Brandon Marshall provides tremendous insight on Incognito-Martin and the “culture of the NFL” (VIDEO)
In the wake of the ongoing Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga in Miami, players from around the NFL have voiced their opinions on bullying/hazing in the locker room, and how this situation could have been handled better.
In case you’ve been living in a cave, Martin left the Dolphins last week after saying he had been frequently harassed by teammates, and particularly Incognito, who has been suspended indefinitely by the team. Martin briefly checked himself into a south Florida hospital for emotional distress, and both the Dolphins and the league are investigating evidence in the form of voicemails and text messages that Martin received, which clearly cross the line of good-natured hazing into flat-out bullying.
Many athletes have suggested that Martin needed to “man up” and put an end to the bullying himself, while others have shown support for Martin, and disdain for Incognito’s actions. It all has placed the culture surrounding the NFL under a microscope, and forced everyone to take a long hard look at the type of mentality we’re fostering among athletes throughout the sport.
Grantland has a particularly interesting take on the situation, which is definitely worth a read. And MMBQ published a fascinating piece by former Dolphins lineman Lydon Murtha, which gives an insider’s perspective on just what exactly went down in Miami. In it, Murtha points out that Dolphins players were instructed by coaches to bring Martin out of his shell and toughen him up … essentially, the NFL’s version of ordering a Code Red from A Few Good Men.
Bears WR Brandon Marshall is a particularly thoughtful NFL player, who has been remarkably candid about his own struggles with mental illness, and has actively tried to draw attention to the importance of mental health in our society, and in the sport of football. Marshall also spent a two years with the Dolphins and Incognito (from 2010-2011), so it should come as no surprise that he provided some of the more insightful commentary on the Martin/Incognito situation earlier this week.
MORE, INCLUDING VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Jay Cutler continues to journal at the recommendation of noted sports psychologist Cynthia Brown.
Chicago, August 29,2013
Noticed that Brandon was not at practice this morning. When I asked Coach about it I took a moment to compliment him on his weight loss. He then informed me that he is not Mike Tice but in fact someone named Aaron Kromer. I slowly walked away before any more interaction happened and I still have no idea where Marshall is.
In afternoon film session I became distracted by the crown molding above the door. Instead of using one piece, it looks like the carpenters decided to use two pieces. I make a note to check the molding in my house when I get home. How this organization can tolerate such shoddy work is a total mystery. The Kromer fellow, who I now see everywhere, was monologuing about recognizing the Tampa 2. Some guy named Trent kept on asking questions and acting like real know-it-all. I pretended to take notes, but was actually putting together a bang-up drawing of Batman punching Clayface in the Gotham sewer.
I headed home for a quick bite to eat rather than endure what passes for food in the commissary before the game tonight. Kristin decided that she is going to make me dinner and produced burnt toast and a glass of seaweed. She is still breastfeeding, however, making her breasts heavy and magnificent, which was distracting enough to make the meal tolerable. I took the time to inspect the molding in our house and find it to be adequate. The fact that my wife is able to hire competent workers but the Bears can’t is troubling.
I drove back to the stadium and listened to sports radio. Brandon Marshall is having some issues with his hip and is in some type of confrontation with the team and won’t be playing tonight. I will make sure to give him the name of my doctor when I see him again. My own dealings with the team doctor have been mediocre, particularly after he had my x-ray upside down and kept on talking like I wouldn’t notice. I told Lovie, but yet the doctor is still on the team and Lovie is gone. Conspiracy, perhaps?
When I headed into the locker room the new coach pulled me aside and let me know that I will only play in an emergency situation. I almost told him about the doctor but I have to be careful who I talk to, so I told him that is fine and then checked boxofficemojo.com to see how “Pacific Rim” is doing in Australia. I really hope they make a sequel. I gave the new guys a quick pep-talk, let them know that even if they don’t make the team, they at least have the honor to put on the uniform of the Chicago Bears, which is something the players on the Cleveland Browns (those that make the team or not) will not be able to say. Kromer gave me a wristband with the play calls on it before heading onto the field; it’s riddled with spelling errors. He might not be as fat as Tice but apparently they went to the same crap school. I had a ball in my hands and look up at the stands. The lights came on one by one. It was a good night to watch some football.
