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Dolphins America's team: For wrong reasons

In the last three days I've gotten calls and texts from former players and current players. I talked to people from coast to coast. I've turned on the TV and seen the Dolphins on every broadcast and cable station available.

The Dolphins are a hit!

They're national!

And it is terrible.

The Dolphins, you see, are a national story now for all the wrong reasons. The team's name? Sullied. Reputation? In the dumpster and on fire. The narrative? When is Joe Philbin being fired, when is Jeff Ireland being fired, when is Dawn Aponte losing her power, when is Stephen Ross selling?

By the way, speaking of Ross. He lives in New York City. You know what he had with his morning coffee if he picked up the New York Daily News today? A-hole

I present the back page of Friday's New York Daily News.

The Washingon Post, Los Angeles Times and New York Times have written stories localizing the current Dolphins scandal. The New York Post and Daily News both sent reporters to South Florida to cover the story. One Post columnist told me Thursday, "My newspaper can't get enough of this story."

And the problem with that for you and the Dolphins? People are laughing now. Not with you. Not with them. At them. At you for supporting them. (At me for covering them, by the way). The Dolphins an object of scorn and mocking.

None of this is graceful. None of it has a positive side.

The Dolphins are getting punked.

But don't get the idea that I think they're victims. They are not. Yes, the media is over the top and the attention is hysterical and overblown. But the Dolphins brought this plague upon themselves. It is of their own birthing.

They had Incognito in a position of team leadership. Leadership in the locker room and administration failed to see any signs of wrongdoing -- or at least that's the contention. Philbin? Offensive line coach Jim Turner? No idea? The personnel department was good with both Incognito and Martin on the team and actually counted heavily on both -- because, after all, Martin was supposed to protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill's blindside and Incognito was supposed to protect Martin and help him grow into the job. Really?  And Aponte, who edits Philbin's post-game locker room speeches meticulously but fails to remove that uncomfortable part where he's reading from an index card ... Why did she allow the public service announcement at Sun Life Stadium that educates fans on civility and behavior to star ... Incognito?

Look, the people within the Dolphins organization claiming complete ignorance of the apparent tension in Martin's mind over Incognito and others are either lying, which makes them complicit, or out of touch, which makes them incompetent.

Either way, it is grounds for dismissal. 

The media didn't put Martin and Incognito in that locker room. The media's job is not to monitor the intimate relationships among teammates. Don't shoot the messenger even if the message gets too loud at times.

The Dolphins are a sad national joke now because the Dolphins put themselves there. That story about Incognito abusing a volunteer golf assistant at a team sponsored event? The team said it would handle the situation and the way it was handled was paying her to keep quiet. The National Football Post today reported Incognito called offensive line meetings at a strip club and fined players if they didn't show up. Sure, you can chalk this up to boys being boys, I guess, if you're a morally corrupt individual. But then you allow Incognito to be a member of the leadership council? You put him on the stadium HD screen preaching good behavior?

A coach, aware of Incognito's penchant for drinking and past drug use, overrides the player vote for leadership council. Joe Philbin this week hid behind it, saying it was players, not him who made Incognito a team leader.

(Note to coach: It's not a democracy. You know this. Did you forget in this one instance?) 

Some fans see what's going on. And they've had enough. Fans have been writing to me and telling me they are through with the franchise. Others say they'll never buy a ticket again until major changes in leadership are enacted.

Consider that the Dolphins had 70,660 people at Sun Life Stadium for the season home opener. Then 68,342 for the second home game. Then 60,592 for the third home game. And 52,388 for the fourth home game. Notice the trend?

Fans were abandoning this team in droves before the current scandal. You think any part of the last week is going to convince them to return?

We've seen this kind of situation before. You'll recall the New England Patriots had this little scandal called Spygate. And their reputation suffered. You'll recall the New Orleans Saints had this little scandal called Bountygate. And their reputation suffered.

Both teams got slimed. Both teams forged ahead. Both teams mostly recovered.

