Sunday, November 17, 2013

MEDIA MALPRACTICE AT IT’S FINEST


By now there is not a human being alive that has not heard something about the Jonathan Martin / Richie Incognito controversy surrounding the Miami Dolphins. The smear merchants in the national media, led by the likes of ESPN insider Adam Schefter, ESPN radio host Mike Greenberg and lawyer/ blogger Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com, have been writing, tweeting and dispensing as much “information” as possible – the truth be damned. But it hasn’t been just the national smear merchants; the local ones have been out in full force as well. And why not, they have been asked on national television shows, national radio stations and they have become household names as well. Everyone searching for his or her 15 minutes of fame.

The problem with the rush for sound bites and clicks however has been, in a lot of cases, the truth. Just think of some of the things the con artists have continually said, that have now been refuted, and curiously enough, some of the things that the media has seemed to ignore.

We were originally told that Jonathan Martin met with Coach Joe Philbin in the spring and told him about the allegations of being bullied by Richie Incognito. ESPN ran out with some strong words like “cover up” and "lack of leadership" but later we learned that that meeting never took place. We’ve been told for weeks that the coaching staff gave the directive to Incognito to “toughen” Martin up. In fact both local and national media a like have talked about who ordered the “CODE RED”. But now according to Armando Salguero, of the Miami Herald, there is no reference, no text, and no order that ever took place. (Or at the least cannot be proven in any way.) And Richie Incognito did not site it in his recent grievance filed against the Dolphins.  And of course there was the story that constant fan and media punching bag, General Manager Jeff Ireland, told Martin’s agent, before Martin snapped, that he should just punch Incognito in the nose. Then it changed to after he snapped,  (the time frame being very important) and now the context has changed to more of a question, as in “if Richie was bothering him so much why didn’t Martin say anything or confront Incognito and just stand up for himself." Big difference. So the original media meme of the Dolphins organization knew for months, ordered a code red and management suggesting handling violence with violence, followed by a dramatic cover up has now turned into nobody knew, including the players and coaches around him, nobody suggested violence and there was no cover up. Not as interesting of a story, huh.

But what about the things we haven’t heard as much from the media. First, there was a supposed text from Martin to Incognito after he left the team saying he does not blame Incognito, just the "culture of the locker room."  That would immediately turn this into a mental health issue, but that does not ensure clicks.

Further, nobody in the media has really looked at the selection of David Cornwell as Martin’s attorney. This is has always been interesting to me. Cornwell was a finalist for the NFLPA’s job of Executive Director, but lost out to DeMaurice Smith and has been a critic of both since. He has also had an ongoing feud with super agent Drew Rosenthaus. Just look at the athletes he has represented and cases he has represented them in.  He is currently Alex Rodriguez attorney appealing the Yankees third basemen’s 212 game drug suspension. Wide Receiver Donte Stallworth called him from the back of a patrol car when he killed a man and was later found guilty of DUI manslaughter. He represented quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in a supposed rape case in 2008, it later got resolved. MLB outfielder Ryan Braun originally used Cromwell when he tested positive for PED’s, they successfully dragged the reputation of the piss collector through the mud, and got Braun’s positive test and suspension overturned. A year later, Braun willingly took MLB’s suspension when his name came up in the Biogenesis Investigation. The list goes on and on. Cornwell is known by athletes as the one to get  “when you are in trouble.” The Washington Post did a story on him in 2008 comparing him to Harvey Keitel’s character in Pulp Fiction, Winston Wolf or the ‘cleaner.” Why would someone who was supposedly a victim of bullying need a lawyer who is know for getting athletes out of trouble?  A professional spin-doctor? The media seems disinterested.

Another story the media shows little interest in is Jane Howard Martin, Jonathan’s mother. We have heard plenty about how she went to Harvard and is a corporate attorney for Toyota. What we haven’t heard as much is how she was a premier attorney on work place discrimination and harassment for 20 years before that. In fact in 2002 she wrote an article published in USA Today entitled ““Stop workplace harassment in your company”.  That sounds like more than a coincidence to me, but obviously not so much for the national media.    
       
