Saturday, November 09, 2013

Score prediction

Since there's a lot of talk about the fins "coming together" and most local beat writers think the team will easily win, I thought is try my hand at a score prediction.

I'm gonna say bucs 15, dolphins 11

Why? Mainly because 15/11 has never happened in the nfl (ever!) and then also I think it will be close and low scoring.

Say what you will, I don't think the dolphins have a win in them.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Phins Insider Adam Beasley featured guest in Sportsmanias Hangout on Monday



Miami Herald's Adam Beasley To Answer Dolphin Fans' Questions in Sportsmanias' First Google+ Hangout On Monday

Dolphins' beat writer takes fans inside the locker room and on the field to discuss bullying and Buccaneers

 

MIAMI, FL (November 8, 2013) – With the Miami Dolphins being the focus of the sports universe over the past week, Sportsmanias.com, the leading real-time team news aggregator, will be connecting Dolphins fans and general football fans alike with Adam Beasley from the Miami Herald on Monday, Nov. 11th at 2pm ET, when the Dolphins' beat writer will be the featured Google+ Hangout guest and answer participants' questions.

 

Earlier this week Sportsmanias.com partnered with its hometown paper to further connect sports fans with the beat writers whose 24/7 jobs are to follow and cover their respective teams, and Beasley will be the first featured Google+ Hangout guest as part of this partnership.

 

Beasley has been covering the Dolphins for the past two years and will take fans inside the locker room and help get Dolphins fans ready for that night's Monday Night Football contest between the Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in addition to sharing his perspective on the alleged bullying situation making national headlines this week involving Dolphins OT Jonathan Martin and G Richie Incognito. Beasley has been all over the controversial situation that continues to play out and Sportsmanias is bringing Google+ Hangout participants the chance to interact one-on-one with Beasley and get their most pressing questions answered.

 

"When we partnered with the Miami Herald, we thought Adam would be the ideal guest for Sportsmanias' first Google+ Hangout session with the Dolphins playing on Monday Night Football," said Aymara Del Aguila, CEO and Co-Founder of Sportsmanias. "Now, the game is almost an afterthought as everyone both in and outside of the sports world monitors the bullying situation. Adam has been a coveted resource these past few days with local and national media wanting to hear what he's witnessed first-hand of the situation. We're thrilled that we're able to connect sports fans with him one-on-one on Monday."

 

Sportsmanias' users can enter to be part of the Google+ Hangout by following the Sportsmanias Twitter and Facebook accounts and submitting the reason why they think they deserve to be one of the five selected fans to take part in the session. Winners will chosen on Nov. 9 and 10.

 

To learn more about Sportsmanias, visit Sportsmanias.com. To download the updated Team News mobile app, visit the iTunes or Google Play stores.

 

Visit the Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com. Follow Adam on Twitter at @AdamHBeasley.

 

About Sportsmanias

The sports news aggregator site for diehard fans, Sportsmanias displays 24/7 professional news as personalized feeds. Fans are delivered news, tweets, videos and rumors about the teams they love by the beat writers that cover them. The team continually refines the sports news experience from offices in Miami and New York. Straight from the guys who get it. Sportsmanias gets it to you. For more information, visit Sportsmanias.com.   

 

# # #



Bullygate Weekend Update

The NFL has announced the term "Bull Rush" will now be replaced with "gently directing the opposing lineman towards his quarterback's face".

The Dolphins have changed their fight song to "Woolly Bully".

Jonathan Martin's attorney issued a statement on his client's behalf.  In it, David Cornwell states that Martin "is not soft!".  He then added that Martin will be the new spokesperson for Charmin.

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick charged the Dolphins with Bullying for leaving dirty socks in the visitors locker room at Gillette Stadium.

Parlaying the embarassment of the Bullying scandal, Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross has negotiated a new deal for the stadium naming rights with Red Bull.   

Dolphins Head Coach, Joe Philbin has announced the in flight movie to Tampa Bay will be reruns of "Barney".  Said Philbin, "There are qualities in that show that I'd like our team to display on Monday nite and why look for trouble?"