But both those teams enjoyed a reservoir of goodwill the Dolphins don't possess. The Patriots had three Super Bowl wins in their pocket. The Saints also recently won a Lombardi trophy. The coaches and owners that presided over those franchises in the time of crisis were the same that presided over the franchise in the best of times. So they got a pass.

The Dolphins get no pass. Stephen Ross has not presided over one winning season during his four-and-one half seasons as owner. Jeff Ireland has not put together one winning team during his four-and-a-half years as GM. Joe Philbin's career record is 11-13.

Fans recognize this. Media recognize this. These facts are not in dispute.

None of this sewage sandwich that is the Incognito-Martin-NFL scandal is good for business or morale or reputation. All of it reeks. And now everyone on the Dolphins smells bad.


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The product on the field is always sub .500. Who expects it to only be .500? Who said that's a good thing?

Especially after this many years, it should be a lot better than that. The problem is this fan base has been reduced to praying for a .500 season & that would be considered successful.

Oh, and Mando, stop showing how much of a puppet you are and make an objective opinion.

The Media is never wrong in the Media's eye!! Give it a break!! You and Florio!! Sometimes I wonder who is the Bigger Clown? Doesn't matter because you guys work for the same Circus!!

What if we get to 9-8 Bill? What if we make the Playoffs? What then?

Posted by: drsamii | November 08, 2013 at 03:08 PM

If we go 9-8 Im calling for an investigation.....we only play 16 games!!

Bill, the 2nd defn you provided (I know you cut and paste because I found the same link) has to do with relations i.e. in a social setting or family.

Now, what I think you're opinion is that management is incompetent, not dysfunctional. then I can understand your opinion. These are two different things.

However, I don't think everything Ireland and Aponte do are bad. For example, I look at the cap situation and I see it being wrought with opportunity. However, I do not agree with every player personnel decision either.

Incognito to the WWE, i would definaltely watch it.

good post.....

Bill that was Fn funny

Maybe he's including a playoff win?

Mark...I could go with incompetent...that may be a better definition actually.

Too late, Mark. I am. I wear my dolphin scrubs to work my dolphin cap to surgery. Win or lose I sport them. Just like the heat. I am not always happy with them but they are my team. If ultimately its found that something really bad happen and they have proof, the people responsible need to go. But as of now "sources" ay Philbin didn't know. So he's my coach. Tannehill, ellerbe, Wake Solai, Clabo gnew Wallace, have not been implicated so they are my team, and I will be supporting them come monday night, and the sunday after that and so on and so on.

come on tampa beat us so we can finally have ross right where we want him, have to fire ireland

Ross will determine the dysfunction & rest assured, heads will roll. If even 25% of what's being reported is somewhat true, Coaches & GM are history.

Ross isn't rich for no reason. He knows business. That's what the Dolphins are to him. A Business.

If Ireland & or Philbin got in the way of this team advancing or making money, they are gone. Ross will let you know in a few weeks where, not if, the dysfunction lies.

You are a fair weather fan at best. Theres your spade.

Posted by: Youguysaretoads | November 08, 2013 at 03:09 PM

I have the 70's Dolphin logo tattooed on my arm Pal.....how much of a fan are you?? Your some kid that likes the pretty colors get lost.... you don't know as much as I forgot about Dolphins history.

Yeah...that's it...I included a playoff win, Bill. LOL. C'mon, I'm a doctor, Jim not a secretary!!

I'm with you 100% Dr S. And as far as this management team goes, I refuse to come to a judgement on them until we know for certain the future of teh QB. Right now, I think RT is middle tier adn trending upwards. So if everythign keeps following that trend I think they will succeed.

But I don't want their fate handed to them by this extremely faulty allegation. Unfortunately, the allegation may have legs legally although it is extremely normal in an NFL team environment ... too bad.

drsamii....I hope I don't ever have you decide how much blood to give me...hmm is it 16 or 17 liters?? Figures it was Mark..the accountant to bail ya out

Isn't the Players union for protecting the players?

Martin should've spoke with the Union if he didn't trust anybody on this team. Not bring in an independent lawyer. The Union would've gave Martin a lawyer.

Martin is handling this completely wrong!!

