Fins Fan Focus: Controversy Leads to Loss?


In the past week, the Miami Dolphins faced one of the largest controversies they have witnessed in a long time. Richie Incognito was accused of bullying Jonathan Martin within an NFL culture that does not set boundaries on the way players converse with one another. With this distraction looming over Miami’s head all week, it is no wonder that their team looked sloppy in Monday night’s game. But can you simply use the Incognito-Martin drama as an excuse for the entire team’s lousy play?

A dedicated finsfan, Manny P, commented that “the sports media is getting out of hand on this. Why didn’t they make a big issue on the players that have killed a human being. Like Ray Lewis, Donte Stallworth and Leonard Little. And they still played football. There is something wrong here.” Is there really something fundamentally wrong here? While most people will agree that bullying is a bad thing, does it need to be blown out of proportion? When it comes down to it, the actions occurred between the two players who are the only ones that know exactly what was said. While the types of comments Incognito allegedly said should not be permitted in the NFL, it is between the two parties to sort things out. When popular media gets hold of stories such as these, they tend to make the incident look much worse than it is bringing both the players’ entire past out onto the table. Is it fair that Incognito is now being accused of sexually assaulting a woman with a golf club when the issue was laid to rest long ago? This type of unwanted media attention can really take its toll on a team, bringing down the intensity of all the players in the locker room.

The Dolphins lost Monday to Tampa Bay, a team that was formerly 0-8. While many fans believe that the controversy had everything to do with Miami’s poor playing, two fans believed otherwise.

Fans cannot blame poor play on the distractions they faced this week. It is the players jobs to turn their heads and focus on football, especially when the problem does not involve them. Yes, both of the players are friends with the rest of the team, but they do not need to weigh in their opinions on an already fragile issue.

The second fan, @swiftboy, stated that it was the “coaching” that caused this abysmal loss to an already tattered team. In both dealing with the controversy and the O-line, the Miami Dolphin’s coaching staff has failed to produce. The worst O-line blunder in the game came in the fourth quarter when the line allowed Tannehill to be sacked twice on their final drive that could have won the Dolphins the game. Pass protection has been a major problem for the fins since the start of the season and now Jonathan Martin is not going to return to the offensive unit.

On the positive side, fans got a glimpse of a young WRs ability to make things happen. Rishard Matthews caught 11 passes for 120 yards and had 2 TDs during Monday’s game. Matthews had to step in for Brandon Gibson, who sustained a season ending injury. Fans were extremely excited to see the progress Matthews has made since the start of the season.

The Dolphins are not out of the playoff picture yet. There are still plenty of teams in the hunt that are 4-5, including the Dolphins. Miami must come out next week  and win versus the Baltimore Ravens. The Dolphins are at home so hopefully home field advantage will boost their spirits and help them see that fans are still dedicated despite the recent drama.

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