In order to limit exposure to future litigation by Martin, Dolphins attorneys have warned the players and coaches that in the event of any questionable calls by officials they are not to yell "Bullshit!".

When asked his opinion of bullying in the locker room, Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula stated "How do you think we went undefeated!"

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com

Thursday, November 07, 2013

On the subject of harassment

At this point, it's hard to know what to believe. There are conflicting stories, odd pieces of information, and lots of speculation.   So I thought I would take a different approach on this post. A friend of mine told me the tale of being bullied. I thought I'd share.  It sheds some light on a situation that perhaps is similar to martins. 

Many years ago, I was working for a mid size company in the Midwest, in a smaller office.  There weren't that many people in the office, but there was a small clique of guys who hung around together during and sometimes after work. 

After being there for a short time, they started including me in their group. The talk was often vulgar, and at least a little offensive. I asked them to ease up, but they decided I was weak and set about trying to toughen me up. 

Over time, I was bullied.  They said and did things to me physically and verbally. Nothing was ever so bad that I was "in fear," but bad enough that I was scared.

Along the way, there were comments about my ethnicity. About my family. And idle threats at times that they thought were cute. I had my arm closed in a door. I was pushed into walls. Chairs ran over my foot.  And the vulgar talk went on. 

I went to talk with our manager, but he had an old-school mindset of boys will be boys and brushed me off. 

I also discovered that they weren't much good at their jobs. They did what they had to and no more. And worse, they "fudged" when it came to it. As I learned more about that they told me they'd hurt me if I ever said anything. 

It was a small office, so I rolled with it for a while. I even went to lunch with these guys frequently, because I didn't want them to think I was going behind their backs. It was awkward but that's part of being bullied I suppose. 

After a couple of months, there was a re-org and a new boss was moved in from another office. When I realized he was an outsider, I approached him and told the story. His jaw hit the floor as he listened to the tale that I spun. I had saved some information, and was prepared.  He knew I was serious. 

To make a long story short, these guys were all immediately suspended, along with the previous boss.  They brought in an outsider to investigate. Ultimately most of them were fired and one was demoted and sent to a corporate office. 

I was surprised to learn that several people in the office had no idea what was happening, a few didn't think it was quite that bad, and a few knew but kept quiet until they were asked questions during the investigation for fear of reprisal. 

I have asked myself why I didn't quit. Why I put up with it. Why I didn't say more earlier. And the answer isn't easy. It's about the desire to do well, to make some money, and because it seemed silly to think I was being bullied at work. 

National interest grows

True football fans hate it. But this just won't go away. At an early press conference phillbin said he would only talk about the game; and the conference only lasted a few minutes. Because who wants to talk about that?

Then at a later conference, he started with "I hope you guys didn't pull a hamstring...." and then made a brief statement and only talked about this. Then several players came out and only talked about this.

And while I was glad to hear them actually speak up, rather than hide, there are two inherent problems: there's an active investigation, and saying too much could be detrimental. And what they pretty much said was "we support incognito and not Martin, and kinda sorta don't want Martin back".

And that's a problem under the CBA. Martin it seems wouldn't be welcome back. That's not gonna fly.

And then there was a report that Jeff Ireland was aware of the issue because martins agent called him. We also hear that Ireland told him to man up.  Out if context, that sounds bad for Ireland.

Then there was a report of the head of the NFLPA asking for agents for both players to
meet and settle this.

And it's becoming more of an NFL issue simply because reporters in other cities are asking players and coaches to weigh in, one would assume to try and break a similar story in another city.

And that reminds me: one of the fins players made a comment that this was a nothing, a joke, and essentially that martin overreacted, and reporters had made too much of "nothing"

Say what you will, that's a red flag right there. About the culture of football. About how people are treated in locker rooms.

At one point, you may recall, the military came under scrutiny for similar behaviors and was forced to change. It's time for football to change too.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Allrighty then, an investigator has been hired

Never fear, Ace Ventura is on the job!

