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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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What is the over under on how many times during MNF do we hear reference made to the MARTIN/INCOGNITO as the Locker room turns saga. I'd say at least 10.

Thanks, jack. I'm sorry I am going to have to keep laughing to keep from being mad at this. LOL

Quickie Mart? Where Martin gets a quickie? From Richie?

Quickie Mart is totally Jay & Silent Bob!

$15 lil man, put that sh*t in my hand. If that money doesn't show then you owe me owe me owe...

My jungle love...I wanna know ya know ya know ya

Just frag Martin into a dozen pieces...end of story.

Quickie mart is Apu's enterprise from teh Simpsons...

The thing is, the Dolphins never used to be the club that only looked good when compared with the worst.

This was the team that set the standard, once.

Now it seems like one thing after another with the Dolphins, always too much going wrong, never enough going right, always a punch waiting for tired, hungry Dolfans as they turn a blind corner.

The legend, Shula, watches from afar, the wise old king wondering if he’ll live to see the Dolphins get to another Super Bowl, that Holy Grail that never seems any closer. Hard to believe, but Shula stopped coaching 18 seasons ago. Not hard to believe, he never stopped caring about his team.

“It hurts. You hate to see it happening,” he said.

He didn’t just mean the latest scandal. He meant the years of missteps and letdowns.

I asked Shula what he most wants for this franchise, for his Dolphins. I thought he’d mention another Super Bowl. Instead, he mentioned something more important.

“Just to get back that credibility,” he said.

Oh that is a low ball estimate. However, I will say under 10 but there will be 20 and 30 minute diatribe about it respectively. However, if the dolphins are losing, John Gruden will bring it up at least 15 times during the game in discussion of how much of a distraction it was for the team. The real over under is going to be How long is Bob Costas diatribe during Sunday night football on Bullying going to be. Because of Time constraints I will say 10 minutes straight.

Who here doesn't wanna bully Martin right now?

Bah, ur worthless

My lord. top 3 articles on espn.com/nfl are about Cognito. This is nvts. N V T S nvts!

NFL has just announced that the Dolphins had to forfeit the game on Monday as players are suspected to have bullied the pilot in going to hedonism instead of Tampa. One source quoted as saying that Ray finkle was behind it all

Marc youre a punk...I know your kind your an internet tough guy. Go hide puss

Einhorn is Finkle. Finkle is Einhorn. Finkle is a man!

Is it morally corrupt to go to strip clubs??? Then i'm one of those...

Bullygate adds in a major way to a series of Dolphins missteps and embarrassments in recent years that together paint the picture of a franchise that is somewhere between poorly run and dysfunctional — that, or just plain snake-bitten.

How else to explain this litany:

Club follows bad medical advice, chooses Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees.

Running back Ricky Williams, fueled by marijuana and chasing his muse, abruptly quits team in his prime.

Dolphins woo coach Jim Harbaugh under the nose of then-coach Tony Sparano, failing to land Harbaugh and embarrassing Sparano. (But not as much as the search party of owner Stephen Ross and general manager Jeff Ireland embarrassed themselves.)

Team has a chance to draft star receiver Dez Bryant but ruins the possibility when Ireland infamously asks him in an interview whether his mother is a prostitute.

Team goes hard after coach Jeff Fisher, doesn’t get him.

Trades Brandon Marshall, who is flourishing in Chicago.

Goes hard after quarterback Peyton Manning, doesn’t get him.

Does not re-sign Reggie Bush, who is flourishing in Detroit.

Now the major offseason addition, Mike Wallace, has disappointed so far.

Oh, and had Miami re-signed left tackle Jake Long, chances are this bullying mess might never have happened.

The Dolphins, at least, are not even the worst-run team in their own state, with Jacksonville and Tampa both winless. Likewise, Ross should send a gift basket to Jeffrey Loria because Loria’s Marlins seem to take local dishonors for franchise dysfunction

Finkle IS A MAAAANNNN????!!!!! PFFFTTTTTT!!!! "Enter crying game music"

Hey, Ace! You got anymore of this gum in your glove compartment?

Dolphins fans look up from the rubble of what has become of their franchise and cringe, ears tuned for the next high-pitched whistle that indicates the next explosion is coming. Surrounded by the smoke and stink of the latest mess engulfing their beleaguered team, Dolfans look around and here is what they see:

They see that a Kansas City Chiefs team that went 2-14 last season — worst record in the NFL — is now sailing along at 9-0.

Strike that, reverse it! (Willy Wonka)

I'm a Dolphin fan through good, bad and ugly. No matter how this turns out. Phin fan for life!!!!!

Ok great you knowthe lines from Ace Ventura....I really hope you aint a real dr

Wow this story has reached The Guardian newspaper in the UK. The last time the Dolphins got this much publicity over there was in !984 when we met the 49'ers in the Superbowl.

Where the hell are Ross and Ireland hiding ?

Quite pathetic to see them both dwelling at the bottom of the ocean yet again, but then at least they are consistenly awful.

Here here , Al!

That's none of your business & I'll thank you to stay out of my personal affairs!

Great movie!

I don't give a rats #ss what the national media or Vontae's granny thinks about my Miami Dolphins. Just beat the Bucs Monday night and I will be happy.

Way to Bring'er home, FYI. And you are absolutely correct, Great Movie!

Big G, what do you want us to do about it? There is nothing any of us can do. No need to sulk and look back at how great miami used to be. Pointless.

yeah if your 10 yrs old. this is a mans site.


Ah Big G. C'mon man, don't be like that.

I think I and going to check out NFL Shop.com. there is probably a fire sail on incognito's Jersey.

