Bad men.

I don’t know whether to be cheered or depressed by the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin story. On the one hand: How disgusting, that Incognito, this hulking goon, could have gotten away with bullying his teammate for so long:

Martin, a classics major who attended Stanford and is the son of two Harvard graduates, left the Dolphins last week after an episode in the cafeteria in which teammates stood as Martin sat, the last in a string of perceived slights. Incognito, a 30-year-old veteran with a reputation for dirty play and a history of rough behavior, was suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins late Sunday while the team and the league investigated the matter.

Their unfolding saga is forcing the National Football League to uncomfortably turn its gaze toward locker room culture and start defining the gray areas between good-natured pranks and hurtful bullying.

The story’s your basic train wreck, how two linemen, one intelligent and sensitive and one nasty and cruel, ran into one another in the locker room and everywhere else.

Incognito — what a name — resembles, in so many ways, every significant bully I’ve ever known. Stupid, brutal, user of dumb hashtags:

“Enough is enough,” he wrote to ESPN’s Adam Schefter in one (tweet). “If you or any of the agents you sound off for have a problem with me, you know where to find me. #BRINGIT.”

So all of that’s depressing, even though there’s a certain dog-bites-man element to learning that the super-macho NFL has a bullying problem. What’s heartening is that somewhere along the line, this sort of thing became unacceptable. And that sportswriters are now writing things like this:

Own it. Even now, even after the extent of Incognito’s viciousness has been revealed through voice mails and texts to Martin, there are NFL personnel people telling reporters, like Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter, that it’s a man’s game and Martin failed to handle it like a man. According to these unnamed men, Martin should have manned up and handled the situation face-to-face, with his fists if necessary.

You know — like a man.

Seriously, though, did these men’s men read the things Incognito reportedly said to Martin? Don’t we encourage people not to deal with the deranged, to let the professionals handle it? Does anyone believe Incognito would be cowed by a confrontation?

To blame Martin is to ignore reality and uphold the twisted norms of the misguided subculture that allowed this type of environment to persist and — dare we say — thrive. It’s also a willful refusal to connect the threat of violence to the reality of our gun-soaked, disrespect-me-and-pay-the-price ethos that has people like Aaron Hernandez sitting in jail.

So. Good knee news, bad knee news: The joint is enormously improved. I can walk with one crutch, and a cane would be even better. Slowly, up and down the block Wendy and I go, but we go. The bad news? My family practitioner thinks I have ACL damage — “it feels loose,” he said, after manipulating it into several positions, a couple of which made me wince, a couple more that didn’t. So, you veterans of the knee wars know where it goes from here. MRI next week, a visit with the orthopedist, and then we discuss our options, if there are any. Just keeping you posted.

Is it only Wednesday? How is that possible?

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

65 responses to “Bad men.”

  1. Joe K said on November 6, 2013 at 1:15 am

    First off they are offensive linemen not linebackers. 2nd while not defending incognito, I would like to hear both sides before judging. Having played in highschool and college, It’s hard to explain the mindset of a locker room. Football is a very violent game, you want your team mates to have your back, it sounds like the things you do to build trust may have gotten out of hand. I also wonder if this may come out as a homo phobia deal. In any event it looks bad. On a better note, the gulf was nice, weather in the mid 70s, saw lots of dolphins, ate some killer sea food at a few out of the way more local establishments, and the navel aviation museum is a do not miss, attraction.
    Pilot Joe

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  2. Sherri said on November 6, 2013 at 1:21 am

    As soon as I heard the story, I told my husband that I suspected that the Dolphin coaches at the very least looked the other way at what Incognito was doing to Martin because they thought Martin needed to toughen up. Sure enough, that’s the story that came out today: Richie Incognito has a long history as a dirty player; even other dirty players think Incognito is a dirty player. He got kicked out of Nebraska after multiple problems, transferred to Oregon but never even made it to practice there before they dumped him, and was cut by his previous pro team after getting into a shouting match with his head coach (after multiple other issues.) This, then, is a guy that the Dolphins made a member of their leadership team? Of course, the Dolphins GM asked an NFL prospect a couple of years ago if his mother was a prostitute, so with people like that at the top, what do you expect?

