Friday, February 14, 2014

That's a wrap on the bullying scandal...or is it?

editors note: You can expect that this post has a bit of a negative tone to it. But, how can it not?

The incident happened in October, and now, 4 months later, the report has finally been released.  Really, there were only a few possible outcomes: it was nothing, it was really bad (and systemic), or it was a "slap on the wrist" for a few people because they made some errors in judgement or whatever.

But *why* did it take so long?  In part, I believe its because Steve Ross is asking you to trust him.  You, the fan, have invested in this team with your time and energy...and more importantly with your wallet.  He can't afford for you to think he didn't do everything possible to try and make this right.  By delaying, he's hoping you'll accept it as the end, and will move on and support the team (financially, of course).

And with that, the absurdity of the bully scandal finally comes to a close.  Well, kind of, anyway.

Was it worth it to Mr. Ross?  No doubt this investigation cost north of half a million dollars.  The independent investigator charges over $1,000 per hour, and with this lasting over 4 months, and him travelling cross country a few times, the meter was definitely running.  Plus his staff, and assorted "miscellaneous costs" ....and this all gets billed back to Mr. Ross.  And then there's the cost of paying his "committee," (more on that in a moment) the NFLPA's own investigation, and the cost of not paying salaries for these two guys.

All told, this incident cost Mr. Ross several million dollars, out of his pocket Was a couple of million a trade off for your trust?  Do you believe he handled it right?

It seems to me that an involved owner could have avoided most of this nonsense - which happened after the initial confrontation and Martin leaving - by suspending both players (with pay),  and immediately firing the GM and line coach simply because *they* brought embarrassment on his franchise.  The GM because it was his organization to run  Ireland was left in charge of the football side, and this blew up - whether he was involved or not is irrelevant; its on him to keep this stuff from getting the big boss involved.  He handled that poorly, so he should have been shown the door at that moment!

The offensive line coach should have been terminated, because these are players under his direct supervision.

The incident should have also put the head coach on a short leash, and essentially should have been told that if the team makes the playoffs, he'll consider whether to keep him (based on what he finds), but if he doesn't the door awaits.  It might have cleared up a lot of this, and kept it from lingering...  He could have brought in his own investigator, talked with the NFLPA, and simply told everyone that this was being handled "in house"....later he could have reinstated or released Incognito, and if necessary put Martin a non-football injury list or released him for quitting the team.

Instead HE chose to bring more embarrassment to his own team....and he wants the fans to trust him?  Right....you can't regain what you never had, sir. 

Now to the end game.
  • 148 pages of a report that clearly call out Martin as the victim, and Incognito and Pouncey as the aggressors.
  •  Philbin and the front office didn't know? What an imbecile the coach must be if he didn't know what was happening in his locker room.  I lost whatever (little) respect I had for him on that comment. And so should players and fans. 
  • Among the exchanges were a number that included references to drug use. The report notes "Although we uncovered information relating to alleged drug use in this investigation, further inquiries into these matters are beyond the scope of our mandate, and the determination of any consequences for such activities is left to the league."  One would hope the NFL takes that very seriously.
Read the report here: http://www.nfldolphinsreport.com/

No suggestions on what to do, but it seems clear that Incognito probably will be essentially blackballed.  The truth did not set him free.  And Pouncey should also face disciplinary action. The O-line coach should also be terminated for his involvement in this.

So what will Ross do?  My guess is....nothing.  Hey trust him!  Its all fixed now.  It was errors in judgement by some, so its over!

As for the waiting game, it really served no purpose other than to bill more, but it allowed for so many other things to happen.

The interview Martin did with Tony Dungy was dumb on many fronts.  Not the least of which was that Dungy had a stake in this - he was on the "committee" that Ross formed to look into the issue.  How  ridiculous that someone tasked with cleaning up the image gets a chance to present one side of the issue.

And then Ingonito decides to respond by sharing the text messages at the center of the firestorm...ay....I don't care about the content - any more than I care about what any of you have to say to your friends, or sexting your girlfriend (oh wait on second thought, let me see those! ha!).  It proved nothing - and made this silliness even sillier.  And then he rants on, on twitter.  What a meathead.

And that meant the public bickering got underway between these guys, and I have to agree with Brian (over at the Phinphatic) when he suggested this is the precursor to litigation.  No doubt that's on the docket for the future.  And anyone else who feels defamed will probably sue, as well.

And as for the committee, what a sham. A joke.  Mr. Ross once again pulled a fast one on all of us!  He purportedly formed two, the most prominent of which included Dungy and Marino.  But the truth is that the committees did essentially nothing, and there's no indication they even met or visited the team facility. In other words it was another effort to gain our trust, or maybe reassure himself.  Its just another attempt to make us feel good.  It proves once again that the owner is clueless.

And then....Chris Mortensen tweeted "Tony Dungy received a somewhat confrontational phone call this wk from Joe Philbin who felt Dungy had blamed him for Martin/Incognito fiasco."  And "Dungy explained to Philbin it was not his intent & merely was stressing importance of having strong locker room leaders like Derrick Brooks"

He gets fired up about this?  Seriously?  What a tool.  He's not cut out to be a head coach.

Goodell said he wants 'respect' and to clean up the image, and perhaps have some regular reviews of the goings on.  I can only suppose the media will call it "the Dolphins rule" to ensure that its always connected to Miami.  And frankly the Dolphins deserve to have this stigma tied to them in perpetuity.

You can hope and wish the focus will return to football, but it won't.  Not as long  Ross is still here associated with this team.

And for that matter, Philbin.  They won't win jack with him as the coach...

And piling on....WHEN (its not an if...) they underperform next season, and wind up oh-so-close, everyone will reflect back to the end of 2013, and wonder why tough choices weren't made at that time.  Why did the owner keep Philbin or not get a GM who had some authority?  Oops. What a laughing stock.

Don't for a moment think this team is held in higher regard than any of the other 31 teams.  At least the Browns, for all their faults, are trying to get better.  This owner in Miami has no idea what success in football means.  And for all I can tell, doesn't seem to care.
 
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2 comments

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Dude, you are the most depressing, cyincal writer i have read in a long time. In legal terms, anyone can call anything harrassment. What a joke. Martin was a lousy player and should have been canned. Incognito should never have been on the team either. Again, ireland's mistakes in hiring take their toll. Relax and enjoy this beautiful day. you are way too depressing.

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This mess could have easily been taken care of at the end of the season. Ross should have cleaned house, and replaced the GM, Head Coach, and most of the coaching staff. Any discipline against players could have waited for the report results. But No! Ross has always been afraid of doing a clean sweep, and now he's paying for it.