Saturday, February 15, 2014

The NFL Cesspool: Sheer Ugliness, Painted With a Very Broad Brush

Sometimes Joey Porter's Pit Bulls can't help but wonder what we're supporting with our cable TV payments and emotional/financial investment in the NFL. As much as we love the game itself ...

It's getting tougher and tougher to buy what the NFL is selling.

If you're a fan of the NFL, we recommend you read the entire "REPORT TO THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE CONCERNING ISSUES OF WORKPLACE CONDUCT AT THE MIAMI DOLPHINS."  Read the whole damn thing. All 144 pages.

And if you watch the NFL Network, you may have noticed the terse mention on Friday of Darren Sharper. He faces ugly criminal charges that are about as ugly as ugly gets without the word "murder" involved, as in the case of Aaron Hernandez.

Words that come to mind thinking about the NFL in the wake of these most recent stories: Shameful, despicable, sordid, criminal, idiotic, vile, base, offensive, disturbing, off-putting. Cesspool.

The report on the Dolphins was compiled by a law firm hired by the NFL to present findings on the escapades of the oafish Richie Icognito and his pals, Mike "Free Hernandez" Pouncey (twin brother of Steelers' center Maurkice "Free Hernandez" Pouncey), John Jerry and, apparently, the entire Dolphins coaching staff and management organization. If the coaches deny it, they're lying.

The Pouncey twins, wearing their cute little
"Free Hernandez" hats expressing their support of
accused murderer
Aaron Hernandez, former NFL player
The report makes clear and lays bare the sheer ugliness in Miami, and you can be pretty sure we're still not getting any near the full story. As columnist Greg Stoda of the Miami Herald wrote, "Forget locker-room mentality; the Miami Dolphins have a prison-yard mentality."

When all this broke a few months ago, any number of Incognito apologists made the point that the sort of behavior described in the report is common across the NFL, as if that makes it okay. If so, let's keep in mind our cable TV dollars pay for the precious "locker room culture" and lifestyle of the players described in the report.

Richie Incognito made nearly $5 million last year alone, even with the suspension. The 24-year-old Pouncey made nearly $3 million, and Jerry made more than $1.5 million. Five million dollars in one calendar year: In what other line of work could the incomprehensibly stupid, oafish, porcine, boorish, loutish, obtuse, bullying, dense Incognito make that kind of money?

And you wonder why your cable bill is so high?

How some people are able to maintain jobs is a wonder. You'd think Stephen Ross, the billionaire owner of the Dolphins, would want to clean house. Fire everybody. Sever ties with all the coaches and several players, including Incognito, Pouncey and Jerry and probably others.

Does Richie Incognito and his pals have sisters, mothers, wives and/or girlfriends? What do those women think about their boys now? The same guys who "jokingly" threatened to assault and gang-rape the sister and mother of Jonathan Martin, who threatened to kill Martin (even as fellow NFL player Aaron Hernandez [he of the "Free Hernandez" cap worn by the Pouncey twins] faces murder charges), and who threatened to shit in his mouth?

Karma has a way of swinging around on people. There is no way to polish the turds that Richie Incognito and his pals threatened to shit in the mouth of Jonathan Martin and fling at others in positions of weakness, including rookie players and the assistant trainer who happens to be of Japanese descent. If any NFL team adds Incognito to its roster, shame on them. They will have relinquished any claim to the word "character" ever again.

And then there's the NFL Network, the league's own. Darren Sharper, presumably, won't be on the NFL Network anytime soon. We'll just have to rely on Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp,. et al,  for the kind of precious insight, pithy wit, jocular mirth and "expert analysis" we just can't get anywhere else. Yeah.

Friday was a dark day for the NFL, and it's getting tougher and tougher to feel good about so much that the NFL presents. Why are we supporting these people anyway?  Roger Goodell?


Greg Doyel, CBS Sports: "After Richie Incognito Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine ..."

Slate: "The Best Report on Bullying Ever"

Will Brinson: "Dolphins Lack Leadership from Top to Bottom"

Deadspin:  "Darren Sharper Allegedly Drugged, Raped Women in Four States"

William Rhoden, The New York Times: "A Vile and Graphic Report"

The Sacramento Bee: "Harbaugh: Jonathan Martin Can Resume Successful NFL Career"

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