We tend to see what we want to see , and not what has actually taken place
In light of the recent events taking place in the NFL and this constant insinuation that everyone is entitled to their right say whatever they want as a way of expressing themselves . At no time in any of the recent debates on the incident , have I read or actually heard the words , “ decency “ , “ common courtesy “ much less “ respect “ . And all of this built upon this still rather asinine premise, that this country being greatest on the planet , built upon Christian and moral values, can and should be seen as a beacon of light for the rest of the world .
I find it now hard to believe that anyone who has seen in print, the words of Richie Incognito directed towards his teammate Jonathan Martin and at his mother , can now view this as a place where everyone can see seen or treated as equals . If racism was meant to be tolerated in the workplace, then why not have it as a statute ? Clearly, not the case, of the charade that has been created in the NFL as a fraternity of brothers . Never mind the asinine idiocy of on air analysts, opining that this matter should have been dealt with as an internal issue or where a player walking out on his teammates after a racial epithet has been directed at him , cannot be trusted once he has opened up to press and public on the matter . Yet , this is now the idiocy that we are now seeing as the league hierarchy and NFLPA (union) begin to “circle the wagons” in seeking to defer and deflect the now mounting criticism directed at the NFL and its lack of oversight and its initial handling of this incident .
Miami Dolphins’ GM Jeff Ireland did the right thing in suspending Richie Incognito without pay , and in ordering an immediate in-house inquiry , rather than having left it to the team’s now beleaguered head coach Joe Philbin to deal with the matter and whose job is likely to be on the line given the poor performances of the team this season and his own handling of the incident in question, and those initial public statements, claiming that this was nothing more than an isolated incident , when it now seems , it was quite the opposite , with their being what appears to be a mounting feud between the two linemen on the team .
If it was known amongst many of the players on the roster , that there was some type of feud going on between the two players and with it escalating to the point of a physical altercation and now , an uncalled for rationale in Incognito’s behavior , then what should that now indicate to us about the NFL as a league where the players simply are allowed to run wild, have no respect for the law and who then often hide behind their wall of high-priced attorneys to fend of charges of a criminal act or intent . Yet excuses are now being made for this type of behavior, without a thought, about how this is all viewed by outside world . Especially one , where the league tries to sell its brand to the consumer and seeks out corporate partners willing to part ways with countless millions on an annual basis to increase this already $7 billion a year corporate entity with ever increasing revenues , which keeps the team owners , players and league hierarchy salivating at the prospect of ever increasing profits .
If you thought that this has been the only incident that placed Richie Incognito under the microscope in recent weeks , then you would be sadly mistaken . In an incident that is alleged to have taken place at a charity golf tournament , the player is said to have sexually harassed a female patron at a public in view of several members who then took it upon themselves to call in local law enforcement . Yet, here we have another incident of a player on the Dolphins’ roster having ran amok, albeit action was said to have been taken , there seems to be no record of a monetary fine or disciplinary action having been taken against the player subsequent to that particular incident . Now what has anyone got to say about the issue, other than to continue with their usual apathy disinterest ?
For the Miami Dolphins and their own impoverished t season , one where the team is in a circling motion as it awaits the call to land . It does seem, as if this conflict or saga is more likely to pull the organization apart , rather than hold it together. There is not one player amongst this lineup , who one can look to and call that individual the team’s vocal leader and with the constant struggles of quarterback Ryan Tannehill on display each week during this season . Is anyone actually surprised that at this juncture, the talk is not about what the Dolphins have failed to achieve in 2013, but the fact the team now has a possible racist within their mix, with no apparent formal apology yet to have been offered by Richie Incognito for his behavior ? Obviously a microcosm of society , where some have no wish to be held accountable for their actions, but who then would choose to play the “victim” instead , as has been the case in the first public interview granted by the player. Meanwhile, Jonathan Martin has hired himself high-powered criminal attorney David Cornwell , in what is likely to be a situation where some type of civil suit is likely to be brought against either the Miami Dolphins, or Richie Incognito , himself . And clearly, this has been the reason why NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has summoned both players to the union’s headquarters to seek a resolution in this matter, before it becomes a rather unsavory legal issue . Bear in mind also , that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has also hired an outside investigator head up the league’s own investigation as to what took place between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin . Corporate litigator, Ted Wells , has been the individual hired by the league to head up the investigation in this matter .
