Sports Agenda For Wednesday (11/6/13)
Agenda’s been sparse lately because by the time I walked in each morning the Dolphins were coming apart even more. So we’ll dive into the Dolphins/Incognito/Martin story and look at the big college football weekend ahead.
Quote of the Day:
“And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.” – Jack Nicholson as Col Nathan Jessup in the movie “A Few Good Men”
I’ve gone back and forth on this so let me start out by saying what I think happened and then looking at where we are and where this is headed.
First, I think this was something that was not planned from the get-go.
I think that the coaches went to Richie Incognito and told him to toughen up Jonathan Martin…to get him to act more like Incognito on the field.
The problem is they went to a guy with a history of poor decision making to carry out this task. That’s akin to asking a pyromaniac to hold the matches for you.
Now, I think Incognito has changed a lot since his old days of being a nasty player and person in the league, but he still reverts back to that some of the time.
He’s talked about how he’s overcome addiction and the such recently, which he may have. Of course the TMZ video of him in a drunken rampage at a bar doesn’t help.
I don’t think the coaches intended on him taking it this far with Martin, but that’s what he did.
If the report from Omar Kelly is true, which is never a certainty, there’s a lot of issues to deal with…
First, the team was violating offseason voluntary workout rules.
Second, how widespread was the effort to “toughen” up Martin and how many times did he get a “code red”…to steal a line from the above movie.
Third, as coaches, you can’t light the fire in the team’s craziest person and say well, we didn’t know it would go this far.
Yeah, that’s how lawsuits get started and people in management get fired…and usually rightfully so.
Going deeper here, I chose the quote above because it perfectly fits this situation.
Incognito is not the type of guy you want to take home to meet the parents, hang out with much, and maybe even just have a beer with…but he is the kinda guy who you want taking out people in front of you.
Football coaches and staff are willing to look past character flaws if the player can help the team enough.
It happens in every business…think about how many times you’ve asked how a person gets and keeps jobs when they’re such a jerk?
The thing that bugs me about all of this is how the Dolphins have handled it as a franchise, how Incognito has handled it, and the perception of Martin.
First, Martin did nothing wrong here.
He seemed to put up with it as long as he could without going to coaches, media, etc. But every human being, no matter how big, has a breaking point and Martin got pushed past his.
Now, I’ve heard some say, “oh he should have just punched him in the mouth,” or “he turned his back on the team by going to the coaches.”
Well, sometimes it’s the bigger man who walks away from the crap…and as for turning his back on his team….where were his teammates when this was happening to him to protect him?
If a team is like a family…where was his family to help him.
Now, Incognito has handled this poorly all around.
First, he shouldn’t have taken it this far…thank you Captain Obvious here.
But second, his actions on Sunday morning when he was blasting reports linking him to the story and then going quiet since he was suspended is weak at best.
Then last night, to have a chance to clear the air and explain his side of the story he says, “No Comment.”
Nice…I thought Richie wanted people to “BRINGIT”
Yet when it was brought to him, all he could do is hide behind “No comment.”…so do people think he’s weak now because he walked away?
Finally, there’s the Miami Dolphins.
Let’s face it, they’ve never been very good a PR/Media Relations/Communication with the public.
The first problem is why did it take a week to address this at all.
But a bigger issue is where is general manager Jeff Ireland and owner Stephen Ross?
If the buck stops at the top, how come these two people haven’t talked?
Give Coach Philbin credit, at least he’s been on the firing line and took some questions.
Ireland hasn’t met the media and typically doesn’t. He may talk twice a year, but given his horrendous personnel decisions in the past few years, it’s easy to understand why.
Ross has just been an absentee landlord.
Where has he been, he has not been in front of a camera, issued a statement, anything about this whole issue.
If he wants to be involved and be an involved owner, where is he?
He should have been out in front of this and instead is way…waaaaayyyy…behind the 8-ball.
Where this is going is to the NFL, to the NFLPA, and possibly to court.
Remember the line, “There will be blood.”….this time is going to be….”There will be lawyers.”
And at the end of the day, Ross should clean house of everyone in the building and start over from scratch.
This is an ugly chapter and he should want to blow this thing up and start over from top to bottom. It’s the only way to deal with it properly and we’ll see soon how involved Ross wants to be with his team.
Huge weekend of college football ahead this weekend, here’s the game’s you should watch!
Oklahoma at Baylor, 7:30 p.m., FS1
Oregon at Stanford, 9 p.m., ESPN
Auburn at Tennessee, 12 p.m., ESPN
Missouri at Kentucky, 12 p.m., ESPNU
Vanderbilt at Florida, 12 p.m., FSN South
Virginia Tech at Miami, 7 p.m., ESPN
LSU at Alabama, 8 p.m., CBS