Tuesday, November 05, 2013

As the Dolphins Flip....

It's kind of like a soap opera in the land of the Dolphins, and I think the name fits.

As most of you know, I don't post much about the team. But when it comes to absurdities, well, that's when I get interested.  And certainly, this story is just so wonderfully absurd that it's worth following and commenting on.

Sure, many of you will say "its just football" - but keep in mind that if a private golf club can face scrutiny for not admitting women, then certainly the VERY public NFL (albeit not the ownership but there is this "partnership" that Goodell talks about) deserves this attention.

And the culture of the sport WILL change, whether the players or the fans like it or not.  While Incognito in particular, and the Dolphins are at the center of this, you have to believe this is what all teams have going on, and what many players do.  And now someone has to step in and stop it.

Maybe its the league.  Maybe its the Players Association.  Maybe its the government.  Maybe its a lawsuit.  In any case, this is not over.

I hear some people saying "lets focus on football!"  But why?  The NFL is all about entertainment, and this defines entertainment.  Yeah, there will be games on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday (when the Dolphins cap off the weekend) - and for those moments, the games will matter.  But in between?  Gotta love this.

Cam Wake had his first media availability yesterday after his safety to end the game - and not a single reporter cared.  And that pissed him off.  Fantastic stuff right there.

And back to the story at hand.  Incognito said some "inappropriate" things (anywhere else in society, he would have been fired, shunned, and sued in the time it takes you to read this sentence).  Jonathan Martin wigged out and quit.

The coach was mum, then gives a song and a dance that included a timeline which seemed like it was missing some information, and was perhaps wrong on a few points then says "I didn't know what I didn't know until I knew what I knew" or some such nonsense.

He says that he's responsible for the culture in the locker room but didn't know.  I call BS on that.  EVERY coach knows what's going on.  He was simply hoping no one would find out because again its the "culture of football"...then we come to realize that his statements mean that the media scooped him on a story in his own locker room.  So either he's lying or he's a dumbass.

And here's where it gets really fun: the owner himself called the NFL and asked for an investigation.  It wasn't "the team" or the GM, or even the CEO.  He wants someone independent to look into this further.  Why?  Because this is an embarrassment to him.  And he knows his pledge of transparency is absolute nonsense.

My understanding is that he opened his wallet to (a) try and make himself more sympathetic to get stadium improvements and (b) to make the team more competitive and put fans in seats.  They didn't get the stadium deal (and Mike Dee paid for that with his job) and they sit at a mediocre 4-4 and I think about 338 fans showed up on Halloween.

And now there's this.  Its business first with Mr. Ross, and he met with Ireland and Philbin a few weeks ago to talk about the losing streak and attendance.  The 'rumor' is that if he finds out this was a known situation that Philbin didn't handle, Philbin will be gone.  And Ireland is on a short leash because he plucked a bad reputation Incognito and drafted Martin.  And the Pouncey thing bears watching for him as well.

Incognito has (as I hear it) been told he's no longer welcome in the facility and won't play here (or in the NFL) again.  Martin will seek treatment for something (not sure if he has a social disorder or if it specific to the bullying) and won't return for "several" weeks.

So no matter how you look at it, its a mess.  If the coach had already started to lose the team (which we hear he had) and now this?  Well, enjoy the 4-4 start, cause its going downhill from here...
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Please Debbie Downer - Incognito is a jerk and Martin is just plain soft. Martin won't be back, if he was still playing left tackle none of this would have happened. His feelings were hurt when the Dolphins were forced to upgrade LT instead of RT. You fail to recognize that every team in the NFL does this and that guys like Incognito use profanity and racial slurs to his friends - and 99% of the time no one cares. Once the information came out there was no way Incognito was going to be back, but I still think Martin went about this all wrong and I don't think it sunk the team. We will be 5-4 after Monday and don't forget - the addition of McKinnie has made a huge difference with our O-line. The media is making this out to be a bigger deal than it is because our society has gone soft. This is football - I want tough guys on the line, Why not write a story on what a jerk Junior Seau was to rookies?


I suppose it would be true of any team's fans, should this happen to their team - collectively we become apologists and want it just to go away. Here are some followup comments for you Zaf (and others):
(a) this football culture, and we want our guys to be tough has to stop. Its a changing society, not a soft one. In any other place in the world, what happened would not be tolerated, so why should it be here?
(ii) there is nothing wrong with hazing. You call someone a name. You make him carry your pads. You hide his stuff. You make him stand up and sing his college fight song. Those are all inside the lines - when you cross that line, its wrong.
(3) Junior Seau's antics would not have been tolerated today. He came into the NFL almost a quarter century ago, when such things were acceptable or maybe encouraged.

Simply saying that's the way it is doesn't help anything. The NFL itself is evolving - face masks, hitting a defenseless receiver, and helmet-helmet hits now always get penalties and fines. Where a few years ago they didn't. And at one point in time, a concussion was "getting your bell rung" and no one seemed to care.

We'v reached the point of no return on things like these. And now the culture has to change as well.