Plain and Simple. Unions are made for problems like these.

Mando you are just happy that someone wants to talk to you, because no one from the fins ever did! I'm glad that your past experience of being an NFL player has enlightened you to the inner workings of locker rooms. You are upset that the Media doesn't like the fins anymore! I hate to tell you but inside the NFL, people are supporting the fins and what they are going through, because no doubt they have seen plenty of weak players effect their teams. They know this is a mans sport and not for the weak minded. Mando you are turning into the liberal media, where society teaches everyone not to stand up for themselves.

Dashi Soup,

You and your Union talk are out to lunch. They couldn't have prevented a thing. This is big, serious business, not just a game. Once the Union mentioned to the organization what the complaint was about, the text messages etc., the Miami Dolphins legal council would have had to take the same swift action to prevent another Saints scenario...and you can be sure they consulted 'under the table' with Goodell first.


You know why local beat writers are blasting Incognito, right? They are all getting their national exposure. If they tow the line, they dont get on Mike and Mike and such. Especially Beasley he has rubbed me the wrong way most of all, during this whole thing.

I honestly think Omar Kelly has been the most fair, since the beginning. What do you guys think?

Ok, first off typing quickly and hitting the 7 which is next to the 6 is rather easy thing that can happen. However, you have bigger problems if you are having someone decide whether to give you LITERS of any type of blood, crystalloid or colloid products. I'll just leave it at that and say you don't want to go down that road with me. Lets keep it cordial ok?

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin will meet late next week in Los Angeles with the NFL's special investigator to discuss allegations in the team's harassment scandal, a person familiar with the situation said Friday.

This is not a story Its A SNL skit with a stupid plot. Two big grown ass Men slinging testosterone on the football field. One a big jock the other a helpless flower dangling from the mouth of a sensitive model. Johnathan Martin grow some balls and stand up for yourself and stop using the media for sympathy go take your Stanford degree and go get a job and quit whinning lik
e a baby. No Dolphins let go play some football damn!

Mark if I were an employee of your I would be happy if you were the owner because you would give me time to learn on the job. However in football 4 1/2 yrs and 2 difffernt coaching staffs is a long ass time to still be producing 7 wins every year. I mean through all the "incompetence" (like that) where do we say enough is enough? Do you really want Ireland to have another $40 million in cap to spend and 6-8 draft picks in 2014?
I commend Ireland for the moves that have worked out..though there are not many...and for getting us in great cap shape for many yrs to come....however he has shown an incompetence when chosing personnel and coaches.

Did Philbin resign yet?

Omar is a dumb, illiterate bible thumping moron and an awful journalist. He is an embarrassment.

Ditto for Armando...

Incognito hasd team meetings at strip clubs ... yeah ... and??? Oh my look, titties!!! Yikes, let's make a run for it....

Posted by: drsamii | November 08, 2013 at 03:24 PM

It was a joke Doc calm down.....what did ya work a 36 hours shift in the ER??? Calm the fukk down pal!!

J Martin is a hero improving the conditions on the Dolphins.

Bill, Ireland doesn't get an indefinite pass, but in what world would I condone firing him or the coaching staff in week 9 of an NFL season? A season where I exect the team to compete for a playoff spot and gain some very valuable experience in the meantime? That would be just suicide.

NOw if this team falls completely flat in the 2nd half then there's a reason to wipe it clean...

You can't have this type of major event without any collateral damage and fall-out. My feeling is that even if Philbin had no clue as to the extent of what was going on, he gets fired. This happened on his watch! Dolphins fans at least most, get their wish and Ireland is fired along with Aponte!! Mike Sherman will be named interim HC. OLC Jim Turner, fired! End of the season Sherman is gone, even if we win out!

Steven Ross will need to clean house to begin the Public Opinion and PR "healing process". Future FA, Players' Agents, Prospecitve Coaches, etc., will not come here unless they feel that and entire culture has been changed, and the tide of public opinion is also changing. Being associated with the Miami Dolphins in any capacity is a bad thing. Incognito set of a bomb that will have after-shock repurcussions similar to the bombing of Japan! In the long run, all this will work out for the best! It really is a shame that truly innocent people who really were not even remotely close to this problem will be expelled from the organization in the name of Public Relations & Image!

