Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Confessions of a Button Pusher: Why There's Plenty of Blame to Go Around in the Richie Incognito Case...

Not that this is going to come as any sort of revelation to anyone that knows me, but I consider "pushing buttons" as one of my all time favorite past times. What can I say? I like to mix it up, stir the pot, and go out of my way to make sure that people don't get a "free pass". And while my penchant for such things has endeared me to many, it's also been the cause of the demise of more relationships than I'd care to admit. I like to think I've learned from those experiences, but that's not really my call. Just like it's never the call of the "bully" in determining what is and what is not offensive or hurtful to the person they're mocking. Which is why there's really no way that Richie Incognito isn't in the wrong...

Now, I'm not here to make sweeping indictments about guys I don't know. And I'm certainly not trying to jump out in front of an obviously still developing story. But I am refusing to believe that the Dolphins weren't fully aware of what was going down. And if they were? Then they're completely incompetent and deserve to be shown the door and sued by Jonathan Martin for negligence. And listen, I get the hazing thing. I was in a fraternity. And you know the first thing I said to them when I started pledging? I told them that the second they legitimately humiliated me, I was going to walk. I held them responsible for making sure that never happened, they lived up to their end of the deal, and we spent the next few years destroying brain cells and watching sports. Good times. And that's how it should work in the locker room, too. Or any clique-y segment of life, when you think about it. It should quickly become obvious what individuals can and can not take in terms of ribbing and hazing, and as an intelligent adult, you make that judgement and then proceed accordingly. Some people can't handle it? Well, sucks for them. Because there's nothing quite as fun as tossing barbs back and forth when you know feelings aren't actually at stake...
Even The Bunkers were more "incognitus" than Richie when
they were trying to convince the Jeffersons to leave town...

And to those that say Martin should have just fought Incognito to shut him up? And that for Martin to assert himself was all Richie was even looking for in the first place? I'd have to disagree. I mean, I know a lot of solid people that I consider friends that have settled many a disagreement with a fair fight. But that's not my style. When I talk myself in, my preferred method is to then talk myself out. And I must say my record is fairly impressive for the amount of shit I talk. Come to think of it, I'm like the Money Mayweather of that shit! Like when I condescendingly told a drunk kid it was "physically impossible" for us to have hit is car because the two were separated by a cement pole. He responded with, "Oh yeah? Well nice glasses, 4 eyes! Want me to break them?". To which my reply was "Really? 4 eyes? That's the best you could come up with?" And you know what? That seemed to calm the situation down and get me out of harm's way. That, and the fact that I immediately ducked into a car and sped away as his muscular friends started piling out of their luxury SUV like if was some Jersey Shore clown car...

So, yeah. Odds are Incognito was just a guy that didn't know when to stop, and that Martin was never someone he should have been picking on in the first place. But whatever. The real problem here is the Dolphins and their inability to keep their house in order. From the front office and the the coaching staff, all the way down to the players who sat by quietly and let this alleged behavior go down. They want this shit to happen? OK, fine. Not my call how they run their business. And judging by some of the appallingly ignorant and naive statements I've already heard from former players, apparently a lot of them actually like that type of atmosphere. So far be it for me to set the bar for what is and what is not appropriate in an NFL locker room. But at least be prepared and able to deal with any fallout in at least something resembling an orderly fashion should some of the shit you've chosen to condone happens to get out of hand. And be ready when your "we didn't know"'s are met with equal parts skepticism and laughter. you didn't know? OK, you're fired. You did know? OK, you're fired. Easy game...

You can call me a pussy, or say I don't understand the environment of a professional locker room. And maybe you'd be half right. But I'm of the opinion that the only time I should have to physically defend myself is when I'm being physically attacked. Otherwise, it's on whomever is in charge of the environment I'm in to make sure that I'm not in any legitimate danger. That's why whether you're with Incognito, or you're with Jon Martin, you have to be against the Dolphins and their inability to control their employees and their clubhouse. In the end, the onus is on them. Incognito certainly appears to have blatantly crossed the line from playful ribbing to outright domestic terror. But whether that's true (likely), or whether this is all somehow a misunderstanding of comments taken out of context (laughably unlikely), it's on the Dolphins' as an organization to make sure the situation doesn't come to a head the way it obviously has. You want to talk about "manning up"? How about they weren't man enough to deal with the situation? They couldn't solve it with words, so they ignored it. And now hopefully they'll be forced to pay for their cowardice and apathetic behavior with their jobs...

At least that's this Ted's take...

Love to hear your thoughts, but if not. I'll just catch you on Friday for another round of picks. Hope you enjoyed...

NFL Picks

Last Week: 7-7-0

Overall: 69-66-5 (.519)

NCAA Picks

Last Week: 5-5-0

Overall: 44-39-3 (.529)



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