Sharks in Dolphins’ clothing?

Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (Photo: Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post)

Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin
(Photo: Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post)

Wow. Am I disappointed.

I don’t claim to know a lot about what goes on in NFL locker rooms. And I don’t really care to. But, the last time I checked, these players were adults. And professionals. Who are paid large sums of money to play a game that is largely supported by the public.

The NFL puts a huge emphasis on its image and holds players and teams accountable to do the same.

So, when the story came out about Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who left the team this week after incessant bullying and hazing, I had very little tolerance.

This is a guy who went to Stanford. Who was a second round draft pick in 2012. And who is starting just his second season in the NFL. Emotional issues aside, he needed support from his team. And he didn’t get it.

With all the young kids we hear about facing cruel and abusive behavior on a daily basis, we as adults have a moral obligation to step in. Professional athletes, who are in a visible position, have a moral obligation to set an example. To show this is unacceptable behavior at any age.

The Dolphins players, coaches, and management allowed the bullying of one of their own, for an extended period of time. And that goes beyond disappointment for me.

With power comes responsibility. The Dolphins failed that responsibility. To their team. To their league. To their fans. And more than anything…to their player.

Martin had to leave the team to get help. But in doing so, he may have helped himself and others with a problem that goes far beyond the Dolphins facility.

Some things are bigger than football. People are bigger than football. Jonathan Martin is bigger than football.

And Jonathan Martin deserved better.

Bullying can’t be tolerated. Not in schools. Not in sports. And certainly not in the NFL.

The Miami Dolphins dropped the ball, so to speak. They need to practice becoming winners where it matters most…off the field.

In real life.

Where they can make a real difference.

But, charity starts at home.

And the Dolphins need to start in their own locker room.


Crushing: On Reggie Bush

Miami Dolphins Running Back Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush may be one of the most crushed on players in the NFL.  Both literally and figuratively.  And much as we love him shirtless…

He looks equally fine dressed up.  With those eyes and that smile (and that tush), you could put Reggie Bush in a burlap sack and he’d be hot.  Smoking hot.  A true trophy of a man…Heisman or no Heisman.

Reggie, baby…we can’t believe Kim Kardashian wouldn’t give up fame for you.  Silly woman.  It’s all good, though.  She’s moved on with Kanye now and you’ve moved on with…some woman who looks just like her.  And you have a baby on the way?  There will soon be a little more Reggie in the world (or a little Reggie).  All the better!

Your Indianapolis fans look forward to Sunday, Reggie…when you come to play the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.  We’ll be chanting…Reg-gie…Reg-gie…Reg-gie…for Reggie Wayne.

We may be cheering for him…but we’ll be thinking about you.


Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 8: The one with The Queen, and the bumble bees, and Superman…

Week eight of the NFL season had London calling for the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams.  It was strange to hear our anthem followed by God Save The Queen.  I still can’t decide how I feel about that.  But God save The Queen when she saw how the Patriots head coach was dressed.  Yes, The Hoodie went global.  And it made its debut during a fan rally in Trafalgar Square on Saturday.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and Owner Robert Kraft

Will Belichick start a European fashion trend?  Will they be rocking hoodies with dress shirts and headbands on Oxford Street?  In Chelsea?  Probably not.  On behalf of America, I apologize to the Brits and Her Majesty.  I also apologize for the game…the Patriots beat the Rams 45-7.  American football is the greatest sport in the world.  But it is much more entertaining when two teams play.

At least they got to see the Gronk show.  Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski had eight catches and two touchdowns.  After the first, he did an awkward march before spiking the ball.  The crowd went nuts for his Changing of the Gronk.  Asked later who he was imitating, Gronkowski replied, “That little nutcracker dude that’s guarding the house.”  Americans…

Speaking of fashion statements…the Steelers took a lot of grief when they took the field on Sunday in this:

Steelers’ Halloween Costumes/Throwback Uniforms

Yes, the throwback uniforms are hideous.  But I think they were misunderstood.  The Steelers were dressed up for Halloween (as Peyton, Eli and Deion).  They just couldn’t get the wings and tutus to fly (literally) with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  That’s why they call it the No Fun League.

Seriously though, no one ever wore those as uniforms…right?

Meanwhile, on NFL Halloween Sunday…Indianapolis Colts Running Back Vick Ballard played Superman, though he wasn’t in costume.  It was without a doubt the play of the day (and most likely the play of the week, maybe the month).  In overtime against the Tennessee Titans, Ballard goes in flying, upside down, over the pylon for the game winning touchdown.