With all eyes now on the Miami Dolphins , for the team, their urgency will actually evolve around how they acquit themselves on Monday night , when they meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8) , as the two teams get underway in a contest at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa Florida . While the Dolphins have their own off the field issues , for the Buccaneers their problems this season , have been longstanding as the team has struggled throughout the entire year , with nothing of note coming by way of head coach Greg Schiano or his coaching staff . The game itself, is likely to be one of the less intriguing contests taking place during week ten of the NFL schedule. So make of it what you will and enjoy whatever you believe to be some of the more intriguing contests on the NFL menu for the weekend
There is no denying that a team’s season can be made or broken in one moment of what appears to have been a rather innocuous incident in terms of an injury . In the case of the Green Bay Packers , the loss of quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone , could very well bring their season crashing down around their ears . The alternatives for Mike McCarthy in terms of a substitute for Rodgers can best be described as having a Ferrari in your driveway and then in comes in a 84 Dodge Pinto alongside a ’91 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme . Far be it for me to make this suggestion , but Packers GM Ted Thompson must now have realized that his office made a monumental mistake in the waiving of Vince Young at the end of the preseason , after the player showed a great deal of promise during the team’s exhibition games . Which is a great deal more than can be said of Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien combined , who are in fact the number two and the three players behind Rodgers on the team’s depth chart at the quarterback position
When Green Bay play host to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field , in Green Bay , Wisconsin , Seneca Wallace will be making his first start in an NFL game since playing for the Cleveland Browns in contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 NFL season . That asides, a great deal is being asked of player, whose NFL career can best be described as spotty in part or moderately average . A win is certainly needed by the Packers if they are to maintain their slender but slight lead over the Detroit Lions (5-3) and Chicago Bears (5-3) within the NFC North . In what is now turning out to be a tightly contested division , the three aforementioned teams will be fighting out until the end of the season with their divisional games likely to be the “make or break” that could prove to be the real pivotal factor decider within the division
In what is now turning out to be a disastrous season for the Atlanta Falcons , it is becoming increasing difficult each week to explain how a team that was originally seen as a favorite alongside the New Orleans Saints (6-2) as the duo thought to be fighting it out for divisional supremacy within the NFC South . Instead, but for the win-less Buccaneers, Mike Smith’s Falcons would now be finding themselves at the bottom of the division with their mediocre record of 2-6 , a mark that would also place them in the bottom half of the conference (NFC) . As of now , it looks as if the Falcons are not only playing for pride and self-respect, but also to determine perhaps their draft position for the 2014 NFL Draft . The real issue Atlanta this season, has been the inconsistency of their defense alongside under-achieving players on both sides of the ball . As to their being leadership on a team that has several seasoned veterans and perhaps one the league’s more consistent passers in Matt Ryan . An explanation has to be sought, as to why the Falcons have been a miserable failure . Mike Smith serves up very little, beyond the usual diatribe of platitudes and a great deal of rhetoric . GM Thomas Dimitroff , is now viewed with a great deal of contempt by the fans , as he is viewed as the architect of the roster over the past two years , with an abundance of draft picks and a number of questionable off-season acquisitions .
As Atlanta prepares for the visit of the Seattle Seahawks (8-1) to the Georgia Dome in a conference match-up this Sunday, it would be safe to say, a defeat here and there may well be questions raised as to whether or not Mike Smith has taken this franchise as far as he can , in spite of the recent postseason appearances , where once again his teams have failed abysmally , along with Matt Ryan, and his multi-year , mult-million dollar contract . I have no doubt that the quarterback will remain the centerpiece of this team , but there are several players on this roster , who are now past their “sell by date” in terms of their dwindling productivity . We will either find out a great deal about the temperament of the Falcons this Sunday or we are likely to witness a team who has lost the appetite to win.
