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.

You’d think that athletes would know better than to run their mouths these days, but arrogance can be a blinding bitch. Hell, there’s even a chance that Incognito’s dad, Richie Sr., is out there posting about his son’s so-called innocence by making fun of Martin’s supposed drug issues and suicide attempts. After all, sports have never been anything greater than a way for a father and his son to bond.

We’re heading into Week 10 of this NFL season, and we’ve already had two dipshit white players drop N-bombs on us. IN 2013!!! Maybe it would help if we had a more specific punishment ready for these idiots, like letting a school bus full of kids line up and take turns kicking them into the balls until the pain teaches them to never utter as much as any word starting with the letter N again in their lives.

There’s a word for what this entire Incognito ordeal is – a clusterf*ck. But to us Dolphins fans, it’s business as usual. There’s hardly a piece of news regarding this franchise that you can bring to my attention at this point that would shock me, short of the unimaginably horrifying and shocking, which I pray to the sports god never happens to any franchise, let alone one known for shame and shambles above all else. So how do we cope? How do we fix the LOLphins stigma and escape this “Same time next year” news cycle that constantly haunts Miami fans instead of letting us have one season – just one f*cking season, damn it – of optimism?

I have no clue, to be honest, but here are some honest thoughts.

Force Stephen Ross To Sell The Team To Anyone Not Named Stephen Ross

Dream the impossible dream. How do you force an arrogant billionaire to sell a sports franchise? Trust me, if there’s a way, I’d do almost everything in my power, short of dressing up like a woman a la Bugs Bunny and trying to seduce Ross, to get him away from this team. In a perfect world, Roger Goodell and every other sports commissioner would take a considerable amount of time to determine the best ownership situation for a franchise. They’d go out and actively recruit candidates to purchase the team that would be in the best interest of not only producing a successful, winning product, but also in inspiring, rewarding and aiding the community.

Ross doesn’t qualify for any of that, because he’s a guy who seriously wants his legacy as an NFL team owner to be, above all else including winning a Super Bowl, building a new state-of-the-art stadium in Miami. I’m not making that up, he has said that he wants his legacy to be a stadium, presumably so he and his A-list, literal 1% celebrity owners can throw a big Super Bowl party and fellate themselves like they’re God’s greatest gift to Miami. They’re not, of course. That honor goes to Pitbull and Pitbull only.

As for Ross, he now wants to buy his way into politics so that he can get revenge on the South Florida politicians who denied his attempt to gain taxpayer money to completely renovate his stadium. Screw winning, the NFL is all about torturing fans and taxpayers alike so billionaire crybabies can get their way.

Fire Jeff Ireland… Seriously, F*cking Fire This Guy Already

The Dolphins started this season 3-0, so GM Jeff Ireland was rewarded with an extension. For what, I have no clue, but a fun game that I like to play any time that someone defends Ireland (a rare occurrence, but it happens occasionally) is “Name A Jeff Ireland First Round Draft Pick That’s Worth A Damn.” And then we say, “Jake Long and Vontae Davis maybe,” and laugh because neither of them play for the Dolphins anymore. It’s a great game that doesn’t make us want to walk into traffic at all.

Oh, and what would happen if a fan told Ireland that he should “fire himself”? Ireland would call him an asshole. That’s the team’s leadership in a nut shell right there. The owner wants the prettiest stadium and the GM hates what few fans he can still convince to waste money on tickets. It’s truly a first class operation being run down there in my old stomping grounds of South Florida.

Maybe Stop Signing Guys That People Hate

For the first four seasons of his NFL career as a starter for the St. Louis Rams, Incognito was called for more penalties than anyone on this planet. By the time the Rams cut his ass and the Buffalo Bills grabbed him off waivers, he had developed a reputation as the dirtiest player in the game. Naturally, that’s only a negative to the team that doesn’t have him, because *jargon, cliché, rhetoric* you want that bad ass on your team, fighting your fights and covering your back.

But just like a leopard, a dickhead can’t change his spots, and all of the Good Guy Awards in the world won’t change the fact that Incognito’s the kind of player who leaves voicemails calling his own teammate a “half-nigger” and threatening to kill him. Ireland and the Dolphins rolled the dice and said, “Hey, let’s see how far we can get with the self-proclaimed ‘wild child’ before his bullsh*t blows up in our faces.”

The answer was three-and-a-half seasons. Not too shabby but totally not worth it. I’ve heard this crazy theory that teams win when they’re built around talented athletes who generally like each other. I’d love to see that theory tested by a Miami sports team that didn’t have the luxury of being built around two of the best athletes of their generation.

Create A Website Called LookWhatTheDolphinsDidWellToday.com

Diversion is always a suitable tactic for reminding everyone else that everything they love also sucks. Of course, as I sit here writing this, in between reading endless Tweets about what a laughing stock the Dolphins franchise is, I can’t think of anything I could distract the average NFL fan with. I imagine pulling up a stool at a bar and saying something like, “Boy, those Jaguars and Buccaneers sure do suck,” and the person next to me wouldn’t take his eyes off the TV and respond, “Ain’t got nothin’ on them Dolphins,” before he’d spit a hunk of chaw on my shoe.

Yes, most of my imaginary situations take place in 1874.

Most Importantly, Use Humor To Fight The Pain

For example, my FilmDrunkard colleague Morton Salt posted this image earlier:

My response to it was “What I’d imagine a joint birthday party between Richie Incognito and Riley Cooper looks like.” It’s funny because they’re both racist idiots. Does that change anything about the fact that Incognito’s behavior has managed to sully the potential of leading the Dolphins’ current 4-4 record to a winning season and possible playoff appearance and further embarrass one of the most consistently humiliated fan bases in sports?

No. But humor helps a little. It’s like the Snoopy Band-Aid covering the shotgun blast to the femoral artery.

Are There Dolphins Fans Who Don’t Share My POV?

Yes. Many, in fact. Some even love Stephen Ross. I fully expect a lot of Dolphins fans to hate this rambling mess of pessimistic words and ideas that I’ve strung together here.

In a way, I sort of admire the hard line fans that live with the impression that all is well in their “Us against the world!” mindsets. To them, I’m sure I’m a little bitch or a pussy or something like that, and that’s fine. I’ve been called worse when I’ve told other Miami fans that I won’t go to home games anymore since I was literally caught in between two groups of men trying to murder each other in the stands during the Dolphins’ playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens in 2008. That’s just the nature of sports fans.

Some of us are just a little more depressed than others. It’ll happen when your favorite team’s leadership doesn’t give a crap about anything.

I’m a Miami Dolphins fan and, yes, it’s really hard.