Tuesday Teabag, November 5, 2013 – Richie Incognito

O'Doyle Rules!!!

O’Doyle Rules!!!

When is too much of a good thing bad?  Look no further than this week’s Tuesday Teabag Award recipient, Richie Incognito.  Richie took an innocent thing that is rookie pranks (or hazing if you’re a liberal with no sense of humor) to a whole new level, and in the process is the first player banned for being a bully. #thisaintyourdaddysnfl

Bullying is all the rage in high school, prompting an outpour of anti-bullying campaigns.  #bulliesaremean #stopitdouche.  [sidebar:  The Machine (not so) fondly remembers being ridiculed for our (sweet looking) ginger locks EVERY DAY in high school…way to come late to the party you anti-bullying freaks].  I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that this behavior exists outside of high school, and it shouldn’t be any surprise that this type of behavior exists in an NFL locker room.  But Richie took it to a whole new level.

Last week, it was announced that Miami Dolphin Jonathon Martin, a second year pro out of Stanford, took a leave of absence from the team after suffering an “emotional breakdown” in the lunch room after he was teased by other players.  [sidebar:  NFL teams have lunch rooms?  Shit, it really is like high school.]  As soon as this story broke, The Machine thought two things:  (1) there’s way more to this story, and (2) Richie Incognito’s involved.

Why would we think Richie’s involved?  First, one look at the guy screams “uncontrollable rage” and “meathead”.  Then, there’s this.  And this.  And this.  And this.  Here’s a nice timeline of his dickbag behavior.  Oh, and Richie is annually rated as one of the most dirtiest players in the NFL.  Yeah, he’s a special kind of asshole.  However, when the story first broke, we thought maybe Martin’s a bit over-sensitive and that his tenure at Stanford didn’t really prepare him for the good-natured ribbing that goes on in the NFL.  Then, we learned that Richie (allegedly) forced Martin to pay $15k to cover the cost for a trip to Las Vegas (that Martin didn’t even go on).  Then, we learned that Richie (allegedly) left the following voice message to Martin:

“Hey, wassup, you half n—– piece of s—. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s— in your f—ing mouth. [I’m going to] slap your f—ing mouth. [I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”

Wowee.  And, we’re willing to bet that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  The Machine’s money is on a treasure trove of incriminating evidence against Richie.  It’s a combination of (a) Richie’s that dumb to leave voice messages and probably texts and e-mails too, and (b) Martin’s that smart to keep it all.

And Miami had no choice but to suspend Incognito, especially after the (alleged) voice message that made Riley Cooper look like choir boy.  You know that, for the Dolphins to suspend him, the conduct had to be egregious by any reasonable standard.

Why is that?  Because the NFL (and every sports league in the world) tolerates a certain level of hazing.  You always hear of rookies being tied to the goalposts, or having to carry the veterans’ shoulder pads to practice, or picking up the dinner tab for the team.  These things are reported almost matter-of-factly.  Of course that’s going to happen, and we’re ok with that.  These are grown ass millionaires, and the rookies need to be taught a lesson by the veterans.  It’s all about respect.  But, too much of a good thing can be bad.  And in this case, the “good thing” has turned into harassment.

True to his character, Richie refuses to stand down, and, instead of keeping a low profile, has taken to Twitter to defend himself/threaten the media:

 

 

 

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that threatening people on social media is probably not the best way to go about restoring your name.  We’re also willing to bet that Richie’s played his last game in the NFL (imminent departure alert:  we bet the Dolphins release him by the end of the week).  But don’t give them too much credit.  It’s easy for the Dolphins and the league to come down hard on him…it’s 100% clear he’s in the wrong, just like it’s easy to cut the bench player that gets popped for a DWI but not the star player.

Clearly someone in the front office watches Glee, because it looks like they’re taking this seriously, however the question remains:  are they really taking it seriously, or are they forced to because of the severity of it?  There are broader questions here for the league to answer.  What about other “normal” rookie participation events, like being tied to the goalpost, carrying shoulder pads, and getting stuck with the dinner bill?  How far is the NFL going to go to police this conduct?  What about last year, when JPP threw Prince Amukamara in the cold tub because Prince was perceived as “soft.”  Is that too much?  Where do you draw the line?

It’s easy to draw the line with Richie (surprisingly, he still has some supporters in the locker room).  The league must be (silently) happy that it’s this clear-cut.  But what about the (soon to be organized) group of people (likely the same people who want Redskins changed) that will argue for anti-bullying laws?  Will the league step in and regulate other conduct that has historically been tolerated/encouraged as “team-building exercises”?  We’re willing to bet that the average NFL fan (and player) would not be in favor of banning (or regulating) the other conduct mentioned above.  It would be viewed by many as a further wussification of the NFL.  A place where tolerance and individuality are appreciated?  Fuck that, carry my bags rook.

And, something that’s being overlooked here, but the Dolphins played off of Richie’s bad-boy behavior?  What do we mean?  Here’s the pre-game video played before Dolphins games:

They knew he was a ticking timebomb, and there’s no way they just became aware of what he was doing to Martin.  Makes you think that they’re taking it seriously not because they just found out about it, but because everyone else did.

It will be interesting to see where the league takes this, but that’s a story for another day.  In the meantime, if Richie wants to play professional football again, he better read a few chapters of The Machine’s book, “The Perception of Compliance” (let’s be honest folks, there’s no way he really going to change, he’s from New Jersey after all).  We’re not sure if he has any small children (biologically or being held against their will) but if he does he should bring them to a playground ASAP.  Cover up the tatted arms and be all smiles while your child (actual or kidnap victim) plays on the see-saw.  Perhaps a photo or two at the Dairy Queen where your faces are covered in chocolate ice cream AND rainbow sprinkles (using both shows your racial and gender orientation sensitivity).  You can bang that out in an afternoon and have plenty of time left in the day to hate minority groups and the gays (% that Richie’s a homophobe:  1000%).

Embarking on an “I’m the victim” campaign ain’t gonna cut it, not when those (alleged) voice mails get leaked, and continuing to threaten people on Twitter probably isn’t the right strategy either.  If he’s smart, he lays low for a while and then comes out with a big mea culpa and a Certificate of Sensitivity Training.  However, we all know that’s a big if.

Enjoy your teabag.

One thought on “Tuesday Teabag, November 5, 2013 – Richie Incognito

  1. Pingback: UPDATE: Richie Incognito | Big Red Sports Machine

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