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Dolphins-Jets rivalry borders on thuggery

The rhetoric surrounding this Dolphins-Jets rivalry has always been fun. The players bark back and forth the week before the game. The fans get drunk on game day, fight each other and go to work the next day with fewer teeth. The players knock heads on the field and then go home and brag about it.

It's always been a visceral clash of division rivals and their fans. And it's always been relatively harmless.

But this year the rivalry has climbed to new heights and Thursday, to a place no professional sports rivalry should ever go. Whenever you have players from each team talking about hurting a player on the other team, someone needs to stop and ask if the rivalry has crossed the line of good taste and fun and is now residing in thuggery territory.

Now, the players and some fans that read this will dismiss it as a geeky sports writer getting involved in something he knows nothing about -- competition and emotion and answering a physical challenge. That's crap.

I appreciate a physical battle between finely tuned athletes as much as anyone. I experience the full range of emotion like everyone else in the world. And I'm as competitive a person as they come. Trust me on that last one.

But I'm also a fan of the NFL. And the NFL is many things, but threats about hurting another team's players, or even joking about another team's players being injured and out for the year -- as New York coach Rex Ryan did recently at Will Allen's expense -- is wrong and should be out of bounds.

And yet, here we are discussing how New York's Bart Scott this week told a handful of New York writers that he wanted to hurt Miami QB Chad Henne and knock him out of Sunday's game.

"I hope to get him out of there," Scott told the New York writers.

Asked by New York Daily News writer Rich Cimini how he plans to do that and if that included hurting Henne, Scott replied: "I want to hit him and get him out of there. That's for anybody who touches the football, period. It's that type of game. Write it down however you want to write it down. You don't have to do something dirty to get somebody out of there."

No, but you have to be someone dirty to be thinking that way. Henne is a professional. He makes his living playing football. And Bart Scott wants to hurt him and knock him out of his job? He wants to somehow assault another player to the point that guy can no longer compete against him?

So the old saying, 'To be the best you have to beat the best,' now has changed in Scott's warped mind to, "To be the best you have to injure the best?' Scott wants to hurt Henne and thereby hurt the Dolphins and thereby hurt the NFL.

Yes, Scott succeeding on his stated intentions would hurt the NFL because the league is diminished when its best players get hurt or knocked from the action.

Now, before you get all aflutter with righteous indignation that the Jets have crossed a sacred line, I must tell you the Dolphins are not innocents here.

Just as one New York linebacker acted a fool by talking about hurting a fellow NFL player, one Dolphins linebacker acted a fool and talked about hurting a fellow NFL player, too.

Disgusting as it is, Joey Porter this week basically echoed Scott's thoughts about knocking out a QB -- except Porter was talking about knocking out Jets QB Mark Sanchez.

During his weekly interview with the NFL Network, Porter was asked about Sanchez eating a hot dog on the sideline of last week's game between Oakland and the Jets.

"I'm not worried about him eating a hot dog on the sideline," Porter responded. "I'm trying to worry about how I can get him on the sideline, maybe with an ice pack on him, so the hot dog doesn't bother me."

Amazingly, the NFL Network interviewer heard Porter make public his desire to knock the opposing QB from the game and instantly followed up by asking Porter if he uses twitter. (Yes, journalism in America is dead.) Anyway, the link to Porter's interview is right here.

I can tell you this pregame banter is not funny to the NFL. The league takes its money and reputation very seriously and when you have players threatening to hurt other players, that affects the NFL's reputation. And if you have players make good on their stated intentions, that affects the NFL's ability to make money.

So be aware that the NFL is monitoring Bart Scott and Joey Porter. And don't be surprised that even if they don't carry out their veiled threats to injure the opposing quarterbacks, both could nonetheless be fined for saying such things.

Because such talk doesn't belong in professional sports.

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DFL,

Unless we go at least 8-2 over the remaining 10 games the only things important is no major injuries and draft positioning, because we wont even sniff a playoff spot. Besides that I would like to just see consistentcy from our players who are playing weel.

Its been plainly obvious the last 2 seasons The #1 wr slot is our biggest need for serious upgrade. After that I would say ILB, at least 1 OLB, TE,FS, then possibly a dominant young NT.

Until all of this happens its only fools gold to make the playoffs anyway unless any of us loves bragging rights followed by greater disappointment. My expectations wont begin to rise until 2010. Dont expect every one to agree but to each his own.

just beat the jets sunday, thats as far as my expectations will go. Then like last year, one game at a time!

MEMO TO REX RYAN AND JETS THIS SUNDAY:BRING YOUR GAME, NOT YOUR MOUTH!

I'll be at the game tomorrow and I'll knock out any jets fan that says anything to me. Ima make dem my huckleberry!!

Anybody watch or see the weigh in for boxing?AMA?

Talk is cheap

But hunger,ooohhh I want his ear

Just sounded like quotes from NFL players of the '50's & '60's on NFL Films. They were always trying to knock out the oppositions QB. But they didn't have fines and the Brady rule back then.

