I was a Dolphins Fan.
I use to be dafish on here, many moons ago.
From 1977 to October20th,2103. The loss to the Patriots was it for me. Made me realize that the Dolphins were hopelessly inept and have been since Shula was fired and Marino retired.
Right...Shula brought it to organization and took it with him when he was fired.
As in Miami always had a chance as long as Marino was slinging passes if the defense could get the ball back into his hands at the end of the game?
Wannstedt kicked that out the door with Marino. I should have realized that on the day in New England when, with a chance to make the playoffs, he called for a pass from a weak armed QB into a strong wind instead of a run, on the day when team was unstoppable running it the ball. Result? Incomplete pass, bad punt, and a quick drive for the game winning FG. No playoffs, season over.
I know, it was one bad play call, but it epitomized the Dolphins organization after the Shula and Marino years. False hope being sold in a bottle by a completely inept organization. You can't even call the Dolphins snake-oil sellers, they aren't that smart. Owner to new owner, coach to coach, I finally had enough, I quit, retired as a fan. I still have the Marino and Shula, years, and I feel bad for the younger fans that didn't have them, never got to watch one of those games. Knew what it was like, almost every season, to always be alive—in the hunt.
Quitting gave me a chance to set back and look at everything honestly. To laugh at those ridiculous new uniforms—the Aquafresh toothpaste uniforms that make a mockery of everything the Dolphins ever were. To know the owner, if he were smart and wanted to restore that lost culture of class and winning ways, needs to fire the GM and the entire coaching staff, but knowing he won't. I don't care, I'm no longer a fan, I just to get laugh at all of it, of the time I spent being a foolish fan buying those bottles of false hope, year after year. I'm laughing mostly at myself.
But then a strange thing happened and I had to stop laughing and take a serious look at the events of the past week. Because they're just wrong and have nothing to do with ineptitude or a classless and clueless organization.
Martin and Incognito.
I have to admit, I thought it was funny at first, and a result of the continued ineptitude of the current organization, but it's not. It's a complete overreaction and a quick jump to capitalize on a story before the all facts are known, What is so strikingly wrong about it is the complete lack of understanding by the very media paid to know and report on the culture of the NFL.
I watched Philpin last night and the rest of the players give interviews, but what interested most, no—absolutely fascinated me—was the talking heads. This isn't a story about concussions. One of the ugly truths the NFL wants to keep hidden, this is the very fabric of the NFL we're talking about it. It's like criticizing a good tackle and calling for the league to make the game tap-football. In a league that refuses to do anything about chop-blocks, a classless move that can end a man's career forever, we're seriously going to bring up rookie hazing and criticize the culture of a locker room? Label it as bullying? We're going to jump on a story before we have all the facts, citing it is a prevalent sign of the vicious hazing that has to be stopped because it can go too far and lead to racism?
And the talking heads, and the leading media covering the NFL are going to pretend this is some shocking revelation they have never heard of? They're going to jump on a private voice-mail without being able to examine the context behind it and then drag out players and coaches to discuss it in a quest to end this sudden, shocking discovery? What sport are they following, did they never read North Dallas Forty, never watch the movie On any Given Sunday? Heck, even the Replacements does a good job hinting this culture exists. Has existed for years and needs to. This culture builds teams, it fosters the sort of brotherhood that wins championships. It is crucial to building a team, but now it's some sort of shocking revelation?
I have never been in NFL locker room, I have never had a chance to look into the inner workings of an NFL organization, though I would love to. But I don't have to in this case. I can read between the lines. I know the real truth is never simple, and it's not the first 'supposed' fact I read on-line. I don't grab the first thing I read and hold onto it as the absolute truth. It never is, no matter what the media wants you to believe.
Now that this story broke, there is no going back. People want someone to blame, a villain to crucify and I suspect they'll get it. I think it will eventually result in the GM and Coaching staff of the Dolphins being fired. And while for different reasons, I think that should happen, it shouldn't be for this fabricated, sensationalist story. Because it is fabricated, all you had do was watch the talking heads on the NFL network to know that. Oh they tried to make us believe it was news to them, but it wasn't. You could see that in their faces. And you could also see they didn't endorse the story. It's even funnier now that the Dolphin's players are finally talking, the media still refuses to back-down and recant. But of course they can't. They broke the story, they hung their proverbial hat on it, so Rome must fall. And that's a shame.
There are no villains, just victims because people can't read between the lines, nor grasp the truth. Ritchie Incognito may be a dirty player. He maybe a loud mouth prankster, and highly questionable as picked public leader of the team, but he's a guy I would want in my corner. A guy I wouldn't hesitate to go to war with. A guy that makes a great friend.
Yes, I know he used the N-word, but that doesn't make him racist in anyway. The N-word has become one of those overused words with many connotations, including being a term of endearment, which is how he used it. The remarks about Martin's family. Doesn't anyone remember the mama jokes in the movie Remember the Titan's? This is no different, just more crass.
I don't blame the coaching staff either. This was a good thing happening in the locker room, the team building chemistry. And it wasn't good intentions gone bad either. What really happened was the wrong personality was introduced to Pro Football and couldn't handle it. Let me repeat that. The wrong personality to play football, the kind you can't take to war with you. The kind you can't trust, because he doesn't have that inner toughness he needs. The kind you try to help find away home quickly before he becomes a casualty. I have no doubt he's a good guy, but if you're the wrong personality, you're the wrong personality.
Does that mean we should we crucify Jonathon Martin? No, we need to step back and understand this isn't a story and for the good of all involved, the story needs to be deleted and forgotten for the good of all involved in it. Martin isn't seeking publicity, he just wants to be left alone, and we should let him alone. Understand he needs time in the privacy of family and friends to recover from this trauma and go on with his life. It sounds like he has bright future, no matter what he does.
But this contrived event can't end with a whimper, can it? What is the right way to end it so we're all satisfied?
For me that's easy.
Ritchie Incognito needs to granted immediate restoration to the Dolphins to resume his career with public apologies from the team, and MEDIA. The talking heads need to spend as many hours as they did breaking and reporting this story apologizing. To Ritchie and to all of us. The former coaches and players in the studios in particular. They know the truth and decided to sit back and say next to nothing, tongue firmly in cheek. Now they need to come forth and tell the truth, revealing the true nature of the culture in the locker room. What it takes to transform rookies into real football players, because this culture shouldn't be shocking or be condemned. But it does need to be understood and explained to the public so we can understand it. Because this isn't just a game, it's an proud American establishment. You know, that thing they call a sport but is so much more to us?Football. And it needs to remain so. Without the false tarnish the media smeared it with to sell the story.
Make it happen talking heads.