    So sorry about the knee. When you described the injury as a hyper-extension, I was afraid you might have torn the ACL. No fun. Get ready for lots of physical therapy, whatever option you choose.

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  3. Dexter said on November 6, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Wow, it really does not feel like Wednesday, more like Friday. I have heard extensive coverage of the football blow-up, right now it appears that Incognito is banned for life, and by the NFL, not the ‘fins. I don’t know how homophobia fits here Joe; this is racist bullying gone batshit crazy. I saw the Tweets…this guy Incognito needs to go away.

    Of course you won’t need surgery if therapy works nance, so best wishes…and go for an open MRI. I’ll die before I submit to a closed MRI again…I really freaked out in there, but I stuck with it, motionless for 45 minutes. Never again. Ugh.

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  4. Deborah said on November 6, 2013 at 2:39 am

    This post certainly makes me realize how uninformed I am. I had no idea who Incognito is or what he did. What makes someone a “dirty player”? Also didn’t know what an ACL was until I looked it up.

    On another note, while I’m glad a Dem won the governor’s race in Virginia I’m not a fan of McAuliffe. But I’m not a resident of VA so it’s really none of my business.

    Glad your knee is feeling better Nancy, fingers crossed It’s a mild tear not a severe one.

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  5. nancy said on November 6, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Thanks, Joe – fixed. Perhaps I should add that one thing I find heartening about this is that it indicates “the mindset of the locker room” is changing. Martin obviously isn’t some 98-pound Poindexter, and this wasn’t towel-snapping. Even a highly paid NFL player shouldn’t have to endure a teammate calling him a nigger and telling him someone wants to shit on his face. Them days is over, and I’m glad they are.

    As for “the other side,” it looks like Richie’s dad has that handled.

    As always, Ta-Nehisi Coates has something smart to say:

    Calling for others to endure pain in one breath, while you duck it in the next is a particularly loathsome form of cowardice. The men who call on Martin to fight Incognito in the locker-room, are also the same men who would ruthlessly cut Martin or Incognito should either be injured in any way that jeopardizes the team’s plans. Perhaps one of these braggarts actually would “go down swinging.” But “down” does not have the same meaning for a general manager as it does for a left tackle. Jeff Ireland can report to work with a broken arm. Jonathan Martin not so much.

    The point here is power. As demonstrated by Trotter’s column, Martin has risked his career and millions of dollars by exposing Incognito. There’s a solid argument that Martin’s actions were “brave.” It just isn’t the kind of “brave” that immediately empowers the NFL. On the contrary, it’s the kind that threatens it.

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  6. David C. said on November 6, 2013 at 6:26 am

    As someone who was bullied unmercifully at school and for a time at work, I have no patience for anyone who tells the bullied to “man up”. I am seriously introverted and spend a lot of time inside my own thoughts. For whatever reason, that seems to bother some people. I guess thinking to some people looks like weakness. I look at the things Martin received and am taken back to how it felt to be harassed. It’s so visceral, that feeling never goes away.

    I had an MCL strain this summer. Not fun, but PT and ultrasound treatment put it right in about 8 weeks.

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Sorry to hear you’re going on injured reserve. Anyone who has you on their fantasy journalism team is going to drop a few notches for the next few weeks.

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  8. Kim said on November 6, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Deborah – few seem to be fans of McAuliffe. It’s pretty stunning the race was so close, given Cuccinelli’s extreme brand of conservativism. The Daily Show called it a choice between cancer and a heart attack.

    My boys have gone through PT for sports injuries and it’s always been a very interesting process. I predict you will enjoy it and learn a shit ton about that growth industry and the body’s optimal operation mechanics – like a real-life “how things work.”

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  9. coozledad said on November 6, 2013 at 7:38 am

    There are places and activities that support the transition into the world of adults. Team sports isn’t one of them.

    That ‘locker room mindset’ reminds me of Barbara Tuchman’s meditation on the middle ages. Most people were dead or dying by the time they reached their thirties, so western society was mired in cultural adolescence with few notable escapees. Crazy shitheads and miscreants stood at the top, punching down. Unsurprisingly, they enjoyed them some aimless blood sport, too.