Not Surprising talk from Joey(DUHH) Porter....

Too much at stake for both teams to have this type of trash talking going on. Even if it wasn't meant to be true, the fact that it was said and it could happen adds a whole new meaning to the threat.

Both players should sit out this game to keep things under control......PERIOD!

Anne Hahtaway or Jane Hahtaway

If you watched Porters interview it was nowhere near as threatening as scotts statement. Ryan also made some idiot remarks as did Rhodes. Look Porter talks too much and always has, nothing new here. And while I agree the thuggery is a bit too much in this rivalry, I like the meannesss. Mando the UFC makes a living outta guys hurting each other weekly. Why should the NFL be any different? Gameday is a battle and if they wanna talk so much, that's fine with me just understand they'll be wearing a large bullseye on them all day long. Go Fins! I love hard hits, and as long as he does it legally I have no problem with Joey knocking Sanchez back to USC. Stop being a politically correct puss, although I'd expect this type of statement from a guy who's football playing experience is limited to Madden 10.

Football is a sport of intimidation like boxing. Intimidation is a part of the game and I for one would be saddened to see that part of game go.

Whether a player says it or does it the defense is always intentionally trying to inflict pain on the QB.

It's the same every year. Both the Jets team and their fans (us more civilized NY's have to tolerate them) run their mouths, but in reality they're soft. Wearing #99 in Giants Stadium once a year is no walk in the park though.

The best knock out was last year when we knocked them out of the playoffs at their own place!

Porter needs to shut up and let his playing talk, he hasn't done squat this year.

I really hope that no one on either team gets an ouchy.

I could not agree with you more
Mando! Let's face it Joey and Bart u guys are role models whether u like or not. I know it's football, but do us all a favor and shut your mouth and play ball. Keep your death threats to yourself and leave it on the field. I doubt your setting any kind of positive example to kids. If they do have kids then maybe they need to examine their parenting skills. I guess they can't beat their competition head to head, they have to "knock them out of the game" - weak very weak.

I still love the Dolphin v Jet rivalary. It doesn't get much better.

The dolphins are going to win but the run game has to be they

Henne the Hero

Joey Porter and Channing Crowder tag team WWF match vs Bart Scott and Rex Ryan at halftime??????

So a bunch on internet blog geeks are calling the guy that criticizes pro football players then shows up in the locker room to look them in the eye soft?

Because he has a different opinion on what is right than you?

You gals need to reassess you lives.

The Dolph defense doesn't need Porter to run his mouth. He needs to run his motor on the field. He looks very weak out there. The Defense looks and plays weaker when he's out there I dot care the season he had last hear. He's not motoring out there. He's been on 4 cylndars all year.

Wow, I didn't realize you felt that way about me and my posts Marc, but thank you for letting me know. I'll make sure to pay attention to your posts from now on so I can critique and pick them apart. Oh yeah AND call you names while I do it. The funny thing is you probably read my post and realized you were one of the "pu**ies" I was referring too. See ya soon princess, I'm off to the gym to meet NJ! :)

Joey wuld hurt mark before scott hurt henne....joey plays with so much emotion so expect him to get 2 at least

DON'T WORRY WE JUST GOT TO PLAY EVERYBODY FINHARD AND WE TOO ARE IN THE RUNNIN'!! I HATE WHEN MY BOYZ LOSE TOO!! AND I HATE THE JETS.GO DOLPHINS!!!

AND I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT THE N.Y DAILY NEWS/SPORTS & N.Y.POST TALKING MUCH SMACK ABOUT HOW PETS GOING TO DEMORALIZE FINS!! THEY CRAZY AND WE BETTER KICK THAT A...!!!

what ever happened to trash talk being considered bush league??

personally I think they should do all their talking on the field with their play...trash talk is plain low rent.

...and that being said, I'd hope every guy out there is trying to kill the guy across from him on every play...that way your actions speak louder than any words ever could.

Ronnie and Ricky are going to take Scott out of the game. He doesnt have Ray Lewis to back him up anymore.

For far too long now the emphasis in the NFL has been placed on offense. I for one think that it's hurt the NFL not made it better. I enjoy a defense dominated 10-7 game far more than a defensive debacle like last week. The NFL has been smart from a business perspective by catering to people that don't understand or care to pay attention to anything other than touchdowns. Unfortunately it has bread a significant decline in the overall tackling and toughness of defensive players.

Football is about contact. It's about hitting another guy hard enough to jar the ball loose and that's usually going to hurt. So, though most players don't say they are playing to injur another player, they are all hitting as hard as they can an if a too player for the opposition can't continue because they've been hit so hard, that's not going to be punished. I think it's refreshing that a couple of guys are saying that they wouldn't mind knocking the opposing qb out of the game. Neither one said they wished to kill the opposing qb or wished to end their career. They want to beat them up badly enough that they can't continue.

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