On Richie Incognito And Understanding The Humiliation Of Miami Dolphins Fans

Hello. I’m a Miami Dolphins fan.

I wanted to write that to first prove a theory to myself that in the 26 years since my father and I decided to become Dolphins fans, I have never actually said those five words without some sort of additional phrase like, “Yeah, it’s hard” or “I know, they’re terrible.” Even now, I want to go back and edit that sentence for accuracy. I’ve watched other tortured fan bases go from the gutter to the grand stage, and the only way that I can accurately describe the feeling of being a devoted Dolphins fan is that it’s painful. It’s really, really painful.

While I’ve been KSK contributor PFT Commenter’s biggest fan in the world, and he has already chimed in on the Richie Incognito mess as only he can, I was asked to offer my thoughts, as a miserable Dolphins fan, to give everyone else a little perspective. I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me, because there are other fan bases out there who have it as bad, if not worse. If anything, this is therapeutic.

This season could have been different. I think it should have been different, but that infers optimism and that’s something that nearly three decades of heartbreaks and a revolving door of quarterbacks has taken away from me. This season, the Dolphins went out and spent money on receivers to help out young, second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who showed plenty of potential during his rookie campaign. Sure, they skimmed on other needs, but at least a core was in place for the first time in years, and the team finally wasn’t trying to build around patchwork rejects and washed up afterthoughts.

The 2013 Miami Dolphins should have inspired optimism. They started out 3-0 and looked like they had the makings of a competitive young team that could win despite its obvious flaws, like Mike Wallace dropping every pass and pouting on the sidelines to an offensive line that was making it hard for Tannehill to remain upright and find his timing. If only that had been the extent of the Dolphins’, and more specifically the offensive line’s problems, because here we are today… I’m a Miami Dolphins fan and yeah, it’s hard.

Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin opened a brand new can of humiliating worms for the Dolphins last week, when he just up and walked away from the team amid rumors that he had had enough with hazing and bullying from his teammates. Soon, Richie Incognito’s name surfaced, albeit not much of a surprise to any of us who had watched football in the last 10 years and were familiar with the brutish lineman’s unapologetic antics. Incognito, naturally, denied any involvement with the mysterious and anonymous “bullying” that Martin has reportedly suffered, but he later took it one step further, demanding that ESPN, the NFL, God, the pope, Barack Obama, the entire cast of Entourage and Adam Schefter either reveal their sources or clear his good name.

That never ends well. Especially when Schefter waited… waited… waited… and then unleashed.

There’s a voicemail that proves Incognito was treating Martin like the lowest form of life, calling him a “half-nigger” and telling him that he’ll kill him. “It’s just typical sports team hazing,” some players and more testosterone-fueled fans will say, while others will remember that Incognito isn’t typical. He’s a dickhead throwback to a macho attitude that treats manliness as a hierarchy instead of what it is – an idea fabricated by antiquated and inadequate cowards.