Richie Incognito finds himself at the center of the Dolphins' and the NFL's investigation of the bullying complaints of Jonathan Martin, who left the team last week. Incognito has been suspended indefinitely, and the latest report is that Incognito left Martin texts and voicemails "that are both threatening and racially charged in nature."
Even Dolphins fans seem somewhat fed up with Incognito, who can't seem to avoid trouble off the field and is one of the league's dirtiest players on it. But on a popular Dolphins message board, Incognito has at least one strident defender—and it might be his dad.
Early this morning, a poster with the username "idrd1994" left an impassioned defense of Incognito on the FinHeaven message board. In it, he attacked both Martin and Mike Pouncey as "black brothers that do drugs on a regular basis," and asked readers to "pray [GM Jeff] Ireland and [coach Joe] Philbin die of AIDS." He blasts the team from top to bottom, claims Incognito is getting railroaded, and uses the "black people say the N-word in rap music" argument to dismiss claims that Incognito sent racial messages to Martin. He also implies that Martin has pondered suicide, and "does not belong in an NFL locker room."
The post has since been deleted, but here's a screengrab; click the magnifying glass to enlarge.
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User "TheWalrus" decided to go back and look at idrd1994's post history, and found something interesting. idrd1994 "only talks about the offensive line, praises Jeff Darlington (who Richie 'trusted' to write the big feature on Richie) and constantly refers to Jason Smith, the legendary #2 overall draft pick bust of the Rams, who was taken when Incognito was there."
Then, more sleuthwork. TheWalrus found another post of idrd1994's where he talks about growing up in New Jersey and watching the Jets play at Shea Stadium. Richie Incognito was born in New Jersey, but after the Jets had already moved. Not too young to have seen the Jets play in Queens? Richie Incognito Sr., an active poster (under a different name) on Nebraska message boards when Richie Jr. played for the Huskers.
A Google search for "idrd1994" turns up a number of posts on RC car message boards, from a user claiming to live in Arizona—where the Incognitos moved when Richie Jr. was 11. "idrd1994" is also a profile on MyLife.com, registered under one Richie Incognito, age 63, from Glendale, Ariz.
Update: Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald spoke to the FinHeaven board administrator. idrd1994 registered with a date of birth of 12/14/1949, which matches Richie Incognito Sr.'s birthday.
idrd1994 has—at least according to what's accessible on the site—a brief but focused posting history on FinHeaven. His first few posts, beginning on Oct. 9, were all about the Miami offensive line. Then, on Nov. 2, when it emerged that the NFLPA was asked to investigate Martin's claims,
NFLPA IS NOT TOUCHING THIS WITH A TEN FOOT POLE. It will come out, Martin has tried to kill himself three previous times. The team is silent because they all know about it, from Ross on down to Ireland and Philbin. If anybody has seen the latest news the NFLPA has decided not to look into the case. Jonathan Martin has had mental issues since College, it will all come out int he wash gentleman, believe me.
On Nov. 3, after Incognito was suspended,
This is a joke, suspend an honest player for a drug addict and a player that tried to kill himself three times. Complete ****in utter BS and this team is just covering their ass. What a friggin joke. Strange only coments are from Zuckerman and not Martin himself. Irleand and Philbin should be ashamed of themselves, this is a ****in joke. Suspend a pro bowl player for a player that does not even belong in the NFL. FUKIN JOKE its all going to come out in the wash and Ireland should be ****in hung because he , philbin and everyone else knew Martin did drugs and attempted suicide three times. But hey, the regular people will never hear that right ? ****IN JOKE FOLKS, ****IN JOKE.
Incognito will look good in a Jets uniform beating the piss out of our defensive line in a few weeks. Watch, learn , and we will have ? Jonahtan Martin, draft bust, drug addict and on suicide watch, what a team. LMFAO.
idrd1994's full posting history is available here (registration needed). Sure, it's possible this is someone maintaining a sustained, convincing impersonation of Richie Incognito's father. But if this is actually Richie Sr., it'll save writers a lot of time asking him how he feels about bullying accusations against his son, considering Richie Jr. was bullied as a child. A 2003 ESPN profile of the then-Nebraska player recalls how Richie Jr. was teased for his weight as a child, until his father told him "you can't let them keep doing it," and the young Incognito punched out his tormentor.
Before his sophomore year, the story notes, the university sent Incognito to a Topeka behavioral clinic for anger management. "I don't think Richie is ever going to completely stop being the way he is," his mother said. Added Richie Sr.: "He just knows how to control it better."