    There’s an anal armored vehicle museum not too far from us.

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  10. beb said on November 6, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I was surprised that the Virginia gov. election was as close as it was since earlier polling had given McA a better than 10 point lead. I see there was a third party candidate that collected 6% of the votes. I wonder if that guy was pulling votes from the Rs or the Ds?

    Detroit voted the white guy for mayor. His claim was that he was competent. Now we’ll see if he is.

    And there was an interesting boomlet for Sen. Harkin’s expansion of Social Security bill. It would replace the CPI with CPI-for-the-elderly, which would adjust cost of living adjustments to better accounting for the goods and services the elderly use more often. Since pensions are a thing of the past and rarely have enough money to save, better SS is the only way to help retirees out.

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  11. Kim said on November 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Beb – the third-party guy, Sarvis, was pulling equally from both parties, according to what I’ve read. He got around 6.6 percent of the vote.

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  12. brian stouder said on November 6, 2013 at 8:30 am

    And the New Jersey Beach Ball is clearly fixated on running for the White House.

    I’m not sure his rude style will work – but then again, I guess the US has a historical liking for candidates who come across as rude

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  13. Deborah said on November 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Kim is the VA legislature controlled by Dems or Repubs?

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  14. Deborah said on November 6, 2013 at 8:44 am

    The Santa Fe papers are all excited about Governor Martinez campaigning with Christie and are predicting she will be his pick for VP when he runs for president. A woman, Hispanic VP would certainly arouse some to vote for that ticket, maybe?

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  15. coozledad said on November 6, 2013 at 8:50 am

    brian; The Dems appear to have calculated that Christie will kill his own presidential aspirations in his second term as governor. Heightening the contradictions is a stupid game, but we’re dealing with a dead political party limply oscillating between secessionist rhetoric and howling at foreigners. The moderates among them are currently describing a market based insurance program as socialist, while hanging out with weekend paramilitary chubbers.

    It’s a snuff film, but with more donuts.

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  16. beb said on November 6, 2013 at 8:55 am

    There’s all too much Dem love for Christie. And a big win yesteday will only make him seem all the more unbeatable. He should have been fought hard from the beginning because he hides The Crazy too well.

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Mmmm, donuts. Is there anything you can’t do?

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  18. Minnie said on November 6, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Though not all votes have been counted, the Post surmises that Virginia’s General Assembly will remain majority Republican. Ralph Northam, who won the race for Lt. Gov. is a Democratic Senator in the Assembly, so his seat will need to be filled.


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  19. Kim said on November 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Deborah – Republicans control the state legislature in VA. Also, completely off topic but from a couple days ago, Lori’s is my favorite shoe store as well. It’s been around forever (sorta like me).

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  20. Connie said on November 6, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Adding to Dexter’s comments about having an MRI, I found it extremely difficult to remain relaxed as required and could feel my knee twitching. I had to go back for a second go around on one of the shots. Claustrophobia was not a problem, rather relaxing. If I were to do it again – which I expect I will – I would request the muscle relaxant option.

    The only time I needed PT was for what the neurologist called a “nerve Knot” in my back. I expected PT to be exercises, but instead it was heated ultrasound massage, very nice.

    Heard on NPR that Charlie Trotter told friends he had a brain aneurysm. Which I found odd, as my mother had a brain aneurysm, and it generally means an ambulance rush to the hospital, skip the local hospital and go straight to the nearest big city hospital. She survived, but many don’t.

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  21. Peter said on November 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Sherri beat me to it: either it’s the last refuge of the coward or the next layer of the onion, but I’m not surprised by reports that the Miami coaches asked Richie to get Martin to “man up”. If nothing else, guess Richie’s going to learn that there is no honor among thieves.

    When our HS mascot (a ram) met an untimely end, someone put on a school sweater and a shopping bag over his head and became our new mascot – Joe Incognito.

    As for Gov. Christie – God, the tea partiers can’t wait for him to get in the race. It’ll be like a horse (or in this case, whale) falling into the Amazon.