We may never know what really happened between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. The media has already played the roll of judge, jury and executioner. The media took this story, had a meme about bullying and ran with it from day one. The truth was and still is secondary to them.  They painted a portrait of a locker room run by Neanderthals, picking on the gentle, educated soft spoken giant, and a front office and coaching staff that was cognizant and just as guilty as the Neanderthals, and either facilitated it or just looked the other way. In reality, at best it seems like a difference between two employees that nobody knew was going on, possibly even one of the employees. Or at worst, a well-orchestrated plan to feed a bogus story to the media that the supposed victims knew the media would love and run with.           

Carl C. Crowley
@carlccrowley                       

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mike Tirico to interview Stephen Ross tonight

ESPN is reporting that Mike Tirico will interview Dolphins Owner Mr. Stephen Ross tonight. Either on the pregame show or at halftime.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Martin to Incognito: `I will murder your whole f—king family’”

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

Things I Liked, Things I Didn't, Things To Look For Against The Buccaneers


It seems like the Dolphins last played a month ago. It was nice to just sit and watch the Bengals game again. As always, I pulled out some nuggets.
Things I Liked:
·      Cornerback Brent Grimes’s play. It is hard to believe this guy is only 5’9’’. Sure the 92-yard interception return for a touchdown was huge, but he comes up and sticks people on runs as well.  His initial hit on Bengals running back Benjarvus Green-Ellis forced a punt early on and his form tackle in overtime was a thing of beauty.  I hope the Fins are thinking about an extension.
·      How about Michael Egnew playing fullback! Most Dolfans saw him get castigated by offensive coordinator Mike Sherman on Hard Knocks last year. He easily could have tucked his tail and ran off to mommy and daddy, but instead he worked hard and now is getting credit by Sherman for Miami’s improved running game.  He threw some key blocks that helped running back Lamar Miller get his first 100 yard game in the pros.
·      Charles Clay bowling over Bengals defensive back Dre’ Kirkpatrick for a 13 yard gain. I wish Daniel Thomas could run that hard.
·      Cameron Wake is a beast!
·      Jimmy Wilson drilling WR Mohammed Sanu in the open field and Dannell Ellerbe coming up with the interception. (By the way, Karlos Dansby would have never been that far deep down field and never would have made that interception.)
·      Caleb Sturgis coming back and drilling a 44 yard field goal to tie the game with 13 seconds on the clock.
·      Quarterback Ryan Tannehill really impressed me this week. Not only for his game tying drive going 50 yards in under a minute. He went 20 /28 in the game completing over 70%, but the way he handled all of this media attention. He quickly is asserting himself as the face of the franchise and it is good to see.
This was a difficult week to be a Miami Dolphins fan, but I want to focus on the things I didn’t like about the Bengals game
Things I Didn’t Like:
·      Richie Incognito totally whiffed on Geno Atkins giving up an early sack (Didn’t think I was going to go there did ya.)
·      Daniel Thomas needs to be benched. He could not pick up 2 yards on 2 carries in overtime. We need to start seeing Mike Gilislee.
·      Why didn’t Lamar Miller cut left and take the ball into the end zone?
·      All season long I have harped on the Dolphins 3rd down defense for not getting off the field, but it is getting worse, not better.  On three separate occasions they Fins defense had 3rd and 10 and they gave up 17 yards, 18 yards and 26 yards. On a 3rd and 8, they gave up 19. On a 3rd and 16 they gave up 21. These plays are back breaking! Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle needs to do something about this.
·      I don’t want to sound like too much of a homer, but how can the same referee call Brian Hartline for offensive pass interference at a critical point in the 3rd quarter, but not call Pac Man Jones for mugging Hartline in overtime? The calls against the Fins (or lack there of for them) have been atrocious the last couple of weeks. (Ok, I sound like a homer.)
The Buccaneers may be winless, but they do have some talent. They played hard against the Seahawks last week in Seattle and almost pulled off the upset.
Things To Look For Against The Buccaneers:
·      Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is considered one of the best run stuffers in the league. How now starting guard Nate Garner plays may go a long way in determining who wins.
·      Buccaneers rookie QB  Mike Glennon does not turn the ball over. Tannehill needs to protect the ball better than Glennon does in this game if the Fins want to win.
·      Tampa Bay rookie running back Mike James was impressive last week against the Seahawks. Dolphins need to bottle him up and put the game on Glennon’s shoulders.
·      Tannehill needs to be aware of Darrelle Revis at all times.
·      It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins players handle this week and how prepared they really are!
I think the Dolphins team uses this as a rallying cry and comes together as a team. I hope they are pissed and Philbin borrows a line from Coach Bill Yost and “leaves no doubt.” The Dolphins bully the Buccaneers (couldn’t resist) Prediction: Miami 31 Tamp Bay 13. Try to enjoy football Sunday and the game on Monday night. 

