Author Topic: Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story  (Read 466 times)

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Offline DCPatriot

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Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story
« on: November 07, 2013, 10:17:29 AM »
Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story

Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Lydon Murtha pulls back the curtain on what he saw and what he’s heard of the relationship between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, from the locker room dynamic to that now-famous O-line trip to Vegas

By Lydon Murtha

I don’t have a dog in this fight.

I want that to be very clear. I played offensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins from 2009 until the 2012 preseason, when I was released after tearing ligaments in my foot and injuring my back, both requiring surgery. I have since retired, and I’m happily working in the auto industry and living outside of Miami. I went to college at Nebraska with Richie Incognito, and I consider myself friends with him and Jonathan Martin, but I don’t speak with them regularly and I’m not taking sides. I’m only interested in the truth, which is what I’m going to share, from my own experiences and from conversations with friends still on the team.

Before I correct some of the misconceptions and outright lies being reported in the course of this story, let’s first establish who Martin and Incognito are as human beings and their relationship with one another.

From the beginning, when he was drafted in April 2012, Martin did not seem to want to be one of the group. He came off as standoffish and shy to the rest of the offensive linemen. He couldn’t look anyone in the eye, which was puzzling for a football player at this level on a team full of grown-ass men. We all asked the same question: Why won’t he be open with us? What’s with the wall being put up? I never really figured it out. He did something I’d never seen before by balking at the idea of paying for a rookie dinner, which is a meal for a position group paid for by rookies. (For example, I paid $9,600 for one my rookie year.) I don’t know if Martin ever ended up paying for one, as I was cut before seeing the outcome.
Incognito and Martin (Lynne Sladky/AP)Incognito and Martin (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Martin was expected to play left tackle beside Incognito at guard from the start, so Incognito took him under his wing. They were close friends by all apperances. Martin had a tendency to tank when things would get difficult in practice, and Incognito would lift him up. He’d say, there’s always tomorrow. Richie has been more kind to Martin than any other player.

In other situations, when Martin wasn’t showing effort, Richie would give him a lot of crap. He was a leader on the team, and he would get in your face if you were unprepared or playing poorly. The crap he would give Martin was no more than he gave anyone else, including me. Other players said the same things Incognito said to Martin, so you’d need to suspend the whole team if you suspend Incognito.

Which brings me to my first point: I don’t believe Richie Incognito bullied Jonathan Martin. I never saw Martin singled out, excluded from anything, or treated any differently than the rest of us. We’d have dinners and the occasional night out, and everyone was invited. He was never told he can’t be a part of this. It was the exact opposite. But when he came out, he was very standoffish. That’s why the coaches told the leaders, bring him out of his shell. Figure him out a little bit.

That’s where Incognito ran into a problem. Personally, I know when a guy can’t handle razzing. You can tell that some guys just aren’t built for it. Incognito doesn’t have that filter. He was the jokester on the team, and he joked with everybody from players to coaches. That voicemail he sent came from a place of humor, but where he really screwed up was using the N-word. That, I cannot condone, and it’s probably the biggest reason he’s not with the team right now. Odd thing is, I’ve heard Incognito call Martin the same thing to his face in meetings and all Martin did was laugh. Many more worse things were said about others in the room from all different parties. It’s an Animal House. Now Incognito’s being slandered as a racist and a bigot, and unfortunately that’s never going to be wiped clean because of all the wrong he’s done people in his past. But if you really know who Richie is, he’s a really good, kind man and far from a racist.

In my experience, he’s not the kind of person who would extort someone for $15,000. The notion that Martin was forced to pay for a trip he didn’t attend has been misrepresented.

Quote

    Playing football is a man’s job, and if there’s any weak link, it gets weeded out. It’s the leaders’ job on the team to take care of it.



Every year, as tradition, the offensive line goes on a big Vegas trip. Everything is paid for in advance, from hotels to a private jet to show tickets. Martin originally verbally committed to the trip, then later backed out after everything was booked. Now, if you can’t go because of an emergency then it’s okay, but to say you’re going and then decide you don’t want to spend the money later? Everything was paid for, and then when it was time to pay up he didn’t want to go anymore. You don’t do that to your brothers. The veterans who paid for it, including Incognito and others, asked for Martin’s share, and he gave it to them. End of story.

