Bully for them! Dolphins endure nightmare week

11/10/2013 12:37 AM

11/10/2013 12:57 AM

Miami was the focal point of a bigger sports story in the summer of 2010 when LeBron James announced “The Decision,” took his talents to South Beach and set off a national firestorm.

The bullying scandal enveloping the Dolphins right now is almost as big, though, and you could argue it’s bigger and have a case. This certainly is weirder. For this franchise, this story out-weirds even Ricky Williams abruptly quitting on the eve of the 2004 season.

I love, for starters, that the most-talked-about man in the NFL this week, the most notorious player, a guy who turns up shirtless and raging profanely in TMZ videos, a man being talked about on CNN and the Today show and in late-night monologues is named “Incognito.”

I swear, sometimes truth has the potential to run fiction clean out business.

Bully-guard Richie Incognito gets suspended, victim-tackle Jonathan Martin leaves the team under emotional duress, the NFL launches an investigation, and this franchise is under a microscope of sociological inquiries about bullying, hazing and race relations.

My three favorite side notes to the mushrooming scandal:

1. That some supportive teammates consider Incognito to be an “honorary” black man. (In fairness, I’d guess most black people are rather more selective in choosing the subjects of such honorariums.)

2. That Incognito used to hold offensive-line meetings at a local strip club. (One imagines all of the detailed work getting done at such meetings and finds it easier to fathom the 37 sacks allowed.)

3. That general manager Jeff Ireland reportedly advised the bullied Martin to “punch” his tormenter. (Coincidentally, most Dolfans I know would prefer to punch Ireland.)

A week of unabated bullying talk has wormed into my brain. I think it started that first day coach Joe Philbin addressed the media about this, and I couldn’t help but think of the lectern he stood behind as a bully pulpit.

I think I might need a vacation. I mean, I know bullying is a very serious and terrible thing, but the overload has gotten to me.

I thought I just heard an NBA announcer call Derrick Rose the star of the Chicago Bullies. I swear I heard Michael Jackson on my car radio singing “Bully Jean.” I overheard somebody say there were going to be sequels to the Martin Scorsese film “Raging Bully,” and the Kevin Costner movie “Bully Durham.”

Somebody stop me. Please?

Once I get to The Adventures of Rocky & Bullywinkle, it will probably be too late.

• Monday is Veterans Day, when proud Americans annually honor those brave pro athletes who have served at least 10 seasons in their sport. What? Oh. My bad.
• Homestead is host to NASCAR’s finale next Sunday, with Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth atop a marquee field vying for the Sprint Cup season championship. Thank goodness for the ear-splitting noise. Maybe it’ll drown out the incessant drone of the Dolphins’ Bullygate scandal for a blessed minute.
• The Broncos’ and Texans’ coaches both are away from their teams on medical leave, reminding us again how the NFL can be bad for your health. Hmm. Given his week, you think maybe Philbin could use a stress test?
• Mighty Brazil plays Honduras in a friendly at Dolphins stadium this Saturday in front of an expected sellout crowd. Brazil is like the Yankees of world soccer, except its biggest star, to my knowledge, does not use performance-enhancing drugs.
• The Heat’s Chris Bosh became a father against and tweeted, “I feel like I’m 10 feet tall!” Wait. Regular-sized people filled with pride feel 10 feet tall. Shouldn’t Bosh feel about 12 feet tall?
• Saw a headline that read, “[ Michael] Beasley shows more maturity.” If I noted that was because showing less maturity would be nearly impossible, would that be mean?
• The Indiana Pacers were the NBA’s last unbeaten team at 5-0 entering the weekend. “How worried we look?” harrumphed the ’72 Dolphins.
•  Parting thought: World Series MVP David “Big Papi” Ortiz finished third in Boston’s two-man mayoral race, thanks to write-in votes. “That’s quite an accomplishment,” noted newly elected mayor Dustin Pedroia.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote, Instagram/upsetbird, Vine/Greg Cote and Facebook/Greg Cote.

About Greg Cote

Greg Cote

@gregcote

Greg Cote has been a Miami Herald sports columnist since 1995 and also writes the Random Evidence blog and NFL predictions along with his notorious sidekick the Upset Bird. He has covered Hurricanes football (1984-88), the Dolphins (1990-91) and major events including Super Bowls, NBA Finals, World Series, Stanley Cup, Olympics and World Cup.

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