We love our GIFs here at ReadAndReact, so we’ve started a new weekly feature where we collect the best GIFs from each NFL week, and post them all in one convenient spot for your viewing enjoyment.
Most of these come courtesy of the always-awesome GIFulmination, @SBNation GIF or@CJZero Twitter… so special thanks to those guys. Submit your favorites GIFs to firstname.lastname@example.org, and PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE THIS PAGE LOADS.
Jay Cutler kicks Charles Woodson while he’s down:
Packers score on a fake 44-yard Field Goal:
In anticipation for tonight’s Packers-Bears game – the 185th meeting in the NFL’s oldest rivalry – we give you this video, which was created by NBC for last December’s match-up between the bitter adversaries.
Watch it and get up-to-speed on the depth and intensity of the Bears-Packers rivalry. It provides all the context you need to understand why these two teams (and to a degree, these two cities) don’t like each other very much:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
First off, apologies for our extended programming hiatus here at ReadAndReact … June and July can be a pretty bleak time of year for NFL fans, and we decided we needed to take the Summer off to re-charge our batteries (and also not burn ourselves out on random top 10 lists and player DUI posts). But now that August is here and training camps are kicking off around the country, we’re back, and fired up for the impending season.
Free agent DT Anthony “Spice” Adams – who was released by the Bears in February after 5 years with the team - has also been using the summer months to catch up on some life maintenance. The 32-year-old Adams has yet to latch on with a new ball club for 2012, and fortunately for us, he used his downtime to create this hilarious “Stuff NFL Free Agents Say” video.
Adams might be a little bit late to the party on the whole “Stuff _______ Say” trend, which has been played out for a while, but here Adams delivers in a big way. While waiting for that fateful call from an NFL team, among other things, Adams has been practicing his swim move on his baby, brushing up on his video game skills (BANG BANG!), watching the waiver wire like a hawk, putting off his diet until next week, fretting about the power bill, and of course, playing words with friends. It’s a bit long at over 5 minutes, but trust us, it’s worth it:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Ouch. Bears WR Johnny Knox will undergo surgery today to stabilize a vertebra in his back after this scary hit on Sunday versus the Seahawks.
Knox caught a pass from Caleb Hanie in the first quarter, then fumbled the ball backward into his own territory. The Bears’ receiver made a diving attempt to recover the fumble, when he was hit by Seattle DE Anthony Hargrove and bent over backward in half [VIDEO HERE]. Knox was down for a significant amount of time before being placed on a spinal board and carted off the field.
Thankfully, the initial prognosis for Knox is positive, and he should eventually be able to resume his football career … which is the only reason we’re cool posting the gruesome GIF of the injury above.
“He has total movement throughout his body, has total use of all his extremities, which is good,” coach Lovie Smith said. “We’re doing tests right now. He has total movement. He’s not paralyzed or anything.”
So yeah … that’s good news. Here’s wishing Knox a speedy recovery.
As the Tim Tebow phenomenon continues to grow to the point of nearly taking over all league-wide discussion, it should come as no surprise that the NFL Films crew had the Broncos QB mic’d up for his Week 14 match-up against the Chicago Bears, as part of their Sound FX series. In it, we get a little more insight into the way Denver’s savior plays the game, what he says to his teammates to motivate them on the field, as well as Tebow’s most personal conversations with the man upstairs.
Particularly interesting is hearing Tebow try to keep WR Demaryius Thomas’s head in the game after dropping a sure third quarter touchdown, presciently telling him, “You’re good. Hey, no big deal, it just makes it closer for a little bit longer. You’re about to catch the game-winner, and then you’ll be the hero of the game.” (well, technically it wasn’t the game-winner, but still).
Then, following his own 4th quarter fumble (which seemingly sealed their fate with just 5:41 remaining), Tebow comforts Broncos’ QB coach Andrew Case, who asks, “Why do we always gotta do this?”. Cool as a cucumber, Tebow just smiles, put his hand around Gase’s shoulder and says: “It’s all right. We’ll figure it out, man.”
And figure it out he did, rallying to tie the game and take it to overtime, with a little help from Marion Barber along the way. But to no surprise, Tebow appears to be most relaxed when the game around him is at its most tense. Following Barber’s OT fumble, Tebow silently rises off the bench, points toward the sky as he takes the field, and launches into song with a quiet hymnal before calmly leading Denver to the game-winning score.
