Deadspin Knowingly Released Information That Got The Tony Dungy-USC Prankster Arrested

  • Jake O'Donnell

Deadspin is known throughout the sports media world for their uncanny ability to get sensitive information out of their readers. It’s like crowdsourcing for scandals. A brilliant concept for the website — not so brilliant for the readers who submit content. Case in point:

Kenneth Tarr, the man responsible for numerous prank phone calls to professional athletes/coaches, sent them an email back in October revealing what he had done. They published videos of his prank calls, and the email, verbatim. Like, including his name.

Now Ken Tarr is being held in a Los Angeles County jail on $20,000 bond for illegally recording people without their consent. Thanks for the prank calls, sucker. Don’t drop the soap!

Disclaimer: Ken Tarr is a bit of a fame-obsessed douchebag who kinda/sorta got what was coming to him. He’s appeared on Judge Joe Brown show wearing a terrifying mask, misrepresented himself on numerous outlets as “a gypsy caravan leader,” and admittedly is fame-obsessed (the douchebag part is implicit). His most famous act of deception was convincing Tony Dungy he’d been offered the USC job — to the point that Dungy actually told Dan Patrick HE HAD BEEN OFFERED THE USC JOB.

Oh. My. God. Stop the presses. (If you watch Tarr work, you’ll notice how relatively unconvincing he is, which makes it seems like Tarr’s only skill is getting these phone numbers in the first place.) Other prankees include University of Hawaii coach Norm Chow, Cardinals coach Ken Wisenhunt, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, and Warriors coach Mark Jackson. Not exactly the sports world’s A-list, but don’t tell Tarr that.

Tarr reportedly told KNBC he was on a “new frontier of broadcast journalism and sports media,” calling himself, “Like the world’s most safe criminal.” Ahem, definitely not the world’s most grammatically sound criminal, but that’s not the point. As it turns out, he wasn’t that safe at all because that overconfidence he was toting around was like a loaded gun. Ready to kill his little prankster celebrity party.

Here’s the self-promotional email that got him popped [via Deadspin]:

From: Kenny Tarr
Sent: 4:22 PM EDT
Subject: Hi I hoaxed Tony Dungy
call me [phone number redacted] Here is a video of me offering Mark Jackson the Lakers job. It is a matter of time till I make headline news again with my sports hoaxes.

In the pantheon of pathetic statements, this one is king: “It is a matter of time till I make headline news again with my sports hoaxes.” Now he’s in a jail somewhere in Hollywood with quite possibly the worst excuse for incarceration.

[] Kenneth Tarr was arrested at his home in Hollywood and booked on suspicion of felony eavesdropping, Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Sally Madera said. The charge involves recording phone conversation without the consent of the people on the calls, Madera said.

Scary Inmate covered in tattoos: What’re ya in for?
Kenny Tarr: Prank calls.
Scary Inmate covered in tattoos: Cool. I killed someone.

So what’s the lesson here? What’s the moral of the story? A few things. One, we know that people who are obsessed with becoming famous WILL do just about anything (or at least think they can do anything). Two, they’ll let their guard down and reveal their actual identity in order to get the credit they think they deserve (Batman they are not). Three, if you email Deadspin, they can/will publish it.

Lesson: Just stick to singing, acting, politics, and sports for fame. This prankster shit doesn’t pay.

Photos via Deadspin