Carl C. Crowley
@carlccrowley


In Case You Missed It.....

Richie Incognito sat down with Fox Sport's Jay Glazer for a one on one interview. The interview will be shown during the Fox NFL Sunday show that starts at noon today.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Embarrassed Dolphin Fan With Lots of Questions

I have to say that as a lifelong fan of the Miami Dolphins, I’m pretty embarrassed about this whole situation. Out of all the things we’ve had to endure as fans of this team, Ricky’s abrupt retirement, Marino quitting the front office after three weeks, a one and fifteen season, Ireland and Dez Bryant, Manning, Harbaugh, etcetera, etcetera…this is by far the most embarrassing.

That being said, there are a lot of questions yet to be answered.

First off, why didn’t Jonathan Martin ever reach out to the coaching staff or maybe another player? Why didn't any other players step in? Things must not have been that bad if reports are true that Martin participated in stealing OL Josh Samuda’s car keys and moving his car to another location as a prank. Incognito even tweeted a picture of Martin behind the wheel of Samuda’s car during the prank. Was he just trying to fit in? After checking out some of Incognito’s tweets I even saw an Incognito selfie that included Martin while they sat next to each other on a flight to Houston. They look pretty chummy to me.

Secondly, why isn’t anyone bringing up Incognito’s past issues with drugs and alcohol? Is Martin the only one “ill” here? The voicemail that Incognito left could have been nothing more than a drunken rant left on a friend’s phone. Haven’t you ever insulted or threatened to “kill” one of your friend’s in jest? I call my friends assholes and pieces of shit all the time.

Just a few months ago NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington did a great piece on Incognito’s fight against alcohol and drug abuse. During an interview promoting his piece on Incognito, Darlington “challenges” the audience to watch the piece and that he sought out Incognito, not the other way around. Darlington says, “The mental illness aspect is the most important,” and that “he [Incognito] wants to change as a person.” Here's a link to the video version of the piece. Richie Incognito's Demons

My point is that it is difficult to know or understand the context of the remarks, especially in the complex culture of an NFL locker room. Not to mention the fact that it looks like we could be dealing with two mentally ill individuals.

It’s easy to sit back from a TV studio and criticize the parties involved without hearing both sides of the story or even the truth.

All of these former player pundits with their holier-than-thou attitudes are a bunch of hypocrites. Like they never made a rookie pick up a tab or played a mean prank.

“This league is a group of elite men. It is a fraternity. It is a brotherhood. It’s a lot of things and there is a membership,” says DE Cameron Wake. He goes on to say, “You have to pay your dues to get certain privileges.”

Was Incognito’s behavior over the top? Maybe. Is Martin blameless? Absolutely not. The coaching staff and GM Jeff Ireland were either na├»ve or just plain stupid. Either way, the fact that they were oblivious to what was going on shows a lack of institutional control. They better hope this team strings some wins together. If not, this could be the year Ireland loses his invincibility.







Monday, November 4, 2013

Dolphins Bring Back Moore

Finally, some football news. Miami Dolphins sign wide receiver Marlon Moore. Moore was recently let go by the San Francisco 49ers. He had 1 catch for 6 yards this season. Moore played for the Dolphins from 2010-2012. To make room for Moore the Fins let go of Ryan Spadola.


Report: Incognito Suspended

Jeff Darlington of NFL network and NFL.com has reported that LG Richie Incognito has been suspended indefinitely by the Miami Dolphins for conduct detrimental to the team. Considering that were pretty thin on the offensive line, the team must know something pretty bad that Incognito did that we don't know about. So we have now lost our starting tackle Jonathan Martin and Left Guard Richie Incognito in less than two weeks. Keep up the great work, Mr. Ireland and Mr. Philbin.