Watch KC lose their next 3 and 6 of their next 7.

sale...damn autocorrect

I was thinking the same thing about KC

A mans site we go to strip clubs side with cogs...he's the man and call martin a puss. this is friggin football dammit

Richie spotted landing in LA. Maybe he will kill Martin?!

mark you must be smoking that crack with ur mayor...kc is the real deal 6 pro bowlers how many the phins have...eh?

Ive been a dolphins fan since Mark Clayton was drafted and have stuck with them through all the ups and downs. I will continue to stick with them but this mess isnt going to end without some major upheaval. If Ireland escapes this mess with his job intact then i truely believe Ross will never let him go no matter what. He was the man who drafted Martin and gave Incognito a contract to play with our beloved Fins. Seems to me the man to go is him. Never like to see anyone lose their job, but he failed in his responsibility in not seeing this coming. I think he chose to ignore it and even in some instance allowed it to go on. The only ones that suffer here is the fans. The players will move on to other teams or new seasons, but the time you and i invest in our team is lost for good. We cant fire the owner but seems to me the next man down is the GM. He has to go

When is Irescum going to set the record straight?

Marc youre a buffon. kill yourself loser

Hey on the bright side we won't have Doug Martin running all over us Monday night.

The only way to get out of this hell hole is to win games. Win games things change.

All this talk of strip clubs. I think I know where I'm going tonight!

A wonderful opinion piece. Thank you for your opinion.

Richie spotted landing in LA. Maybe he will kill Martin?!

Posted by: Marc | November 08, 2013 at 04:49 PM

only a moron would think thats funny

where is that J.O. bill so I can straighten his gaaay assss out, respect women huh why they were put here for one reason only...in fact if they didn't have a puss we would be hunting them!

marc they have gaaay strip clubs by your in Orlando?

Forget about the Dolphins ever moving too. There's no BILLIONAIRE in his right mind who would tough this franchise with a 10ft pole.

There's also not a city in America that would allow this franchise there as long as Steven Ross is still owner.

we all know from your macho post that ur a meat smoker

After 'Bullygate', NFL ban Hazing Period.

Ricky suggested 'Purple Hazing' to Roger Godell as an alternative therapy based initation for new players.

Snoop Dog to assist on the rollout period :)

Who cares what the the NY media compromised of Jets/Giants fans think of our Phins? I really don't care about their perception of the team in the least and never did. Winning cures everything.

marco lol

If I had the opportunity I would bully Mark Schlereth...Just sayin.

NOW we know EXACTYLY what the OLINE PROBLEM has been.

They hold their meetings at THE STRIP CLUB!

EXACTLY why our qb's have been getting killed.

I'm getting sick of this whole ordeal. The Saints actually had a money pool in their 2010 SB run were you had to physically bounce Kurt Warner and later Favre from there Playoff game. In that NFC Champ. game you actually had DL Hargrove caught on camera after Favre got helped of the field telling teammates he was going to get paid. You later have their DC admitting or testifying about MLB Vilma telling teammates how to take former H.S. (Coral Gables) and College (UM) teammate Frank Gore out by attacking his knees (to me truly despicable considering these 2 go all the way back to freaking H.S. together)

The situation in N.E. was about cheating and taping opponent practices to get their O and D calls. Again it was cheating for an advantage. Here were talking about a player in Jonathan (Honey Suckle) Martin who was actually saving voice mails, leaking (his version of events) while NEVER the target of intent to purposely injure or anything that out of the ordinary with the ins-n-outs of his profession. As you all read he hired a Sports Attorney and the word civil action was used! Good luck on that outside of suing Incognito given I don't see anything past the shadow of a doubt here.

I do however wonder if the slights in treatment of former and current team leaders isn't affecting the way some tenured vets are approaching their commitment to this team and Org. Solia (whose the guy with the clippers and hair dye during camp) and Starks are demonstrating a complete lack of empathy here and their reactions or lack there of is telling of how they view the Org. and their respective future's here (just read some of the stuff David Cantor, Solia's Agent has to say about the team)

I'm worried that the disconnect Ross has about this particular piece of his personal empire will only lead to cloudier days as he searches for solutions with few takers! We will all see were this is going soon enough but the gaffs of this Org. under Ross are blinding! I really wonder at this point who will stamp their name to this team in the future. I worry more about this than the overblown circus surrounding the Franchise today!

"Notice a pattern?"

Yeah, it's pretty obvious Armando so I'm surprised you didn't notice it. The first game at home was after they were 2-0. So yeah, the place was packed. Then they lost a game or two and the fans started giving up like they always do in Florida because most of you are bandwagon morons down there. And it's embarrassing as hell to see the way you dolts dress up at the games, it looks like a gay pride parade in that stadium. Trying to look tough with a rubber dolphin on a spring attached to their hat. And the rest of the stadium looks like a bunch of losers. Dolphins fans, the worst ever. Dolphins management= terrible, Dolphins players= mediocre, media=irresponsible hype machine, fans=worst in football. Just move the team to a state that will care about them please.

F4L a voice of reason as usual.

Phins78 valid reasoning

Hey Big G, WTF are you talking about man? Are you just drunk posting on a Friday afternoon?

The Miami Dolphins have fallen and they can’t get up.

The once-proud franchise of the Perfect Season and Don Shula and Dan Marino continues to stumble and skew so much closer to embarrassment than excellence. The club continues what seems a losing battle to avoid being the worst thing you can be in the sports and entertainment business: Irrelevant.

Make that irrelevant on the field, where the hunger for the next Miami playoff victory dates to the last one a month shy of 13 years ago. The club last won a Super Bowl in 1973, last even appeared in one in 1984.

I recall original owner Joe Robbie’s lament that Miami was “wasting the Marino years.” It seems the club has been wasting just about all of the years since as well. Wasting fans’ time, you might even say.

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