Richie Incognito is an insensitive jerk! We’re now hearing his pointed and very personal attacks, on his own team mate for God’s sake, may or may not have been encouraged by his coaches. Whatever the case turns out to be, the guy went way over the line in his treatment of Jonathan Martin and has probably played his last down with the Miami Dolphins. Having said all that, I’m here to tell you I’d take Incognito over the timid Martin every single time. I’m sure if you polled most NFL locker rooms they’d echo my sentiment.
The NFL is built on unsavory characters. Men that if you gave them an inch they’d take a lot more. Guys like Conrad Dobler, Jack Tatum, and Bill Romanowski would do whatever it took to win on the football field. Their team mates loved ’em! That’s because they knew that any of those guys would have their back when push came to shove, as it so often does on autumn Sundays. Sound familiar? I listened hard this week and all the comments I heard coming out of Miami painted ‘ol Richie-Rich as a guy you’d love to have as your team mate in the trenches. Even the “brothas” on the team, who I thought would have been a little more critical of Incognito, sang his praises. Cam Wake and Mike Wallace, I’m looking at you! If they can’t get mad at him, why then should I? Even worse, what does that say about how they view Martin?
For me, it comes down to simple respect. You will respect me even if you don’t like me. That’s just how it’s got to be. For Jonathan Martin to let Richie Incognito “own” him like that, it doesn’t say much for the man in a league predicated on dominance and submission. It’s your job to dominate the man across from you for 60 minutes, 16 times a year. If you’ll let your own line mate get away with such behavior, what about the opponent firing into you every play, every Sunday? Stand up for yourself, man! How did Martin let it get to this place, where he’d walk away from his starting job at the hands of some meat head? Mind-boggling, to be sure. What is clear to me, though, is I’d take a guy like Richie Incognito into battle with me long before I’d take a player as mentally soft as Jonathan Martin.