Actually, yes I was on call last night. I am calm. No exclamation points on my end, buddy. ER is a dungeon of a place. Hate going there. ;P

Mark thats what Im talking about. But if it comes out that Mgmt had a hand in this whole mess then I would promulgate expulsion immediately.

Hhahaa, ESPN is hilarious. Claiming Richie bullied other linemen into going to strip clubs and most players wouldn't want to go because they felt guilty or bad towards their wives or girlfriends, hahahahahaa!!!


drsamii Im a first responder in NYC I know all about that dungeon.

Bloggers love to second guess coaches, GM's, scouts all the time. They think with their few weekly hours of espy and pft they already know better than those with 20 years of direct hands on experience 60 hours a week.

Now we have bloggers thinking the suddenly are experts on legal council for sports organizations.

Amazing how people so easily believe their own fantasies.

mark this team is in turmoil and is awful on the field. be real here, no bias. just clean house now. tank rest of season, be better for it come 2014

Bingo, Mark. And Colorado, what exactly is it that happened on his watch. All we know..the only thing we know is Martin leaked part of a voicemail with a racial epithet on it. Joke or not, that's all we know. Pretty much, that's it.

I think Martin has been looking for a way out of the NFL. And as smart of a guy as he is, he knows what he's doing. ..Drag the Dolphins through the mud until the pay up and then he's outta here.

Toronto guy, we get it! You're shocked that every pc. of news that comes out on this would be offensive to anyone. We get it!

Enough of the WOWS & disbelief. Stop actin like a taco!

I know you are a a first responder. I remember when you told me the other day...I just didn't say calm down ;)

But seriously...the ER is a hell hole.

dusty, again, awful. It is not awful. How in the fukk is it awful??? Are we constantly overpowered???

Do we not win as much as we lose? Would you say that our talent and experience deserves a much better record? have we been playinga bunch of stiffs? It may not be excellent, it is not awful.

Hhahaa, ESPN is hilarious. Claiming Richie bullied other linemen into going to strip clubs and most players wouldn't want to go because they felt guilty or bad towards their wives or girlfriends, hahahahahaa!!!


Posted by: Mark in Toronto | November 08, 2013 at 03:32 PM

Im a little surprised. I don't go to strip clubs out of respect for my wife, daughter, sisters and mother. I have respect for women. Now I also don't judge people that do partake in the strip club industry. Why are you judging this Mark? It is not the first comment you have made along these lines. Its as if you look at the guys that don't go as something is wrong with them?

mmm, tacos.....

You people are clueless. Martin was harassed, baby barney rubble sexually harassed a volunteer in which the dolphins covered it up by a settlement of money. Failbin knew all this was going on and did nothing. The owner and people involved with this organization are complete embarrassments.

I've been a lifelong Fins fan, and I'm 47. I'm a CEO of a mid-size company. I have a LOT to say, but will try and keep it brief.

1. The franchise IS a laughing stock right now, and it's a shame. As a fan, it's painful to watch it unfold. Better leadership and this could have been prevented. Whenever I see Philbin (and I watched all of Hard Knocks)I honestly think he wants to do the right thing and win, but he's a very cerebral guy and is very detached from the players, and underlying cultural issues they go through. When this kind of locker room conflict occurs, he just doesn't have the skills to deal with it. In the future it would be better if he assigned someone with the appropriate skillset to fill this role.

2. Is it untrue that every NFL team is behaving the same way. Dante Whitner (now Hitner) of the 49ers was on the radio this week and stated that Jim Harbaugh (who, by the way, Martin played for at Stanford), immediately after becoming head coach, told the 49ers players there is a no-hazing culture, and that the men in the locker room are your teammates. If they wanted to haze someone, do it on the field to their opponent. Considering this, which team (49ers or Fins) do you think is doing better this season and is poised to do better for years to come? How many 49ers have gotten arrested since Harbaugh has been the head coach?

