As 2020 comes to a close, we will list the top 8 biggest mistakes of 2020. Why 8? Given 2020 is well 2020, I felt its only right to only do a weird number like 8 to cap off this odd year.
8: Washington Football Team cutting Dwayne Haskins
The Washington Football team drafted Haskins, less than two years ago. The team spent a top 15 pick on someone they hoped would be their franchise leader at the team’s most important position for a minimum of 10 years. In less than 2 years, the two sides departed ways. To cut a first-round pick is a disaster, but to cut a first-round pick who plays quarterback after less than two years is a Titanic level disaster. The mistake is not cutting Haskins, but drafting him.
The owner of the Washington Football team, Dan Snyder, over ruled his coaches and scouting department and made an “executive” decision to draft Haskins. The problem was Haskins had maturity and leadership deficiencies that are essential to succeed at the most important position in the NFL. Washington officials brought up the deficiencies, but Snyder knows best and thought the story of a local kid coming back to lead the franchise and coaching could change Haskins.
A Coaching change, many off the field blunders and poor play led to the demise of Haskins being on Washington’s team. The lesson in this fiasco is that when you hire competent staff and officials to help you run your organization, listen to their inputs instead of disregarding them and making your own “executive” decision.
7: LA Clippers blow 3–1 lead in playoffs to lose second round series to Denver Nuggets
The 2019–2020 NBA Season was supposed to be the LA Clippers Year. The team had a great offseason and acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and were the favorites to win the NBA title. COVID-19 happened, and the NBA took a break, then resumed play in a bubble. The playoffs were going as predicted and The Western Conference Finals appeared like it was going to be Lakers vs Clippers matchup. The match up was the dream match up the NBA fans and basketball enthusiasts looked forward too.
The Clippers were always the ugly stepchild of Los Angeles sports, always living in the big brother Lakers large shadow. Finally, the Clippers would get to outshine the Lakers. All they had to do was dispose of the Nuggets. The Clippers were up 3 games to 1 on the Nuggets and all they needed was one more victory to battle the Lakers. A collapse of an epic proportion occurred, the Clippers lost three straight games to lose the series. Game 7 wasn’t even close as it looked like the Clippers just rolled over.
A lack of leadership and players not wanting to be in the bubble were reasons brought up for the Clippers collapse. All these factors contributed, but there was one other factor that also factored in poor coaching.
Doc Rivers is a respected coach in the NBA, he led the 2008 Boston Celtics to the NBA title. Rivers is excellent with player relations, but not so great with coaching Xs and Os. Doc usually coached teams with top talent, but with the playoffs, basketball talent alone won’t win an NBA title. Rivers had Tom Thibodeau in Boston, a great Xs and Os coach, but with the Clippers he had no such coach on his staff.
The result was playoff flame out after flame out with talented Clipper rosters. The most spectacular flameout was the one against the Nuggets. Nikola Jokic is a top player in the NBA and Rivers refused to adjust his defense or rotations against him, The result was Jokic and Jamal Murray carved up the Clippers and knocked them out of the playoffs. The defeat was an embarrassing, franchise soul shaking defeat. They labeled Rivers the fall guy, and they fired him because of the defeat. Don’t cry for Rivers though, he quickly landed on his feet with the head coaching job of the Philadelphia 76ers. Hopefully Rivers has a Thibodeau like person on this staff.
6. Joe Biden on the Breakfast club.
Joe Biden, our President-elect, is most known for being Vice President under Barack Obama. We also know Biden for making serious gaffes, and the 2020 election cycle would prove to be no different. On May 22, 2020 Biden did an interview with Charlamagne Tha God on the Breakfast Club radio show. At the end of the interview Biden stated, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” This statement did not go over well in the black community. Biden later apologized and won the 2020 U.S. presidential election, so the gaffe didn’t hurt him too bad. The statement Biden made however is a gaffe that many people have made for centuries.
No one of any other race, ethnicity or sex should define what the perimeters of being a member of another race, ethnicity or sex is. The statement appears clueless and tone deaf. Biden was trying to appear cool and hip with the statement, but ended up coming off out of touch. There was no reason to make that statement. Biden being the Democratic nominee and just being not Trump was guaranteed to get 85% of the African American vote. There was zero reason to throw that line in, but Biden couldn’t help himself.