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  22. mark said on November 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

    A friend on the inside sent me a copy of the transcript of the conversation yesterday between the NFL’s investigator and the Dolphins’ GM. Pretty revealing. Pertinent portion:

    GM: You want answers?
    NFL: I think were entitled to them.
    GM: You want answers?
    NFL: We want the truth!
    GM: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that revolves around football. And football has to be guarded by men with shoulder pads and helmets and steroid-induced rage. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Adam Schefter? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Martin and you curse the Dolphins. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Martin’s departure, while tragic, probably saved television revenue. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves television revenue…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want Incognito in that locker room. You need Incognito in that locker room.
    We use words like honor, code, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending a silly game with an oddly shaped ball. You use ’em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very television revenue I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a helmet and play a series. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!
    NFL: Did you order the code red?
    GM: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.
    NFL: Did you order the code red?!
    GM: You’re damn right I did!!

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  23. brian stouder said on November 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Mark – well played, sir!

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  24. Charlotte said on November 6, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Um, isn’t the NFL still a workplace? With union reps? Doesn’t one, even in the NFL have a certain expectation that the workplace will be a place you can do your work, and doesn’t this sort of bullying impede their stated purpose?

    I did a little reading around yesterday when the story kept popping up, and it sounds like that Igcognito guy has a long, documented history of dangerous behavior.

    Our news locally is that our city commission election came out pretty well — defeated the worst of the teabaggers with two new, young candidates who have kids and are interested in schools and moving forward, and one conservative candidate who is actually a pretty rational guy.

    As I was leaving the polling place though there was a very angry older lady behind me. “This is disgusting! she said. I asked her what the problem was. They’re replacing all the culverts, so there’s a lot of construction down by the fairgrounds. Apparently, the 2-3 minute wait for the flagman had her that upset. Greatest generation, eh?

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  25. Dorothy said on November 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Don’t judge all old ladies of that generation by that one old hag, Charlotte. My mom is 91 and you’ll never meet a sweeter, kinder woman who usually thinks of others long before she thinks of herself.

    Nancy I’d bring over my four-legged cane to lend you if I could. I only used it for about 10 days in July but I sure loved it a lot more than the walker.

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  26. Bitter Scribe said on November 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Minor point about the Incognito/Martin thing, but one that has always annoyed me: The Dolphins coaches allegedly asked Incognito to “toughen Martin up” after Martin skipped a “voluntary workout”. WTF is a “voluntary workout,” anyway? If you’re going to give someone grief (or tell someone else to do it, which is even more cowardly) for missing a workout, it’s in no sense “voluntary.” This seems like a clumsy effort to evade some rule about when and how often workouts can be held.

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  27. Kirk said on November 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

    The fact that Incognito was kicked out of Nebraska, a football shithole that has embraced criminals such as Johnny Rodgers, Lawrence Phillips and Jason Peter, among others, over the years, says plenty.

    Tony Dungy said this week that, when Incognito came up for the NFL draft, his team at the time listed him as DNDC — Do Not Draft because of Character.

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  28. MarkH said on November 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Well done, lower-case doppelganger. Hee. A lot of truth there. When obscene amounts of money are at risk, anything goes.

    My question is how did Martin get so far up the college ranks, become a second round NFL draft pick, only to be revealed as, or somehow labeled a wuss. I mean, he’s 310 pounds, about as big as Incognito and he needs “toughened up”? Did entering the NFL break him somehow? Pro football now has its story line for 2013.

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  29. Deborah said on November 6, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Speaking of canes, when I had my stress fracture and was wearing a boot I tried to find a cool looking cane, couldn’t find one that didn’t cost a lot. I ended up using an ugly aluminum one from Walgreens. At one time I thought a good cottage industry would be to design and make cool canes for our increasingly older population. I still might do it. Lots of people in NM use walking sticks but I think most of them look dorky.

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  30. Charlotte said on November 6, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Oh Dorothy — I won’t. She was hilarious. Part of the losing faction of Angry Old White People Who Don’t Want Change. Was nice to see some younger people come onto the commission, and the one incumbent who was re-elected is conservative but not obstructionist.

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  31. Judybusy said on November 6, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I go out of my way to avoid most sports, especially football, but I learned a lot from this NPR story. Unfortunately, there is no transcript, so you’ll have to listen. The sports guy talked about the culture of the NFL, and how some do say Martin should have stood up to Incognito, and how this is in the context of an overall culture of hyper-masculine, hyper-violent world of the NFL. A microcosm of a certain brand of American masculinity.

