head coach and a request of social media to be released.
The Raiders decided Brown wasn't worth the headaches and waived him outright.
New England, who tried to make a deal with the Steelers, jumped at the chance to sign Brown.
Maybe the Patriots thought that given their success years ago with Randy Moss, another troubled, yet talented receiver, that they could pull it off again.
Brown wasn't with the Patriots a week before he was hit with a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault. The league is investigating the matter and if the lawsuit has merit Brown could find himself unable to practice or play at some point.
That's not exactly the drama that Bill Belichick wants to deal with each week.
Sometimes you take a chance and pull it off.
But the wipeouts can really hurt you.
Right Mr. Darwin?