The façade long-held up that the NFL cares , and specifically about the health of their retired veterans continues to take repeated hits . In recent breaking news , Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett was recently diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) , along with the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Repeatedly, I have heard and read comments by fans and analysts alike stating that these players know the risk of participating in a physically demanding and full contact sport. Yet what seems to be missing in this ongoing debate , has been the years of research that was in the NFL’s possession on the studies conducted by a well-qualified medical team conducting studies in blunt force head trauma and other neurological disorders associated in playing professional football. A great deal of the of findings when published was never entered into the public domain , with that evidence remaining in the NFL’s possession . with both Roger Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue refusing to acknowledge the “cause and effect ” of CTE and blunt head force trauma. Excuses from all around, came from veterans , current players, coaches and fans alike . But it was not until the recent deaths of Junior Seau , and previously that of Dave Duerson , both from self-inflicted gunshot wounds, recorded officially, as a homicide, that the fans and public alike started to take note . Congressional Committees were convened, all to no avail , with the usual perfunctory answers being proffered up by Roger Goodell, and DeMaurice Smith .
Courtesy of USA Today
By Maggie Hendricks
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is as familiar to football fans as a torn ACL or ruptured Achilles. It’s the degenerative brain disease that has been blamed for the suicide and untimely deaths of players including Junior Seau, Dave Duerson and Chris Henry. Some researchers have linked CTE to football head trauma and cited long-term effects such as depression and dementia. The unfortunate truth of the disease was it could not be diagnosed until after death.
However, UCLA researchers have preliminary results on a test to diagnose signs of CTE in living former players. Among those diagnosed in the initial sample group is Tony Dorsett, the Hall-of-Famer who is now 59 and struggling with depression, emotional outbursts and memory loss.
He spoke to ESPN’s Outside the Lines about how it’s affecting his life.
“It’s painful, man, for my daughters to say they’re scared of me. I’ve thought about crazy stuff, sort of like, ‘Why do I need to continue going through this?’” he said. “I’m too smart of a person, I like to think, to take my life, but it’s crossed my mind.”
The report said researchers notified Dorsett Monday. In an appearance Wednesday on ESPN, Dorsett acknowledged he had been tested at UCLA and received results.
“I’m trying to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said.
Joe DeLamiellure and Leonard Marshall are going through similar problems, and were also diagnosed with signs of CTE. The NFL recently settled a lawsuit with former players over ongoing health issues from concussions (including a Dorsett), so these men are likely not alone.
While it’s heartbreaking that these men are dealing with this diseased at such a young age, it’s also good news that researchers are getting closer to diagnosing, and possibly treating, CTE in the living.
A recent civil suit settled in the US Federal Court has not really done anything to actually absolve NFL of their responsibilities , as they simply patted themselves on the back along with fellow defendants the NFLPA, in avoiding having to make a multi-billion dollar payout, as the plaintiffs (4,300 retired NFL veterans) in the case settled for a $1 billion settlement , that will be used for further medical research , as well assisting players such as Dorsett and many of his peers, who now find themselves in a similar position from a medical standpoint. That settlement figure will hardly make a dent in the NFL’s annual $ 7.4 billion in revenues , especially when one considers that the payout will not be a lump sum. . The fact of the matter is, the more it is alleged that the NFL cares, there is very little evidence to actually substantiate the actual claims being made . In truth, the NFL hierarchy has hidden behind a great deal of deceit and along the way, sought to throw out many of the original legal suits filed against them in the various courts around the country at the varying levels within the legal system. Now with the various medical articles published from accredited medical institutions within the field neuroscience and gerontology , it begs the question, why is it , that at every turn , the NFL so willing to discredit the findings of these esteemed practitioners in the field , when their own research and findings bore out and came to the very same conclusions from academic establishments such as Johns Hopkins , Stanford University School of Neuroscience , Harvard School of Medicine & Neuroscience , UCLA Dept of Neurology , Sloane Kettering and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) ? It seems incredulous that many are now trying to acknowledge that the NFL has become proactive , after so many years of denial on their part. The only reason that Roger Goodell and the league hierarchy chose to do an about-face on the issue , was clearly , because of the adverse and negative publicity towards the NFL and the public relations’ hit that the league itself continued to take , because of their poor handling of the issue
Tony Dorsett has joined a growing list of players recently retired as well as many of his peers who now face a very uncertain future in terms of their well-being. Advances made in the field of neurology have been considerable , but there are no cutting edge breakthroughs that have come to the fore. Unfortunately, for the likes of Bernie Kosar , Jim McMahon , Dorsey Levens and the aforementioned Dorsett , their years will be ones where memory loss chronic headaches and numerous other medical ailments associated with Alzheimer’s and CTE will play an even greater part in their daily lives , more than they would each care to acknowledge. In the midst of this all, Roger Goodell’s only public statement on this issue has been that the league set aside $1 billion as a settlement , yet what he also failed to state , that to date less than $50 million has been used to assist the numerous plaintiffs who sought the league’s help. Somehow the alleged caring we are so often told about as it relates to the NFL , has simply been for show and not much else. Good deeds within a community is one thing , but the greater disservice by the NFL has been their continued deceit and the mistreatment of retired seasoned veterans . .
