I was watching ESPN tonight and they did a story on Richie Incognito and his inability to get a job in the NFL. Allegedly, the NFL is telling teams they should not sign him. The ESPN piece, like the linked article and the comments in that article, bordered on the farcical. Everyone pretends to be mystified as to why a white guy, who was mean to a black guy, can’t get a job, while black guys found guilty of abusing children, beating women and killing animals are welcomed back into the league. Heck, a few years ago a black guy, who spent time in the can for homicide, was welcomed back into the league.
After working out for Broncos on Monday, Richie Incognito will have to keep looking. Denver, despite having a desperately thin offensive line, has decided to pass—for now—on signing the controversial-but-talented guard, who hasn’t played in the NFL in over a year.
The Broncos are firing on nearly all cylinders, save their run game. They rank 25th in yards per attempt, and 26th in yards per game. They’ve been shuffling their O-line all season in attempts to address the obvious problems—just this past Sunday they moved All-Pro guard Louis Vasquez to tackle, center Manny Ramirez to guard, and started Will Montgomery at center for the first time this year. In short: they’re desperate. And Incognito, if he can play anything like he did the last time we saw him, would be an upgrade.
But it’s been a very long time since we saw Richie Incognito. He was suspended after last season’s Week 8 after reports emerged of his harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin. The CBA only allowed for a four-game ban, but as more and more information came out, Incognito became increasingly toxic to the Dolphins, to they reached a deal to pay Incognito to sit out the remainder of the season. Finally, in February, the results of an NFL-commissioned independent investigation were released, and they showed Incognito to be a shithead of the highest order.
Except, this sport is full of shitheads. Abusers and bullies and harassers and just straight up bastards that no one can stand. And for the most part, all that comes a distant third place to how good you are at football. (Second place is how much you cost.) Incognito is, at least theoretically, still a good football player. At the time of his suspension, Pro Football Focus had him rated as the league’s 13th best guard (out of 71).
Yet Incognito can’t find a taker, despite a handful of teams kicking his tires from the moment he was reinstated in late August. This line, buried at the bottom of a Jay Glazer report, feels ominous:
Incognito visited the Chiefs and the Bucs this season and in both cases, each team got skittish after numerous calls from people inside the NFL were made and no deals were ever consummated.
I wonder what it could be?
I somewhat expected a lot of this to fade away now that the election is over. Mass fainting spells over the pale penis people acting poorly is a fine enough election tool, but the election is over. I suppose it just shows how fearful old rich white guys are these days. Donald Sterling had his team confiscated because he was deemed a heretic. In the old days, Jewish guys were immune from charges of heresy, but the Cult is turning on the Tribe, particularly the males. The war on the pale penis people is inclusive!
I’m noodling on something else for a longer post at a later date, but the fact that “bullying” is now worse than murder says a lot about where we are culturally. That’s a big part of the Incognito story. It’s not that he was mean to a black guy. It’s that he was ruled overly masculine and that’s close to a capital crime these days.