Let's get back to talking Football

Can anyone name the starting Offensive Line?  What are their strengths and weaknesses?   Who is starting at LG?  What is your opinion of Michael Egnew being used as a Fullback?  Who are the 5 Receivers? 

How are the Linebackers playing thus far this season?  How has Patterson's play impacted our defensive effectiveness?

 I am curious.  What do you think?

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.

    Tuesday, November 05, 2013

    This Middle School Football Team Went Behind Their Coaches' Backs To Do Something Incredible (Video) | Elite Daily

    This is simply awesome and is what incognito and others have long forgotten.

    http://elitedaily.com/news/world/can-learn-lot-middle-school-football-team-video/


    Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone.

    Tampa Bay Is A Tough Out

    You would think this should be an easy "W" facing an 0-8 team that just lost an OT heart breaker in Seattle on Sunday. But the Bucs have been playing teams tough.

    They opened the season on the road with a 1 point loss to the scum of the earth (Jets). Followed that with a 2 point loss at home against the Saints.  They lost by 3 to both the Cardinals and ofcourse Seattle on Sunday.

    They have been blown out on the road by the Pats (23-3) and at home by the climbing Panthers (31-13).

    They also lost at home to the Eagles (31-20) and at the Falcons (31-23).

    Statistically, their Offense has been struggling, averaging only 15.5 points per game on the season (31st in the league) but they have scored over 20 points in 3 of their last 4 games.  They are ranked 31st in the league for total yards, 31st in passing and 18th in rushing.

    Statistically, their Defense is pretty smack dab right in the middle of the pack, giving up 23.8 points per game (17th). They are ranked 17th in total yards, 15th against the pass and 13th against the run.

    If this wasn't a Monday Night game, I would believe we could get a quick lead on them and then our defense would have a field day.  But it is and they will come out fired up as all hell.

    And because it is a Monday Night game with the entire world watching,  we will be ready to play too.

    I just hate playing teams that are 0-whatever. The higher the number, the worse.  You just know they are due.

    Plus factor in this distraction.  Oy vey.

    As a fan, the pressure is enormous because who wants to listen to your friends ragging on you about how you lost to the lowly Bucs.  You're supposed to beat those guys.

    Plus, I live up here in Jersey, surrounded by obnoxious scum of the earth (Jets) fans.

    Any given Sunday, right.  That's the NFL.

    The Bucs are a lot tougher than 0-8.  And we are a lot tougher than 4-4.

    We really need a good week of practice. 

    Tannehill could have a big game.  Miller could too.  Our defense could have a monster game.

    Then again, it is the NFL and on any given Sunday or Monday Night for that matter, 0-fors turn into winners eventually.

    Why couldn't the Bucs have just hung on in Seattle and won on Sunday?  Why!?!?!

    Carl Leone
    Dolfan since 12/25/1971
    Carldleone@aol.com 

    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...

    Monday, November 04, 2013

    Players Focusing On Tampa Bay....Thank God

    As Coach Philbin handles the press and tries to get this story behind us, the players and assistant coaches have been going about their business of getting ready to play at Tampa Bay on MNF.

    We are going to need a good week of practice.  And staying focused will help in that endeavor.

    Glad to hear the players are not getting sucked into this black hole of media attention.

    With Philbin at the podium, the remainder of the team can attempt to conduct business as usual.

    Let's hope it continues to work out this way.

    Carl Leone
    Dolfan since 12/25/1971
    Carldleone@aol.com

    Not going Incognito

    Kudos to Matt and the gang over at FinHeaven for making the news cycle.  As far as anyone can tell, Richie's dad posted on their site and decided to try and be incognito - except that he wasn't.

    You can read the article here: http://deadspin.com/is-richie-incognitos-dad-blasting-jonathan-martin-on-m-1457997230

    Housekeeping on this site

    I made a small, and somewhat subtle change to the postings: now the author appears at the top.

    The reason for this is simple: there are several authors posting, with different opinions on the Phins.  I respect everyone's opinions, but want to give y'all a chance to see who wrote an article at the top, rather than having to scroll through it.  You may like things that anyone posts, or only items by one author - so feel free to read the ones you like.