Hillary Clinton did a similar thing when she appeared on the Breakfast Club in 2016. Clinton answered a question about something she always carries in her purse, her response was “hot sauce”. If you believe Clinton carries around hot sauce in her purse, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
Both statements were political pandering, plain and simple. In 2024, I hope Presidential election hopefuls can just talk to African Americans as the regular humans they are instead of pandering with racial stereotypes hoping to get votes. It doesn’t work and appears clueless about how to talk to other races.
5. Iowa Caucus fiasco.
The Iowa Caucus is the first primary election of the U.S. Presidential election cycle. The Caucus is a crown jewel of Iowa, and Iowans look forward to having the first say in who will be the Presidential nominees. In 2020, the Iowa Democratic Party got with the times and made an app to report the results of the caucuses. With the eyes of America on Iowa to see who won its caucuses, the Iowa Democratic party dropped the ball, fumbled it and lit it on fire. The results of the caucuses were not known until 3 days after the voting was over. The caucus results were rifled with errors and inconsistencies that affected the outcome. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg both claimed victory in the confusion. Election coverage moved to New Hampshire before we found out who won the caucus (Buttigieg won). Iowa missed its time in the sun, and many in the democratic party called for a revision of the whole caucus process. Iowa Democratic Chairman Troy Price resigned because of the fiasco.
4. Nick Cannon’s Wild’n anti Sematic statements
Nick Cannon is best known for his acting, tv show hosting and behind-the-scenes success in entertainment. He’s less known for his rapping ability but hey we can’t excel in everything right? Cannon had brought to light more African American history and Afro-centric culture on his YouTube series Cannon’s class. More power to Nick, as these are issues that deserve more spotlight in today’s culture. Cannon interviewed Professor Griff in an episode. In the episode, both participants engaged in anti-Sematic conspiracy theories. They asked why, “we give so much power to the ‘theys,’ and the ‘theys’ turn into illuminati, the Zionists, the Rothschilds”. For those who are unaware, the Rothschilds refers to the wealthy Jewish family. Rothschilds is also a dog whistle term like “Urban” or “BLM” the term is code for anti-Semitism.
Viacom fired Nick Cannon for his comedy show Wild N’ Out over the comments. Cannon apologized and conducted many meetings with Rabbis, but the damage was done. One of the fundamental mistakes with racism is that people use it to scape goat different people for all of their troubles and worries in life. Adolf Hitler blamed Jewish people and others for the economic troubles Germany was going through during his rise to power. The people took to his speeches because it’s far easier to blame others for our troubles, than to look and bring change from inside. The real reason for the troubles was the staggering debt Germany was forced to pay for its role in World War I, but Hitlers theory was easier to cope with. Im not denying that racism doesn’t exist, but to solely blame another group for all your troubles and worries doesn’t help solve the problem. That line of thinking just provides an easy scapegoat instead of looking for hard, introspective answers to really solve the issues.
The idea sounded promising a streaming service that only did short 10 minute segments. Quibi could be a service you viewed on the go, while riding the subway, or waiting in Doctor’s office or restaurants. Quibi was backed by startup and entertainment big wigs like Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Meg Whitman. The cost for the service would be the same as Hulu. The company made $150 million before the app was even launched by signing advertisement deals with companies like Progressive, T-Mobile, Anheuser-Busch, Walmart, General Mills, Procter & Gamble and Pepsi. Sounds like a guaranteed success, right? Quibi was out of business in 6 months. What happened? Marketing miscues and lawsuits over its technology were enormous factors in its demise, but Quibi made many more mistakes.
a. No ability to share content
In the age of social media and an age where people try to share everything about them right down to their DNA, Quibi made the curious choice not to have the ability to share its contents. A smart idea would have been able to give consumers the right to share clips of its shows with friends, so that more people would want to watch Quibi, Quibi disagreed and its audience never grew.
b. Inability to view content on anything besides cellular phones
Cell phones have become larger and larger and Quibi initial mission was to be content you watched on the go while you were away from your home . The problem is, people wanted the alternative of watching Quibi on their smart TVs or tablets, and Quibi allowed no such thing. Why did Quibi limit the type of devices you can view its content on? We can only guess.
c. Bad timing
They designed Quibi for a mobile world where people are on the go 24/7. COVID-19 hit the world and changed our entire lives. Instead of being out and about, people are confined to their homes. Given the above issue listed in b., people had no way to view Quibi and people weren’t trying to watch it on their phones while they were confined to their homes.
