Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Curiouser and Curiouser

That quote is from Alice in Wonderland, as Alice repeats it after she goes down the rabbit hole into a world that she can't quite understand. Which is where we find ourselves in Dolphins land. As far as I'm concerned, who cares about a game on Monday! This stuff is so ridiculous that it makes football seem irrelevant - but more on that in a bit.

We're looking at a team that is mired in a scandal, that is truly embarrassing and promises to become more so. How do I think it ranks against the Dolphins all time embarrassing stories? Well....

  • #10 - RB Cecil Collins breaking in to visit a sleeping woman; and getting chased out of the house by her husband
  • #9 - Cam Cameron telling us he wants his team to "fail forward fast."
  • #8 - Being told that Bill Parcells is "upstairs watching film" -- when he had long-since cleaned out his desk.
  • #7 - Jimmy Johnson telling us "we got a chance be something special"
  • #6 - Ricky Williams quitting to find himself
  • #5 - Jagaurs 62, Dolphins 7. And the sprinklers came on.
  • #4 - Dan Marino being hired as VP, and quitting after less than a week
  • #3 - "I'm not gonna be the Alabama coach."
  • #2 - Tony Sparano getting fired, but not really, and the "love fest" that took place afterward
  • #1 - This story of bullying

  • And so this one has legs, and I have to admit I'm enjoying it.  The latest developments have to do with - as they say in the NCAA - "lack of institutional control." Yeah, the NFL's investigation not only is looking at whether Incognito did anything wrong (and how Martin came to leave the team), but also whether the coaches encouraged this behavior in some way, or that they failed to notice and stop it.

    Because that's the case, and the owner is running a business here, rest assured that people will be fired over this. Not maybe. Not if. Its a question of how many. There is some evidence that suggests a reason for Martin never coming forward with this before: that the coaches were involved in some way, and therefore they created a hostile work environment, and any conversations he may have had may have been dismissed.

    In a somewhat humorous way, as I thought about it, I was reminded of this....

    And this may lead to even bigger consequences. Supposing that the NFL finds that the Dolphins were negligent? That they violated one of the provisions of the CBA? Certainly they could be fined or docked draft choices, or people could be suspended (like Sean Payton was last season). And worse, it could open up a legal can of worms. Martin could decide to sue. A player who never made it in the NFL but was subjected to this behavior could sue. The state's attorney could get involved. Or again, back to the NFL on the whole, congress may insert itself for nothing more than reasons of grandstanding.

    So its far from being over. And football in Miami doesn't really matter at this point. Sure, as fans, most of you want it to go away and for the game on Monday to matter. But by then this will either be a full-fledged distraction or some action will have been taken, and the team will be harmed in some way.

    Make no mistake.  Football is a business, and not so much a game. Sure there are two teams and there is competition, and we love seeing big sweaty men playing to win. But these are corporations, and they are in the business of providing entertainment and making money. Wins make more money than losses, but the brand is ultimately important because its a billion-dollar business.

    ...and here's where I had one of those moments. I was remembering the 1975 film "Rollerball" starring James Caan. Its a cynical look at the world in general, and sports in particular, and essentially how one man rises above it to be bigger than the game. I think the trailer from the film sums it up nicely....and in a way the NFL has become this....

    It's not going away.  Its going places that we can't even imagine right now.
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    You have a grand imagination. This isn't going to be anything. Martin couldn't handle the pressure, Incognito was an idiot as always and a poor example for a leader the team mates picked. Worst case, the offensive line coach gets fired or suspended. Either way, Martin is not that good and has to be pushed and Incognito was the wrong guy to push him. Both were bad decisions. The guy responsible? Ireland. Does he even get a 50% good decision making capability? No. Look how many guys we keep who are real game changers?? Welker,, traded away? Passing on Brees? Jason Allen? Dion Jordan when we were obviously needing a line? Passing on Long and KC's Albert? Wow. He is terrible.


    For the record, Welker and Jason Allen were wannstache's, Brees was Saban's.


    Ireland is not the problem. He has stocked the team with a good amount of talent this year and has managed to keep an excellently managed salary cap under control with lots of space in the coming years.. (Yeah, I know Dawn helps with this but it starts with Ireland.) There just weren't great prospects for the O-line this year and he probably should have picked up another lineman in the draft but he still did better than most. He will soon be highly regarded for his expertise and if we fire him that will be one more that we let get away. Getting back to the team....there is plenty of talent on this team to win games. Most of the games were close and we were far from playing up to our abilities. We should have 6 or even 7 wins right now. The team is fully capable of it. You've seen how good they look when they put together a complete half. They just have to do it for a whole game, every game. I think the blame has to go to the coaching. As much as I like Philbin I'm beginning to think that beneath the humble appearance he must be rather arrogant to not fix the problems unless he is just plain stupid. No doubt Sherman has to go and in reality should already be gone.

    As far as this distraction goes, I think it;s unfortunate the way all this played out but I seriously doubt the Dolphins coaches did anything wrong on this. Incognito could be brought up on criminal charges for that phone call. Those kind of threats are highly illegal. I wouldn't be surprised if they arrested him for menacing. The fact that Martin waited so long to say anything is not the coaches fault. They shouldn't have to police the team like a bunch of babies. This isn't pre-school. If you hear what the players are saying it really backs up the notion that the coaches didn't know anything. Heck most of the players didn't know anything and they would see it before the coaches would. I doubt anything of major importance will happen as a result of this. I think Philbin has at least one more year to prove himself unless the team implodes the rest of the season. That shouldn't happen with our talent level. With proper coaching this is a playoff team. It's about time they start playing up to their abilities.


    This organization has been in turmoil for twenty years, dating back to the time when the Robbie family was forced to sell their team, due to Joe Robbie's tax issues. It was Wayne Huizenga who cajoled Don Shula into retirement, knowing that he might lose out on hiring Jimmy Johnson. Well, Shula retired, Jimmy was hired and our team soon became a gaggle of ne'er do-wells: Lawrence Phillips, Lamar Thomas...losers who would've never played for Coach Shula were now the face of our football team.

    I'm not saying Coach Shula could've coached forever, but if given the final year of his contract (which he was entitled to), he most certainly would've been helpful in making a smooth transition to the next coach. Marty Schottenheimer was the name being mentioned as a possible successor at one time; clearly, he would've been a better choice than Jimmy, whose only success in Miami would come when Dan Marino would overrule him on the field and, as a result, win games that Jimmy would surely have otherwise lost.

    Further, Huizenga wasn't smart enough to know what he didn't know; he didn't know how to hire a football coach and he continued to make bad decisions. Overtures to Pete Carroll and others were made public and when these men turned down the job, the Dolphins' organization looked rudderless and foolish.

    It took Don Shula one year to take a laughingstock franchise and turn it into the most respected organization in football. Huizenga, Ross, Parcells, Johnson, Cameron and others have spent the past eighteen years solidifying our place as the one of the worst franchises in the league.


    Do a little research before you post. Welker, Brees & Jason Allen were all choices that happened before Ireland and company arrived. To move up in the draft to select an offensive tackle would of been foolish. You need a game changer if you are going to use extra picks. No offensive lineman in this years draft was a game changer. Dion has already helped win from pressures on QBs this season. As for passing on Long, he isn't worth the money he got paid. He's not helping them win. The Rams have one of the worst offenses in the league. Albert would of been nice to get but just because you want someone doesn't mean you can have them for whatever price you want. This is business and both sides have to be happy in the deal. Who knows how much Richie and Martin not getting along hurt the play of the whole offensive line.