    Incognito suspended indefinitely?

    Who thinks this has more to do with the fact that our offensive line seemed better the moment Incognito was hurt and pulled from the game last Thursday night than it does with any hazing or harassment between a couple of teammates.

    What a sitcom/ soap opera....   This will be the last time I talk about this BS.  I will only talk about football, not the melodramas of football players and coaches as it relates to the national media.

    For Example:

    Good Job TE Michael Egnew.  Since, you were put in as the Fullback/Hback, we have been averaging well over 125 yards a game rushing.  Nice work... and, you have been blocking and catching better all season.  I'm very happy you have "made the leap" to this level of play.

    This can't end well

    Martin left the team, then went to his agent, providing some "evidence" and that was presented to the team and the NFL.

    Incognito is implicated and suspended "indefinitely"...

    Both are currently off the team, and its unclear if either will return this season.

    If Incognito were to come back, how does the team feel?  And how does Philbin deal with it?

    If Martin comes back, how do the other players respond?  He left, called out teammates, and went to his agent, which in the football culture isn't the way to do things.  Surely, some won't like it.

    And if both come back, can they kiss and makeup?

    What if neither comes back?  That's two positions to fill in an already shaky o-line.  And there's still the Pouncey thing hanging over the team.  Who knows if he'll finish out the season, or have his head in the game.

    To me, this screams of a coaching problem.  Say what you will about Philbin and his overall coaching style.  This all happened on his watch, and got out of control quickly - and there's no easy way out for him or the team. Frankly, I would argue that *he* should be suspended for not handling a situation that was brewing, and letting it get to the media and become a distraction.

    I guess that's the dolphins' idea of "transparency" - stuff happens and no one talks about it.

    Sunday, November 03, 2013

    Martin May Be A Bigger Man Than We Think

    Injuries are a part of the game.

    Players have to play through them at one point or another during their careers. After all, football is a spartan sport. Filled with collisions.

    The body can only take so much contact and force. Something has to give.

    They get physical therapy and sometimes are placed on injured reserve.

    We lost a few players already with knee injuries. There is just no way to play through those.

    Teams list their injury reports weekly so teams, fans and bettors alike can see what is ailing them.

    We call many players gamers.  They suit up and battle despite their physical woes.

    They are tough. Men's men.

    Then there are injuries that aren't as visible. Those who only those suffering through them and possibly those closest to them know about.

    These are mental health injuries. These I know about first hand.

    My brother suffers from them.  He has been on mental disability for close to 15 years now.

    At first, we thought he was lazy, unmanageable, without any consideration for how his actions would affect others.

    And then he snapped.

    He seeked the help he needed.  He is on medication. He attends therapy.  He will never live the normal life we all seem to have.

    But it is a good life none the less because he is loved by family and friends.  He is a good son, brother and uncle.

    Now we understand.  Now we appreciate the battles he was facing day in and day out.

    How he survived his mental illness prior to diagnosis?  I don't know.

    How tough was it on him? Had to be very hard.

    Its the not knowing what it is that's the worst part of any injury.

    I do not know what ails Jonathan Martin.  I am not implying he suffers from a mental health issue although signs are leading that way.

    Whether it be an emotional or physical injury, therapy is prescribed and seeking it is the first step.

    Fighting your way through them can only go so far and then something has gotta give.

    Jonathan Martin may have been battling something most of his life.  He may have been a gamer his entire NFL career.

    He may have just come to realize he cannot do it anymore.  Snapping does that.

    I am reminded of a scene from HBO's Hard Knocks with the Dolphins.  Coach Philbin has to tell the players to help each other up.

    When you see your teammate on the ground, reach down and pull him up.

    Give him a helping hand.

    That's what is needed now by teammates and fans alike.

    Let's see how this plays out before we question anyone's manhood.

    They may be tougher than we think.

    Carl Leone
    Dolfan since 12/25/1971
    Carldleone@aol.com