Colts Running Back Vick Ballard Flies One In (In Overtime) Against the Titans

It was the Colts’ first road win of the season (and last season) and their first back-to-back win of the season (and last season).  Bet the Titans get their hands on some Kryptonite (or Stickum) before the teams meet again in Indy on December 9th.

And a real life hero, 11-year-old Dante Cano from Marlboro, New Jersey.  He came up with the idea of using pink penalty flags for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and wrote Roger Goodell with his idea.  On Sunday, Cano was invited to Met Life Stadium to present the pink flags to the officials before the game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins.

Dante Cano (11) Meets NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

We hope to see the pink flags used during all the October games next season.  And remember, you can now bid on all the NFL in Pink items used this month.  The money goes to the NFL’s A Crucial Catch.

Just proves you don’t need a cape or a jersey to be a hero.

Or a hoodie.


Pretty in pink penalties

NFL in Pink penalty flags to be used in Sunday’s game

Week eight marks the last Sunday in October and the last Sunday of the NFL in Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  But for those of us who love seeing pink on the field, there is one last surprise…

Along with the pink gloves, hats, and cleats worn by players, the NFL officials will also use pink penalty flags during the game between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.  The idea came from an 11-year-old New Jersey boy.

Letter from Dante Cano (11) to Roger Goodell


“Dante had a great idea and I am looking forward to meeting with him on Sunday to put it into action,” said Commissioner Goodell. “Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the best. I applaud Dante for sending in his recommendation.”

And so it is…the first (and hopefully not the last) pink penalty flags will fly during game time at Met Life Stadium in New York.

It may also mark the first time a penalty flag solicits a chorus of…”Super cute!”



Bold Predictions for 2012 NFL Season: Cutler Cracks a Smile, Brady Attempts the Impossible, and Eli Loses Some Weight…

Here we are…the preseason is behind us.  The regular season is before us.  And I have a few bold predictions (ten to be exact) for the 2012 NFL season:

10.  Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler will be more likable as a dad.  I didn’t say he’d be a better quarterback, but I do think fatherhood will soften his edges and make him a little more personable, or at least a little more human.  Hey, that commercial he did for The NFL Store was almost funny.  See?  It’s already working.

9.  On the other hand, fatherhood WILL make Tony Romo a better quarterback for the Cowboys.  He put a lot of pressure on himself (some deservedly) the last few seasons, but now seems happy and settled.  That will translate to the field in confidence, that he has someone to come home to…and it’s not Jessica Simpson.

8.  We will discover that Rex Ryan is a better coach when he’s overweight.  Maybe it’s the diet.  It’s possible he’s a little light-headed these days.  I mean, claiming this is the best Jets team he’s ever coached?  That may be more bold than his pre-preseason Superbowl predictions.  He must be seeing something in practice that we’re not.  Namely…touchdowns.

7.  We will learn why no one wants to coach (or play) in Miami.  If you watched Hard Knocks, you’re already half way there.

6.  We will discover that there was indeed something magical about Peyton Manning’s hands under Jeff Saturday’s butt.  Both will have decent seasons, but neither will be able to replicate what they had together in Indianapolis.  Seeing as they’re both playing in outside stadiums now, that’s mostly warm hands and a warm butt.

5.  Tim Tebow will become the starter for the New York Jets.  I don’t know when, but it will happen.  And when it does, the skies will part, the angels will sing, and Skip Bayless will crown him MVP…all before he completes his first pass (just before halftime).

4.  With the Patriots light on receivers, Tom Brady, upon suffering two Superbowl defeats to Eli Manning, will attempt to do the very thing wife Gisele Bundchen claimed he could not…throw the ball and catch it himself.

3.  Eli Manning will finally prove that he is an elite quarterback after all, and is undoubtedly the best quarterback in the Manning family.  Wait, didn’t he do that last season?  Forget it then.  Eli will find new joy playing for the Giants, without carrying a 230-pound monkey on his back named Peyton.

2.  After two weeks of fumbled calls, Father Goodell will finally open his checkbook and sign the NFL officials to a new contract, just in time for week three.  The replacement refs will miss the call, report to work, and flag the league for too many men on the field.  They will try to reverse the call, but won’t remember what it was.

1.  And for my last bold prediction of the season…Terrell Owens and Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson will fall in love (no, not with each other) and ride off into sunset, never to be heard from again.  I know.  I pushed it too far with that one.  Damn, it was a nice thought though…wasn’t it?

Here’s to the 2012 NFL season.  The clock is down to hours…and they’re ticking away.