When it comes to entertainment, I have developed the “Sean Penn Formula”. Penn is an amazing talent whose political views make less sense to me than cheeseburger in a can.
The formula goes like this: When it comes to entertainers, I separate all personal accouterments (Such as their views on politics, religion or baseball) from their talents. This allows me to enjoy the magic they deliver unencumbered from the really stupid shit they believe in. Because let’s face it, there’s lot of stupid shit to go around. From Scientology to blood vial necklaces to Sean Penn’s affinity for socialist thugs in third world countries.
This week, I was forced to apply some SPF to my love of the Miami Dolphins. Because while I’m willing to deal with piss poor football, I don’t suffer bad guys. And Richie Incognito is a bad guy.
He wasn’t brought in by Miami because he was a model citizen. He was brought in because he can play the game at an exceptionally high level. That said, his talents were not exceptional enough to prevent the Rams and Bills from cutting bait with him. Why? Because he’s a bad guy.
Now the Dolphins are singing the praises of Incognito to such an extent, you would swear the Norwegian Nobel Committee screwed up by not considering the fat bastard. His teammates will insist he’s not a racist, that he’s not a bully. And who am I to disagree? Although Warren Sapp sure can. Sapp wasn’t recognizing Incognito as his brother of another color after this incident.
Tannehill and Hartline claim they never had a problem with Incognito, and I happen to believe them. But sweetheart platitudes can’t wipe away Incognito’s rap sheet, which goes all the way back to his playing days at Nebraska. He’s been a bad dude for a very long time. He was afforded the benefit of a ton of doubts concerning his makeup because he could play football, simple as that.
His kind of talent presupposes good character, it doesn’t warrant it. And the distinction is not one to be taken lightly, even if that’s exactly what happens in major league sports. Vehicular homicide and dog killing and screaming the N word in a public place will get you fired in any profession. In major league sports, these are speed bumps to the next chance.
Check out this video of the team leader and all around great guy in action. Understand that his African American teammates had no problem with this rant. Also understand that if any of the patrons or employees in the bar did have a problem with it? Well, tough.
Incognito is what you get when you enlist the lowest common denominator to front your franchise. If Philbin and the players don’t like the shit they’re taking as a result, then stop blaming the media and start blaming Jeff Ireland- the genius who signed Incognito.
I don’t know what compelled Jonathan Martin to leave rather than stand his ground. But to claim that Martin’s inability to stick up for himself created this mess is to conveniently ignore the fact that this mess doesn’t happen if Incognito is playing in Jacksonville instead of Miami.
If I were to place blame in a particular order, I would go this way.
3- Coaching staff
The front office is most to blame. Listen, if you buy a piranha for your aquarium, don’t be surprised when it eats your hand off. Incognito was available back in 2010 because he was damaged goods and the Dolphins front office is really good at acquiring damaged goods. Remember, I’m a Dolphins fan. I know. If this debacle doesn’t get Jeff Ireland fired, it’s only because he’s got pictures that carry more weight than his draft choices.
Incognito is number two. He’s a big dumb animal who possesses the temperament of a Rhino in heat. His teammates call him a leader? Cool. So was Hitler.
As for the coaches who may or may not have pushed Incognito to ‘toughen’ Martin up? Hey guys, a little more smartening up and a little less toughening up and maybe the Dolphins can go outside to play in January.
As a Dolphins fan, I’ve suffered a lot. We’ve gone through a thousand quarterbacks since Marino. We haven’t been to the Super Bowl since Reagan was a lame duck manager, and we haven’t won a Super Bowl since Watergate was just a hotel.
This is the worst of it. Not even close.