The silliest part of this story, to me, is the incident at the cafeteria, in which Martin was supposed to have been hazed when everyone got up from their seats as he sat down. Whoever leaked that story failed to share that getting up from a packed lunch table when one lineman sits down is a running gag that has been around for years. It happened to me more than once, and it happened to Martin because guys on the team say he was overcoming an illness. Just like when a guy is hurt, the joke is, I don’t want to sit with you, you’ve got the bug. Perhaps for Martin it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but when Incognito reached him after he stormed out, Martin told him the departure had nothing to do with Incognito. Martin said it was something else. Then the media onslaught began.

http://mmqb.si.com/2013/11/07/richie-incognito-jonathan-martin-dolphins-lydon-murtha/?sct=hp_t1t_a1&eref=sihp

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"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"I am responsible for what I say.  I am not responsible for what your understand."  ...me

Offline GourmetDan

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Re: Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2013, 11:15:56 AM »

Unfortunately, the behavior attributed to the participant's isn't 'manly'.

It's just Junior High on steroids...


"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2

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Offline Relic

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Re: Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2013, 11:34:37 AM »
Unfortunately, the behavior attributed to the participant's isn't 'manly'.

It's just Junior High on steroids...

They are men, playing a kids game, with enormous pressure. Strange things come out of such an environment.

I see this as more of the feminization of America. The proper way to handle this, would have been to get the two men in a room, and work it out. Extract apologies or promises, or whatever is necessary to put it behind and move along. But, the media is so invested in anti bullying, (which makes me cringe), and feminization, that this thing has taken on a life of it's own.

I usually watch Mike & Mike on ESPN with my morning coffee. They are beating this story so hard, I can't watch. I hope they come to their senses soon.

Offline GourmetDan

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Re: Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2013, 11:51:16 AM »
I see this as more of the feminization of America. The proper way to handle this, would have been to get the two men in a room, and work it out. Extract apologies or promises, or whatever is necessary to put it behind and move along. But, the media is so invested in anti bullying, (which makes me cringe), and feminization, that this thing has taken on a life of it's own.

I agree.  Over the past 50 years, so many men have been raised without fathers that our society no longer remembers what manly behavior is.  Mothers alone cannot raise men.  It takes a Father to do that and Fathers have systematically been ripped out of family by giving women legal power they are not capable of handling.

Used to be that a divorce involved the wife leaving and the husband keeping the kids.  This introduced a natural incentive into the marriage to work things out because women didn't want to lose their kids and husbands didn't necessarily want to raise kids alone.

Now, a woman can kick her husband out, keep the house, make him pay money and move a new man in whenever she wants.  Far too many are quite willing to 'cash in' on that opportunity.

This change was by design, IMO,  and we are reaping the whirlwind of the deliberate destruction of the basic societal unit... the family.


"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2

"April Fools Day is the one day of the year that people critically evaluate news articles before accepting them as true." - Unknown

Online flowers

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Re: Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2013, 01:08:57 PM »
I agree.  Over the past 50 years, so many men have been raised without fathers that our society no longer remembers what manly behavior is.  Mothers alone cannot raise men.  It takes a Father to do that and Fathers have systematically been ripped out of family by giving women legal power they are not capable of handling.

Used to be that a divorce involved the wife leaving and the husband keeping the kids.  This introduced a natural incentive into the marriage to work things out because women didn't want to lose their kids and husbands didn't necessarily want to raise kids alone.

Now, a woman can kick her husband out, keep the house, make him pay money and move a new man in whenever she wants.  Far too many are quite willing to 'cash in' on that opportunity.

This change was by design, IMO,  and we are reaping the whirlwind of the deliberate destruction of the basic societal unit... the family.
I agree...deliberate.


Offline Relic

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Re: Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 02:13:17 PM »
This change was by design, IMO,  and we are reaping the whirlwind of the deliberate destruction of the basic societal unit... the family.

Yep. Because once the family unit is inconsequential, the state becomes the unchallenged authority.

Online mountaineer

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Re: Incognito and Martin: An Insider’s Story
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 01:22:44 PM »
I haven't understood how and why an NFL player permitted himself to be "bullied" (assuming a grown man can be bullied by other guys), first of all, and why on earth he'd make such information public. Who wants to admit he's a sissy? Anyhow, it seems Mr. Martin has some deep-rooted issues.
Quote
Jonathan Martin tells parents upbringing at 'soft schools' hurt him
Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports
 2:43 a.m. EST February 15, 2014


Jonathan Martin was a man in turmoil, his depression only fueled by harassment from some of his Miami Dolphins teammates.

