Longform

Richie Incognito's Year of the Bully

The jockstrap arrived at 2:31 a.m. like a foul-smelling firebomb. Jorge heard the glass shatter and pedaled over. The gray-haired security guard pulled up on his Huffy just in time to see a Ford Bronco disappear in a cloud of burnt rubber. A fat, pale middle finger wagged out the driver's window like a wayward kielbasa.

It didn't take Jorge long to find the missile amid the wreckage. Ten years of professional football had imbued the XXXL cup with its own pungent potpourri of blood, Bengay, and ball sweat. Locating it was easier than spotting a streetwalker on Biscayne Boulevard. The jockstrap was wrapped around a brick fastened with athletic tape and addressed simply: "To the Dildos at the New Times."

The next morning, this humble reporter unfurled the putrid package at his desk. The athletic supporter was the size of a baby's blanket, every square inch of fetid, faded cotton covered in childlike scribbles. It wasn't a warning, however — no threat for New Times to back off its investigations into steroid abuse in baseball, police shootings, or local corruption. Instead, it was a letter to the editor:

What's up, pussies? Richie Incognito here. The Miami Dolphins' most offensive offensive lineman. Pro Bowler. All-Star Wild Child. The NFL's dirtiest player and proud of it. I'm #68 on the field but #1 in secretly squeezing a dude's scrotum during a Monday Night Football man-pile. (It's called the "Rich-around." Get it?)

Listen up, you blog-typing twats. I read your articles about me, including the claim I drove that rookie biatch Jonathan Martin bonkers by harassing him. All I have to say is: Take a whiff of my cup and wake the hell up. That dude is softer than my supple Italian foreskin. This is professional football we play, not some tea-cozy crocheting competition.

I'd be angrier if I thought you were singling me out, but all your newspaper seems to do is print politically correct crap. You have a rapper as a columnist, a stripper who writes sex advice, and a newsroom full of MFAs. Let's start with your so-called People issue. You profiled a human statue, a community activist, and a kid in a chicken costume. Seriously, guys. What fucking city are you living in?

Take a good, hard look at 2013 and show me when a community activist accomplished anything. The only statue anyone cares about is the Heisman. And for god's sake, someone strip that kid of his chicken suit and suit him up in some pads so he finally gets laid.

What about Miami's real badasses? What about the ballers like me who get the dirty work done? The amoral assholes who pull no punches and spare no shady dollar in an all-out blitz to win?

Here's an idea. How's about you print my People issue? No charities. No children. No gourmet coffee roasters or French fashion bloggers. Just the bullies who truly boss this town.

Fins up!

XOXO,

Richie

P.S. Can you guys crochet me a new cup?


Dear Richie:

What a lovely surprise to receive your, uh, letter the other day, but do the Incognitos not believe in mailboxes? It's taken our unpaid interns three days to pick up the mess. One cut herself pretty badly and, without health insurance, had to use your jockstrap to stop the bleeding.

To address your complaints: We're sorry you don't agree with our coverage of your suspension from the Dolphins, but calling your teammate a "half-n****r," threatening to defecate in his mouth, and saying you'd kill his family was, let's just say, excessive. Compared to that, making Martin pay $15,000 for you to fly to Vegas and taunting him by saying you had sex with his sister almost seems quaint. Almost.

As for your argument that our recent People issue ignored Miami's "real badasses," we must point out that our issue focused on the coolest and most creative people in the city, not its most cutthroat and powerful.

But you're right. More than any year in recent memory, 2013 was dominated by bullies like you. From Gov. Rick Scott to rogue neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, corrupt politicians to bad cops and even worse criminals, steroidal sports stars to scamming team owners, 2013 was the year that Florida's Freudian id came roaring back in full force.

This was the Year of the Bully. So let's see your list, Richie. What psychos and sadists make up your People issue?

Sincerely,

New Times


Richie's response arrived a few days later. This time, it was penned in ketchup on the greasy cardboard containers of a 16-piece family dinner from KFC:

Growing up in Jersey, my father would grab me by the collar in a horseshoe tackle and pull a Joe Pesci on me. "Son, don't take no shit from no one," he'd scream. "If you let anyone give you shit now, you're gonna take shit your entire life."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael E. Miller