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Week 11: Meaning of words seem to escape the mind of the Miami Dolphins' Richie Incognito
November 14, 2013 - Matt Wellens
Ending a voice mail with, “I’ll kill you.”
That’s love and brotherhood?
That’s how best friends — someone you call a brother — talk in an NFL locker room?
It all sounds like hate to me, and had suspended Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito actually been able to stay enrolled at the University of Nebraska and University of Oregon — he only lasted a week with the Ducks — then maybe he would have understood how hurtful the words he’s been using over the past few years can be.
Incognito has been suspended for his alleged bullying of Dolphins teammate and fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who has since quit the team and left the NFL.
It’s hard to believe one professional football player could and would bully another player, especially one who is not only a teammate, but a fellow offensive lineman.
Then again, when you hear the voice mail left by Incognito for Martin, you start to question whether its more than just school-yard bullying. You can’t help but agree with Incognito when he tells Fox’s Jay Glazer, “This isn’t about bullying.”
That’s because Incognito’s threats to his alleged “buddy” are beyond bullying. They’re criminal. It’s sickening.
Hate speech is no joke. It never comes from “a place of love,” as Incognito said to Glazer. It’s not how friends, brothers, family members or teammates communicate, no matter how vulgar an NFL locker room supposedly is.
It’s not how a team comes together to accomplish a goal, as evidence by the lack of success experienced by the Dolphins this season.
People like Incognito don’t belong in the NFL and the league should act swiftly to make sure these types of people don’t infect more locker rooms.
Those who sat by and watched the bullying happen while doing nothing shouldn’t be in the league either.
Now on to my picks, where each week I will include a short analysis on the Packers’ and Lions’ games, plus the primetime games on NFL Network, NBC and ESPN.
Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers
1 p.m., Sunday, FOX
I’m not sure what’s scarier right now: The Lions being en route to an NFC North title or the Steelers being on track for a high draft pick that will jump-start their rebound from this awful season. Lions 31, Steelers 13
4:25 p.m., Sunday, FOX
The only thing more troubling than the 14 interceptions thrown by Eli Manning this season are the three total interceptions by the Packers’ defense. That’s right. Three. Giants 27, Packers 17
8:25 p.m., Thursday, NFL Network
I’m not sure what to think about the Colts anymore. They beat the 49ers, Seahawks and Broncos, but lose to Miami, San Diego and St. Louis. Colts 21, Titans 20
8:30 p.m., Sunday, NBC
Like the Packers, the Broncos are a shell of themselves without their MVP quarterback and Peyton Manning appears to be only a shell of himself with an injured ankle. Chiefs stay undefeated. Chiefs 24, Broncos 21
8:40 p.m., Monday, ESPN
The Patriots still have their MVP QB, and while the Panthers have been impressive, I never pick against Tom Brady. Patriots 38, Panthers 17
Here are the rest of my picks with winners in bold:
Jets at Bills
Falcons at Buccaneers
Redskins at Eagles
Cardinals at Jaguars
Raiders at Texans
Ravens at Bears
Browns at Bengals
Chargers at Dolphins
Vikings at Seahawks
49ers at Saints
Last week: 9-5
Matt Wellens is Sports Editor of the Mining Journal. Check out his Armchair QB column every Thursday at www.miningjournal.net and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mattwellens. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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FILE - In this July 24, 2013 file photo, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (68) and tackle Jonathan Martin (71) stand on the field during an NFL football practice in Davie, Fla. Two people familiar with the situation say suspended Dolphins guard Incognito sent text messages to teammate Jonathan Martin that were racist and threatening. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins and NFL haven't disclosed the nature of the misconduct that led to Incognito's suspension. Martin remained absent from practice Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, one week after he suddenly left the team. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)