In a 144-page independent report released Friday by NFL-appointed investigator Ted Wells, Martin is portrayed as a man who couldn't figure out how to best interact within his own locker room, struggled to reconcile his relationship with football, was driven to drink by his poor play and even twice contemplated suicide in 2013. Martin left the team in October after a cafeteria prank.

According to the report's findings, Martin, who is African-American, was outraged by racial slurs directed at him by fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who is white. Martin was also offended by extremely sexually suggestive comments made by Incognito and Miami linemen Mike Pouncey and John Jerry aimed at Martin's sister — she never met any of Martin's Miami teammates — and mother, who did attend a team function at Fort Lauderdale last April. Martin also was the object of lewd remarks that questioned his manhood and pilloried him for body odor.

Being the object of such behavior would bother most people, but Martin seems to have been more vulnerable than most. He frequently self-diagnosed depression and had been the target of bullying in middle school and high school before his football talents emerged.

As his ordeal with the Dolphins continued to escalate, Martin turned to his parents. Martin, who had an upper-middle-class upbringing in Los Angeles, wrote in a text to his mother last April: "I figured out a major source of my anxiety. I'm a push over (sic), a people pleaser. I avoid confrontation whenever I can, I always want everyone to like me. I let people talk about me, say anything to my face, and I just take it, laugh it off, even when I know they are intentionally trying to disrespect me.

"I mostly blame the soft schools I went to. … I used to get verbally bullied every day in middle school and high school, by kids that are half my size. I would never fight back, just get sad & feel like no one wanted to be my friend, when in fact I was just being socially awkward. Most people in that situation are witty & quick with sarcastic replies, I never have been. I'm awkward around people a lot of the time because I simply don't know how to act around them."

Martin also told her that he was increasingly becoming a loner while at Stanford, though he didn't battle depression at Palo Alto. Yet he expressed disappointment that the college environment had not helped him better assimilate with his peers. He often wanted to quit football but did not because he said it was one thing that provided him focus.

His feelings of inadequacy re-surfaced after he joined the Dolphins as a second-round draft pick in 2012. He told his mother in a text, "Everywhere I go, I get punked. I have a disagreeable personality, people are always annoyed by me. And I don't know how to stop it. I don't. High school still and will forever haunt me."

Martin discussed his teammates' barbs with his father, who advised him to stand up to them but also admitted he had backed down when he faced racial epithets and taunts during his own youth.

Martin's mother and the Dolphins separately helped Martin seek psychiatric care, but Martin didn't seem to reap much benefit. A prescribed anti-depressant seemed to give him temporary relief last May, but continued jabs from teammates and the pressure of football eventually got to Martin again.

In a text to his mother last May, Martin wrote: "I just don't really see the point in things. It's a major accomplishment for me if I brush my teeth or eat more than 1 meal in a day on off days. It's not that I'm sad, just unmotivated."

He later admitted losing his competitive fire.

Though Martin's friendship with Incognito was characterized as "bipolar" in Wells' report, Martin did share his mental health struggles with Incognito and even admitted his suicidal feelings. When Martin got drunk following a poor performance in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 6, 2013, and missed a workout the following morning, Incognito dispatched a teammate to find him.

But prior to that, Incognito and Pouncey were among those who riffed on Martin's insecurity as a football player — he frequently struggled on the field during his 23 NFL starts and lost the left tackle job when Miami traded for veteran Bryant McKinnie last October — while also questioning other facets of his personality.

The Wells report contends Incognito harped on Martin's race because he "doesn't carry himself like a black guy." The investigation went on to state that Pouncey, who is biracial, and Jerry, who is black, alleged Martin "was not really black or not black enough."

Finally, after 18 months with the Dolphins, Martin had endured enough.
Martin's response was overblown and irrational because, it seems, he was mentally ill. Should Incognito, Pouncey, et al., be blamed for that?

From an article on the most "explosive" examples of harassment:
Quote
From the report:

“Dolphins’ Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner was aware of the running ‘joke’ that Player A was gay, and on at least one occasion, he participated in the taunting. Around Christmas 2012, Coach Turner gave the offensive linemen gift bags that included a variety of stocking stuffers. The gifts included inflatable female dolls for all of the offensive linemen except Player A, who received a male ‘blow-up’ doll.”
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