If you read today that Jason Taylor, on a committee appointed by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to institute a code of locker room conduct, believes the Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito scandal was 'overblown' you probably should not be suprised.
It seems many Dolphins players believe the issue was overblown and some blame the media for the scandal.
Number starting center Mike Pouncey, a person of interest in the investigation conducted by Ted Wells, as one of those thinking the scandal was a media fabrication that he says "wasn't true."
'"All along we've known we done things the right way," Pouncey said. "That hasn't changed. It's been the same day since Day One. We never let any outside distractions get to us because we knew everything that was being said wasn't true. So we've just been doing our job and it's been paying off late in the season for us."
"We had the same team, we had the same mindset. We knew everything that was being said wasn't true. It affected us not one bit."
This statement seemed odd to me because while I know the media (as a giant all-encompassing entity) has gotten multiple stories on the scandal completely wrong, to say everything that was being said was untrue is ridiculous.
The media did not cause the scandal. That was conceived within the Dolphins roster and birthed when Martin threw down his lunch tray and left the team.
The media did not force Jonathan Martin to go AWOL. (He did that on his own).
The media did not suspend Richie Incognito. (The Dolphins -- Joe Philbin, onwer Stephen Ross, general manager Jeff Ireland -- did that).
The media did not leave any voice mails. (Incognito did that).
The media did not claim there was a physical attack on Martin. (Martin's lawyer did that). By the way, that alleged attack happened at Pouncey's house, a Martin associate has told the Miami Herald.
The media did not start an NFL investigation that compelled practically the entire Dolphins roster, coaches, personnel people and staff, to speak to Wells. (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, at the request of owner Ross, did that).
So does Pouncey really think the scandal was a media thing?
"No question," Pouncey said. "You don't?"
No. I don't. The media didn't write any texts, either.
"One text," Pouncey said. "What does that mean?"
Obviously all of it means very little within the Dolphins locker room right now. That is perhaps one reason the scandal has not affected the team's ability to get hot and go on a three-game win streak so far this December.
But the belief that the whole scandal was largely a media fabrication leaves open the possibility that the same environment that led to the mess remains unchanged and unrepetant because everyone insists nothing wrong happened. Players are convinced that which drove Martin to go AWOL was, well, nothing.
It would be interesting if that's what they're saying to their owner or their coach or the league because it was their owner, who said he was "appalled" by the issue, their coach, who suspended Incognito, and their league, which is still conducting an investigation on the affair.
[NOTE: I've no doubt Dolphins fans feel the same way as the players. Scapegoating the media is convenient and easy. Go for it in the comments section. It is predictable. But dismissing an issue that dominated the organization for nearly an entire month and still may lead to the suspension and/or firing of people as merely a media thing is unwise.]