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Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) Beleaguered Miami Dolphins’ head coach Joe Philbin who has come in for a considerable amount of criticism of the Richie Incognito scandal that has cast a giant shadow over
the organization . Unsubstantiated sources, now state that Philbin was not made aware of the alleged abuse or any physical altercation that was alleged to have taken place at the team’s training facility in Davie , Florida or in the team’s locker room at Dolphins’ Stadium , in Miami , Florida between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Either the head coach, simply does not keep himself abreast of problems amongst his players or he simply chooses to ignore them until something rather drastic has happened . Miami faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Monday night game at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa , Florida, on the 11th November , 2013. With a great deal on the line for both teams , a victory is of the utmost priority for each franchise. AP Photo / Mark Carter …..
(2) In a yet to seen interview that will be shown on the Fox Sports Channel (Fox Sports 1) and various affiliates Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins will sit down with Fox’s Jay Glazer to discuss his side of what has now become a very unsavory story. Incognito states that he feels betrayed by teammate Jonathan Martin , in his going public much of what has gone concerning an apparent altercation and Incognito’s racially insensitive tweet , which speaks of the player and his mother in racially derogatory terms , Perhaps someone should remind a buffoon such as Richie Incognito (right) that once you use a social media platform such as ‘ Twitter ‘ , it is extremely difficult to disprove the fact that you did not make those statements , if it is your own personal account used and then you have made a number of your own teammates aware of your actions . @ copyrighted photograph all rights reserved .
(3) Miami Dolphins’ defensive linemen Richie Incognito (68) and teammate Jonathan Martin (71) are seen here on the sidelines for the team during a game earlier this season. In what is said to have been an incident that allegedly took place within the team’s locker room , Martin was said to have left the Dolphins’ headquarters to make his way back to California to be alongside his family. For Incognito , he now has to explain to the world why he used racially derogatory terms aimed at Martin as well his teammate’s mother. Richie Incognito’s intelligence does not appear to be that high, along with the Miami Dolphins’ own intellect on the field of play this season . Getty Images / Gabe Potter …
(4) Seneca Wallace of the Green Bay Packers will replace the injured Aaron Rodgers when he starts for the Green Bay Packers in their Sunday afternoon game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field in Green Bay , Wisconsin ,. This will be the backup’s first game as a starter since a 2011 regular season contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers when playing for the Cleveland Browns . With the Packers at 5-3 jointly sitting atop of the NFC North alongside the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions , a win for the will be of their utmost priority on Sunday . Getty Images / Ryan Hart ……
(5) Atlanta Falcons’ head coach Mike Smith is seen here on the sidelines talking to team quarterback Matt Ryan (2). A disastrous season in terms of the team’s season has left them clinging for dear life with a 2-6 record lying in third place within the NFC South and likely to miss the playoffs . GM Thomas Dimitroff during this upcoming off-season will have to make several tough decisions concerning the team’s roster and its makeup as a precursor to next season . AP Photo / John Raoux ……
(6) Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett recently diagnosed with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) , a neurological degenerative disorder brought on by repeated hits and a bye product of concussions after repeated hits to the head, causing the brain to become swollen and bruised . A further bye-product of this also, can be long and short-term memory loss and the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Dorsett whose playing career was highlighted by his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys , was one of the NFL’s greatest rushers in the league’s history . Getty Images North America / Helen Richardson …..
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