Quibi only ended having 500,000 subscribers, well below its promised goal of 7 million subscribers. The idea behind Quibi seems not well thought out in hindsight. They targeted a market that had a long list of failures before it and also a market that has free, entertaining content (i.e. YouTube, TIK Tok, etc…) ,Why would anyone pay for Quibi? No one did, and it led to its quick demise.
2. Governors quickly reopened states after COVID-19 quarantines.
Covid-10 rearranged everyone’s lives and cost others theirs. State and local government responded by shutting down all non-essential businesses to stop the spread. The move helped and the number of new Covid cases were going down. Governors, feeling pressure from the business community, started reopening businesses, including bars in May and June. Like clockwork, new Covid cases cropped up in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida and most of the recent cases were linked to crowded bars.
The thinking that allowing people to resume drinking a substance that impairs your judgment in crowded places in the middle of a pandemic. Well, who couldn’t see the numbers rising? I know it was the summer and everyone yearned to get back to normal life and enjoy the sunshine but ,were now in the middle of winter with most things still shut down and no end in sight. Short term over long term thinking gets us every time.
One thing I will miss about Trump no longer being the President, is that I have to find a new person to put a top my annual mistakes list. Trump has won the top spot two years running. That’s one thing Trump won this year! There are so many mistakes Trump made this year, it’s hard to name just one, so I’ll go over a few of many.
a. Stubborn America
Japan, South Korea, Germany and New Zealand and other countries had far fewer Covid cases, far fewer deaths, and far fewer disruptions to the economy and public education. The United States with all its vast resources is probably the country best prepared to handle a pandemic, and well we failed miserably. Why? Poor leadership. The other aforementioned countries let health experts make tough decisions that they were trained to make. All the countries emphasized testing, use of masks, social distancing and tracing of outbreaks. All things the U.S.A. was slow to do or did once the pandemic spread out of control.
b. Politics over public health
Trump kept downplaying how serious COVID-19 is. He kept referring to it as like the flu and that it would just go away. Our President had a Presidential election to win and downplaying the seriousness of Covid, helped bolster his stance as the leader and that he can make all bad things disappear. Trump was wrong about the virus, and it ravaged our country. Trump ended up losing the election to a candidate that listened to health officials.
c. Mask, what’s a mask?
Donald Trump, our executive in chief, refused to wear a mask during the height of the Pandemic. It was better to showcase himself as a strong, healthy leader who ignored the advice of his health officials, than to set an example that the nation can follow to help get through the virus. Later in the year, Trump to the surprise of no one caught COVID-19. The shame was the thousands of other people who followed the President’s example, caught and spread Covid. They did all of that so they could exercise their personal “freedom”.
d. Refusal to admit defeat
It is December 31, 2020 today, and President Trump has yet to admit he lost the 2020 Presidential election. He is still trying to invalidate election results, to show he actually won. His ongoing Don Quixote crusade is undermining the American public trust in the election process. There’s no smoking gun, no mountains of evidence, nothing at all to back up Trump’s baseless claims, yet his minions and him think they were robbed of the election.
There have been some contentious election results in American history, but in all situations the out going President eventually conceded defeat and made the incoming President’s transition as smooth as possible. But this is 2020 and Trump is our President, It will be interesting to see he handles Biden’s Inauguration. Trump is the obnoxious kid that brought the ball to the playground, his team loses and he refuses to concede defeat. He then takes his ball and goes home, depriving everyone else of the opportunity to continue playing. This is who we elected President and was running our country in 2020. This year was a year of many lessons, and hopefully we can learn from them to not repeat them in the future.
Originally published at https://mwmblog.com on January 1, 2021.