“I’m going to meet with Jonathan Martin face to face and hear what he has to say. Then, I will deal with it from there. So much has been said about a lot of different things.”
– Stephen Ross, owner, Miami Dolphins
As an NFL franchise, the Miami Dolphins are said to be worth $1.2 billion, and many in the online betting community say they wish the Dolphins would conduct themselves like a billion dollar operation. Now that the entire sports betting public is learning just how self-destructive the team’s locker room atmosphere has been, owner Stephen Ross announced he is going to talk with Jonathan Martin. Ross has promised he will find out all he can about Martin and Richie Incognito, the man that Martin said bullied him with abuse, racist language, and threats. The incident has cost the Dolphins two players. Martin immediately left the club, and Incognito has been suspended as the NFL investigates.
This weekend, Richie Incognito told a YouWager news source, “All this stuff coming out, it speaks to the culture of our locker room, it speaks to the culture of our closeness, it speaks to the culture of our brotherhood. And the racism, the bad words, that’s what I regret most. But that is a product of the environment.”
Internet NFL analysts point to Miami’s locker room ‘environment’ as symptom of a bigger issue for the team. A lack of good leadership. Incognito was a member of the team’s leadership council. Hazing rookie players is a common practice for many NFL teams, but if the remarks from Incognito that have surfaced recently are any indication, Incognito took it to extremes.
Incognito admitted to YouWager’s source, “I’ve taken stuff too far.”
Leadership, Fins fans insist, is the problem. What kind of leadership allows players to taunt and threaten other players? It’s a good question. Many online sportsbook bettors feel the responsibility of creating a healthy locker room atmosphere should begin with Joe Philbin, the head coach, and General Manager Jeff Ireland. Ireland spent more than $200 million acquiring talented players. But talent can be rowdy and unfocused without solid leadership.
Ross claims he was unaware of these problems before Martin left, and said he also plans to meet with Incognito. Ross told YouWager’s source, “I was appalled. I think anybody would be appalled. When you first read that text that was reported, to me I didn’t realize people would talk, text or speak that way.”
Ross is establishing a group to help him find effective ways to make his locker room a more positive work environment. He has already recruited former coaches and players like Tony Dungy, Don Shula, and Dan Marino. Ross said, “These are probably people who have as much respect as anybody who have ever played or coached the game.”
One person that is currently struggling for respect, among YouWager’s NFL football wagering fans, is coach Joe Philbin. Outside the locker room, where it really counts, on the football field, Philbin has not been able to lead his team to very many victories either. The Dolphins were 4-4 for the season before they faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8) this week on Monday Night Football. They lost 22-19.
Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy told YouWager’s source, “People ask me how much should a coach know? How much should you be aware of what’s going on? You do have to count on your players, your leadership. I’m standing around a bunch of guys who made it happen for me. What I did is set the atmosphere on what my expectations are. But I counted on Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp to let me know. As a coach you are kind of counting on that.”