    The weeks go quickly for me, as I have a master’s level social work intern two days a week. It’s so fun and challenging to have a bright student who is striving to learn all the info! So, work is incredibly enjoyable these days.

    In our local elections, the first Somali in the U.S. was elected to a city-wide position on the city council. Unfortunately, his campaign was tainted by some homophobic slurs against his incumbent opponent, which he mildly protested. However, there is a huge positive in providing a role model for all the Somali youth. I have a probably naive hope it will disuade them from joining the likes of Al-Shabab. Some of our Somali youth have joined the terrorist organization, who claimed responsibility for the Kenyan mall attack last month. They are using YouTube and Twitter to recruit youths, with promises of paradise for martyrs. Another subset of masculinity.

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  32. Kirk said on November 6, 2013 at 11:14 am

    A dear friend of mine, a great baseball fan, suffered a nasty stroke about 13 years ago. He walks without a cane now, but when he was using one, he had a Louisville Slugger baseball bat converted into a cane.

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  33. MarkH said on November 6, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Interesting revelation from one of the class acts in footbal, Kirk. Scribe has a point as well. When you’re paid the obscene amounts of money NFL players get, why is anything ‘voluntary’? For that kind of dough, you damn well better bring it all, all the time. Prima donna players like Terrell Owens would regularly skip required sessions if they felt like it. Who ‘toughened’ them up?

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  34. Prospero said on November 6, 2013 at 11:22 am

    If the Miami coaching staff was at all complicit in Incognito’s heinous behavior, the Dolphins should get the same death penalty NO Saints got for the alleged bounty system on much less hard evidence. As for both sides, what is the other side of

    Hey, what’s up, you half n—– piece of s—. I saw you on Twitter. You been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s— in your f—— mouth. [I’m going to] slap your f—— mouth … You’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.

    That’s a text message to Martin from Incognito, reported by Peter King.

    Making rookies stand on chairs and sing their college fight songs? Hazing.

    Holding rookies down and giving them bad haircuts? Assault.

    Threatening rookies lives over payment of $15grand Las Vegas trip tabs? Extortion.

    Where is the Dade Co. DA in all of this. Incognito’s behavior is criminal, at least to the level of terroristic threats. Asshole should be joining his Aryan Brotherhood sympathizers in prison.

    The logic of hazing as team bonding escapes me entirely, and I participated in several sports in HS. Two of my brothers played college football. One had a tryout with J-E-T-S Jets, but ditched it for his entrance interview at UVA Law. None of us ever encountered hazing of any sort. Incognito’s problems with Martin are probably threefold:

    1. Racism.

    2. Martin is a graduate of real school, and Incognito couldn’t graduate unless tutors took all of his exams and wrote all of his papers. So Martin is elite and effete, neither of which Richie could spell, and

    3. Penis envy. Those steroids just shriveled Little Richie to a nub.

    Nicely done, Mark.

    Social Security. Solvent, with money to pay all prospective participants through the 2040s. This is simple. Raise the income threshold for paying into SSI to a more realistic $150grand from less than $110grand it is now. Non-existent problem solved for many decades. No matter what GOPers say, SS is not part of the deficit, nor the debt, math. Claiming it is is pure demagoguery, and mirrors corporate citizens raiding pension funds they contracted as compensation for work performed. It’s also quite obvious to anybody but a hard-core idealogue that expanding Social Security, and raising the minimum wage, would boost the American economy, as is the case with all of the social programs the GOP wants to slash.

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  35. Connie said on November 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Deborah, any durable medical store will have a selection of interesting canes. Colors, paint jobs, etc.

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  36. Connie said on November 6, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Fun and fashionable canes.

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  37. Charlotte said on November 6, 2013 at 11:27 am

    More on Charlie Trotter — I had friends in Telluride who opened a restaurant in the early 1990s, and their chef had trained with Trotter. He was a strangely distant, yet everpresent influence on us then.