Regardless of your feelings about his faith or throwing abilities, you can’t deny that we are witnessing something special in Tebow right now. And as long as he keeps winning, he’s going to continue to make believers out of his teammates, opponents and even his harshest critics.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Yep, it happened again. After 3-3/4 quarter of some of the worst football you’ll ever see, Tim Tebow and his Broncos somehow pulled out another improbable victory with their 13-10 OT win over the Bears.
And now, after leading the Denver Broncos to their their sixth straight victory (seventh in eight starts), Tebow has officially made believers out of me, his teammates, the city of Denver, John Fox, John Elway, Marion Barber and Bears fans everywhere. While some credit certainly needs to be given to the Broncos defense and Matt Prater for the win, all anyone can talk about today is Tebow.
The naysayers will continue to claim that Tebow didn’t do anything particularly special himself yesterday (despite throwing for 236 yards and a TD), and Brian Urlacher went so far as to call Tebow “a good running back”. But there is just something remarkable about the attitude that he brings to the field, where his teammates all fight until the final whistle, and never stop believing. And after witnessing it in person, I can tell you that it’s a feeling that permeates throughout the entire stadium, with fans understanding that with Tebow on their side, they’re never completely out of any game until it’s truly over.
Plus, the very idea that Marion Barber would inexplicably run out of bounds to stop the clock in the 4th quarter, and then fumble the ball in OT – allowing the Broncos a chance at the win – smacks of divine intervention. Believers will tell you that Jesus himself pushed Barber out of bounds on that play. But regardless of whether you believe God actually has a hand in wins and losses on a football field (we don’t), it’s becoming obvious that someone upstairs has Timmy’s back right now. And the faith he’s instilled in this Broncos team since taking over is nothing short of amazing to watch.
There will undoubtedly be tons of over-analysis this week as to the religious implications of Tebow’s success, and what it means for the NFL in general, but the bottom line for us is that all the guy does is win … as the following clip succinctly demonstrates:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
The latest episode of NFL Network’s excellent series, A Football Life, focused on the Chicago Bears’ legendary larger-than-life coach and player, Mike Ditka.
As usual, the program gives an in depth look into the Hall of Famer’s life, both on and off the field. From his upbringing in western Pennsylvania to his time as an All-American two-way end at Pitt and becoming a first round draft choice by the Bears. There, Iron Mike revolutionized the Tight End position and came to define toughness and agression from an offensive player in the NFL.
Of course, Ditka went on to coach the Bears for 11 years, winning Super Bowl XX and creating a much larger legend for his his blustery and temperamental persona. His coaching career ended on a less successful note with a 3-year stint with the Saints, where Da Coach looked so constantly stressed out that you genuinely worried he might have a heart attack at any minute.
With NFL Films at the helm, the show provides a multi-dimensional look at one of the more fascinating characters in NFL history. You can watch a bunch of clips here (the “growing up Ditka“ section is particularly worthwhile), but this segment covers a lot of ground on Ditka’s coaching career, including his, shall we say … colorful relationship with both quarterbacks and the media. It also includes a look at this classic furious, pantsless television interview, and starts with Ditka’s now-ubiquitous “Kick Ass” brand, which he shamelessly slaps on everything from red wine to Italian beef :
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Following the big Hank Williams Jr. controversy from last week, ESPN dropped the popular singer and his long-standing theme song from Monday Night Football, leaving the nation wondering how they would get ready for some football each week moving forward.
Well for last night’s Lions-Bears game, former Lion great Barry Sanders handled the intro duties for MNF, narrating over the sights and sounds of Detroit. It’s a format that ESPN is likely to employ for the remainder of the season, and let’s just say the piece more than sufficed on such short notice. It wasn’t earth-shattering or anything, but I’m not sure anyone ever tuned in to hear Hank Williams Jr., and this puts the focus back where it belongs – on the game, and the host cities for each contest.
Here’s what Sanders’ had to say in the intro:
“Detroit’s soul isn’t in the streets of the city. It’s in the hearts of the people. I know. I played here for 10 years.
“Right now for the Lions, life is good. But like this town, they won’t rest. They’ll work, they’ll sweat, they’ll fight.
“Detroit doesn’t pat itself on the back, it gets the job done. Especially tonight, on ‘Monday Night Football.’ “
WATCH SANDERS’ MNF INTRO AFTER THE JUMP