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.Jimmie Johnson