    And hard not to suspect that a dumb white guy (who looks at least like he takes steroids) in Miami was threatened by a smart black guy who just wanted to do his job. Hmm. Sounds sort of like our national drama …

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  38. Prospero said on November 6, 2013 at 11:52 am

    It’s a strange feeling to find myself agreeing with Juan Williams, Fox News’ bestest black friend that proves they aren’t racists, but he’s got a pretty good common sense take on the President’s alleged lying about the cancelled “insurance” policies. People are too dumb to realize they’ve been scammed, and that it was a one-time only deal, that their alleged insurance would have been cancelled within minutes of the first claim they filed. And that as Americans, we are all, or should be, in the health care thing together. The status quo Obamacare shitcans is a huge drag on our economy and if failing to reach citizens is a failure, (has to be, in a Christian Nation, eh) the status quo fails by more than 40 million souls, many of them children.

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  39. Sherri said on November 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

    The workouts (OTA’s, or Organized Team Activities) were voluntary because that was negotiated under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Most football coaches are such control freaks that if they had the option, they’d control everything their players did, and there would be no off season.

    There’s no indication that Martin wasn’t working out on his own, and no reports that Martin showed up to training camp out of shape.

    Deborah, Richie Incognito’s dirty play takes two forms. The first, more obvious form is that he plays with excessive force; he gets called for a lot more personal foul penalties than the average offensive lineman. (Unlike in basketball, a personal foul penalty is a major penalty; most players won’t get any in a game, especially not offensive linemen.) The less obvious form are the cheap shots he is alleged to take out of the view of the refs. He is accused by other players of pinching, gouging, twisting, and various other illegal but difficult to see fouls while in the pile of players after a play.

    Kirk, Nebraska may have been willing to cut loose Incognito because he didn’t restrict his bad actions to the world outside the Nebraska football team; he liked to bully teammates back then, too:

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  40. MarkH said on November 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Sherri, interesting information. I was not aware of the OTAs. My point at #33, in addition to wondering why all activities are not mandatory, was if the OTAs are voluntary, why would the coaches have such a harsh reaction if Martin missed one or two? Martin was certainly no Terrell Owens, and he is no slouch player, either, as evidenced by this article from yesterday:

    Martin was vetted well, earned his place on an NFL team. He did not deserve Dolphins’ hitman Incognito.

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  41. Prospero said on November 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Why it is ridiculously obvious that expanding SSI would have an unquestionably salutary effect on the American economy, and it would be pretty much immediate. Conversely, cutting SSI would obviously be detrimental to the economy. In the reality of GOPers’ behavior toward social programs that are proven to be a tonic for the US economy, a sensible person wonders about their motives. Crash the economy while the black Dem is president, damage the Dems and the black President. Nothing else makes much sense if something insanely bad for the country can be said to make sense. The fact is, that multiple studies of other social programs, like SNAP, have shown repeatedly that such spending provides similar economic benefits. People like Granny-Starver and Cantor are guilty of grotesque intellectual dishonesty by claiming otherwise. This isn’t rocket science or one of Rand Paul’s scientific papers with eight footnotes per sentence. It’s simple common sense.

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  42. MarkH said on November 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Also regarding Charlie Trotter:

    I was so busy this past week with my service club’s annual fundraiser, I missed Trotters’ appearance here for Sunday’s first ever Jackson Hole Culinary Conference. His last public appearance, it turns out. Charlie was the featured attraction, flew in Sunday morning and left Monday, passed on Tuesday. I can’t link to the paid local weekly, but our alt-weekly reports that some attendees noticed his strange behavior on stage, and clearly he did not feel well.


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  43. coozledad said on November 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Daddy’s flown in some big donors
    to pitch in for my degree
    a shingle says “I can do eyecare!”

    Daddy, did you think it would be free?
    daddy did you think that duke was free?!

    All in all I was, just a prick in the hall.
    All in all I was, just a prick in the hall.*

    I don’t need no education.
    Know enough to make folks squirm.
    You can shit some folks an apple.
    Some folks always play the worm.

    All in all I’m just
    the useless son of Ron Paul.
    All in all I’m just
    the useless son of Ron Paul.

