In My Opinion

Fred Grimm: Maybe Dolphins’ Richie Incognito could find a job in Sweetwater

Sweetwater needs a mayor. Richie Incognito needs a job. In South Florida, we call this serendipity.

Richie, the most offensive of the Miami Dolphins’ offensive linemen, became available for new employment opportunities late Sunday night. He was suspended from the team after his oxymoronic name was linked to obscene and threatening messages to a teammate.

That kind of behavior might disqualify Incognito from a job as, say, grade school guidance counselor, yet would serve him well in our local politics.

What may be even more important to Incognito’s résumé was the way he took time out of his busy training schedule to help rookie players manage their personal finances. The Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley reported that helpful veteran players levied a “rookie tax” on first-year members of the team. Beasley cited a source who said that veterans pressured younger players to finance their extravagant dinners and lavish nightlife escapades. ESPN reported that Incognito harassed one young player (who finally fled the team to escape his abuse) into writing for a $15,000 check to subsidize a players jaunt to Las Vegas. Apparently, young players knew they must pay the rookie tax if they wanted to play alongside team vets.

Guys like Richie could transition right into local politics, where pay-to-play is an art form.

Sweetwater, in particular, could benefit from brawny leadership to get a grip on operations at South Florida’s most troubled city hall (a designation that might be challenged by residents of North Miami, Homestead, Miami Lakes, Doral or Tamarac).

Sweetwater needs a strong-armed mayor to take over for Manny Maroño, suspended from office after he was nabbed in an FBI sting in August. The FBI called it bribery. The ousted mayor, taking a cue from the NFL, might call it hazing.

Vice Mayor Jose Diaz has since taken over, but if there’s one thing that Richie Incognito does really, really well, it’s nudge uncooperative adversaries out of his way. Incognito would certainly be a nice fit for a town entangled in a sleazy no-bid contract with an operation like Southland The Towing Company, once owned by Maroño himself. A series of investigative reports by El Nuevo Herald and WFOR-CBS 4 discovered that, among other questionable practices, Southland sometimes refuses to relinquish towed cars to their rightful owners. A 320-pound, heavily tattooed muscle man, known as the dirtiest player in the NFL, would be the perfect mayor to greet carping motorists who show up at city hall demanding their cars back.

Richie might also consider the post vacated by Mayor Mike Pizzi in Miami Lakes after he was busted on corruption charges. Before his arrest, Pizzi, a blustery fellow himself, was set to take on the mayor of Hialeah in a mixed martial arts bout. Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez was disappointed that the mayor-versus-mayor “mayhem” was canceled. He said, “Hopefully in the future we can do this again with another mayor or somebody else.”

Richie, if nothing else, could put a stop to that particular nonsense. Unless Hernandez is willing to pay the rookie tax.

Read more Fred Grimm stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category