3. The NFL has a Code of Conduct policy. It should be communicated throughout the league, and enforced. After all, what's the point of making the players dress up in suits and ties before and after games? Is that to convey some sort of faux professionalism? Conduct and professionalism are inward-out qualities, not something you can pretend to have based on dressing up (putting "lipstick on a pig").

4. The NFL and all professional sports organizations have cultures that are years behind the culture of our society. All the racism, homophobia, bullying, thuggery, and outward religious BS is being eliminated from our "real world" culture. The NFL, MLB, NBA, etc. need to quickly make major cultural changes, or they will be irrelevant to the fan base. Does anyone really think there aren't gay people playing professional sports?

5. Most of the national media attention is not really about Incognito vs. Martin, or the Dolphins. It's a catalyst for the ongoing national conversation about these larger cultural issues. Unfortunately the Dolphins are the guinea pigs on this one, and will be put under the microscope as the national debate rolls on.

I gotta go to work and its getting a little looney in here right now. Enjoy your Tacos and Lobstertube!!

Incognito's ruined it for everyone. Its just a sad time for Fin fans.

mark we differ, i dont care about going 8-8 instead of 4-12. 4-12 helps us much better than another worthless 8-8 year and keeping ireland,etc

No, I do not as the best man at my wedding hates strip clubs and he's single. he's my best friend, wouldn't trade him for anyone or change a thing.

But come on, if you go for work reasons then where is the rub? Not like just because you go, you are going to end up smelling like vanilla!!!

Toronto is acting like "If it doesn't bother me, why should it bother anyone"

Well, because everyone is different? Thanks god for that to! Could you imagine a world full of Toronto Tacos?


Funny thing. I called Mark Schlereth (spelling) last night because of the new thing with Richie and this golf outing. I had 3 questions that I wanted to ask but only got the one out. I asked him what in the hell did this golf outing thing that happened in May of 2012 have to do with anything that is going on about Cogs and Martin other than to slander Richie and put him in a negative light. The correct answer was nothing of course but he and the other announcer went on a diatribe about how it just speaks to his character. I actually used to like Mark Schlereth. Bah

Well, I was just contending your definition of awful, that's all. This team doesn't need to go 4-12 to take the next step.

Isnt funny how black people are never called racists? I am a white man who has experienced racism against me, my black people when I was kid. So what did I do, I married a black woman. I'll show you fools! Like this Whitlock guy who had the nerve to write about this story. Didnt you have a racist tweet about Jeremy Lin? Oh thats right its ok. I just wish black folks would admit, that they are just as racist as white folks. You can sit and talk crap all day about Chinese,Mexican all day with alot of black folks and they wont bat an eye.

EVERYONE IS RACIST!!!! E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E (In my Gary Oldman voice)

Posted by: CA Fins Fan | November 08, 2013 at 03:40 PM

But before I go...You Nailed it Pal. This is what I have been trying to say for almost 2 weeks. This hit it right on the head!! Now watch people come in here and tear this down as weak or not manly!! Later guys!

I don't go to strip clubs out of respect for my wife, daughter, sisters and mother. I have respect for women. Now I also don't judge people that do partake in the strip club industry.

Posted by: Bill Arnsparger | November 08, 2013 at 03:38 PM

So first he says he doesn't go to strip clubs because he respects women (which of course has nothing to do with respecting women - nudity was always considered art until the Puritan influence intoxicated the New World), yet then he says he doesn't judge people that partake... Well by his own admission he is saying he believes they are disrespectful.

This politically correct Puritan nonsense is an American thing. It's nothing but denial.

Martin needs to get over it. Whether his workplace is safe or unsafe, he is making more money than any of us average pedestrians, and he is living the NFL dream. What a jackass.

Sounds like we all should thank god Schlereth isn't a judge. Condemn one man to a crime based on teh sole fact that he did something completely unrelated before.

CA Fins Fan...I absolutely agree with that. As I said before, they have effectively turned this into a PBS/Nickelodeon after school special for bullying. It is obnoxious. Richie, as much of a jerk as people may think he is, is the poster boy for it in the NFL.

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