    *My wife says med students ain’t in the dorms at Duke. Who cares? It rhymes.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Our Medical Loan Closet has OSU Buckeye scarlet & grey canes, OU Bobcat green canes, candy cane stripe canes, wooden, aluminum, four-pointers, a leopard skin pattern aluminum job that hasn’t been taken yet this year, and everything but a swordcane.

    On those “voluntary workouts”, we start the charade in HS football with “optional” weight-training” in the spring & summer. So all the newest high schools in central Ohio have weight rooms the size of an auxiliary gym that can only be used when the official strength coach is around, “for safety reasons.” Meh.

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  45. Prospero said on November 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    GOPer economists claim that federal payroll taxes have a deleterious effect on savings. I figure my $thousands paid into SSI and Medicare ARE savings, and I challenge anybody to disprove that.

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  46. Prospero said on November 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Nice Luckovich cartoon on the cancelled health insurance policies.

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  47. brian stouder said on November 6, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Cozzledad – you should email that to the Daily Show (I don’t think Rachel can use it, but they could!)

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  48. Brandon said on November 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Coozledad, you should meet with Weird Al Yankovic. Together you’ll be the Simon and Garfunkel of parody songcraft.

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  49. Deborah said on November 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    See, I know I’m weird, I don’t like any of those canes on those websites. I’d want something minimal, classic, but with a subtle “twist” like those Axes that the hipster company in Brooklyn sold a while back that I loved but everybody else made fun of. They had cool handles with simple graphic stripes on them. Of course they were ridiculously expensive. The company that made them is called Best Made and they don’t sell them anymore probably because no one else but me would want one. That’s the kind of cane I would want, a simple crook top, very elegantly proportioned with a perfect arc. I saw something sort of like it when I had my foot injury but of course they wanted a fortune, also the otherwise great cane (to me) had a bad rubber tip on the bottom that ruined the line of it. I would want to work out all of the proportions to be really clean and as I said minimal. But if I’d design them and make them nobody else would want them probably. So what’s the point?

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  50. Sherri said on November 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    If you want an interesting look at the world of pro football, I can recommend Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson, who played tight end for the Denver Broncos a few years ago. It’s a more up to date and non-fictional version of North Dallas Forty.

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  51. Deborah said on November 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Coincidentally one of my Facebook friends posted this about ACL injuries (he’s a personal trainer former architect)

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  52. Prospero said on November 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Deborah: I considered seriously buying a hatchet from those guys for camping, but just ended up spending the cash otherwise and sharpening up my 50 something year old BSA model, that was a gift at my Eagle Scout ceremony. Still takes and retains a keen edge, and I’d say there is a cache to vintage BSA gear. But I really did like those blade tools from Brooklyn.

    I use a cane most of the time, but I need one that breaks down to fit in my bike saddlebags. None of those are good looking. What I’d really like would be an authentic blackthorne shillelagh, with a concealed sword blade. with a custom-fitted leather scabbard for my bike.

    Pete Gent’s North Dallas Forty is one of the funniest books ever written.

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  53. nancy said on November 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    It figures that after all these years and probably millions of cadavers dissected, the place a long-hidden body part shows up is the knee.

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  54. Bitter Scribe said on November 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    “North Dallas Forty” had its flaws—it could just as easily have been titled “Every Single White Person Who Played, Worked or Rooted for the Dallas Cowboys Except Me Was a Racist Swine”—but it was very effective in depicting the gruesome side of pro football. “Slow Getting Up,” the book Sherri mentions above, might be just as good in that regard, based on a peek on

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  55. Jolene said on November 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Deborah, you might look for canes on Etsy. I did a quick search using “walking sticks canes” as a search term and got hundreds of possibilities, some with fancy carving and others very simple.

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  56. Prospero said on November 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Just saw How I Live Now. Could have been better but worthwhile. I will watch anything with Saoirse Ronan from here on out. Stunningly good kid actor. I loved her in Hana and only recently saw atonement, in which she acted Kiera Knightly under the table. Sunday’s NYT Style mag (T) had a fine feature on this kid, with some gorgeous portraiture.

    Anyway, the movie is based on a novel. I’ve got a very bright niece who’s in Sixth Grade and loves to read, and I wonder if any of you librarians have an opinion about the suitability of this book as a gift for a kid of that age.

    I cringe hearing abobut ACLs these days. Both UGA starting wide receivers and three of four starting DBs are out for the season with ACL injuries. Odd, but this damage rarely comes from violent contact. Most frequently, it’s a case of athletic ability in the form of speed and agility being entirely too much for the Creator’s shoddy design.

    I’m also considering Picture Me Gone, also by Meg Rosoff. I suppose I can get them from the library and read them myself.

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  57. LAMary said on November 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    It must be a week for knee news.

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  58. Little Bird said on November 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I’ve recently been shown a few sites for walking sticks that are very nice, simple and are meant to double as self-defense. Solid metal with a large metal ball for gripping while you walk, and as a blunt instrument for defending. I would gladly use one, my hip would probably thank me.

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  59. Sherri said on November 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Bitter Scribe, we are talking about the Dallas Cowboys in the 60’s, so I’ll allow a little exaggeration in pursuit of fiction. (And I was a fan of the Cowboys growing up.)

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  60. Judybusy said on November 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    The making of future Incognitos by having little boys engage in cage fighting?

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  61. Prospero said on November 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    For the gruesome side of football, nothing beats David Kopay’s story of having out-patient exploratory surgery while he was at Syracuse. To close the wound, the team physician pried a suture needle out of a crusted bowl. The needle went flying. The doc picked it up from the floor and with no further ado nor sterilization, proceeded to close the incision. Holy shit, must have been one of those cheapie insurance plans the anti-ACA folks are so pissed off about losing to cancellation.

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  62. Sherri said on November 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Judybusy, that’s frightening. In the karate dojo where I trained, only adult black belts would be allowed to spar like those kids are fighting. Kids would never be allowed to fight without headgear, with gloves that thin, employing choke holds, takedowns, and other techniques pictured there. I worked with kids sparring. They don’t have the control and the judgement to use those techniques safely, especially when the adrenalin gets flowing. Not all adults have the control and judgement to use those techniques safely. There were people in the dojo that I refused to train with. Not many, fortunately, because our dojo wasn’t a crazy testosterone-ridden place.

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  63. Deborah said on November 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I’ve been furiously cleaning this week, since not much gets done when I’m away. Today I had to take the whole damn Dyson vacuum cleaner apart and put it back together again. It wouldn’t work and I have no idea why but after putting it back together it works again. It’s a mystery. I had to go to the Dyson website to get help on how to take it apart. Bless his heart my husband does housework but not as often as I would. I don’t blame him though, he works hard on his work projects. I’ve been back for a week or so and have done some surface cleaning but now I’m getting down to the nitty gritty, it took me awhile to get in the mood to do this.

    All of this talk about football culture is so unknown to me, makes me feel like I’ve been living under a rock. I did read North Dallas Forty many moons ago when I lived there.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Deborah, that was a cool link and marvelously gruesome picture. Sadly, I’m one of those people Neil Steinberg dislikes, and can’t repost it on my FB or Twitter because of the header . . . yet it’s a point I’ll probably use in a sermon, just without being too specific about the name of where I first learned it. The body is still a mystery, let alone our own planet, and the cosmos: the more we learn, the more we realize we don’t know!

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  65. Dexter said on November 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I really like my two all-terrain walking poles but only for hiking in this certain rural field with my dogs. Over the years I have fashioned many fallen limbs into shillelaghs , given many away, and was given one for a birthday present, with that common bearded face engraved. I fashioned one using a Schwinn handlebar stem for a handle, I have many that I just shaved the ends to fit a rubber cane tip…they are just fallen sticks, really, and I have had many of them for years. I have one plastic stick with a screw-on dog’s head, one that appears to be mahogany,a gift from my wife when she vacationed in the Dominican Republic a few years ago. I had two folders like prospero mentioned that I left on top of the car and drove off. Sheesh. I have a cane that we figure is about 129 years old, from my wife’s family, and I have two antique canes that my daughter gave me, gifts to her from the families of a couple old folks who passed away in a nursing home she was in charge of a while back. No creepy factor at all…I am not superstitious. And finally, I have an “Alabama Walking Stick” , a gift from my daughter a few months ago. You can get them at Walgreen’s anywhere…mass-produced, but good sticks, about $30-$35.

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