Wednesday Morning QB (NFL Week 9)

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The culture of football once again took a big shot this week when the Miami Dolphins took the headlines after a hazing incident. The last few years have been spent with the NFL worrying about head injuries as concussions have become a major issue in all sports. The NFL has taken the brunt of the criticism as the biggest league in North America as well as one of the most violent. More than just the safety of the players though, has been the debate over that attitude towards concussions and injuries in general. In football injuries are always going to happen and when someone is injured they are expected to play through the pain. For some injuries this is common sense as smaller injuries that may not affect someone’s play can be played through. Head injuries are a different stories as they cannot be played through and if they are they can cause more irreversible damage. The attitude before the concussion issue arose was that if something isn’t broken then a true football player can play through it. With the knowledge of concussions growing this attitude is slowly changing although there are plenty of holdovers from the old way of thinking. The NFL would face another debate over the culture that exists throughout the league. The Miami Dolphins would be at the centre of this debate as they would suspend Richie Incognito for extremely inappropriate behavior towards fellow lineman Jonathan Martin. The reports would surface for the actions that Incognito took while hazing Martin as a rookie and into his second year. Rookie hazing has been a part of sports culture for years and most of the time it can be a fun way to bond a team together. In the NFL the rookie hazing can be as simple as making a rookie get food in the cafeteria for the veterans or making them dress up one day on spring training in ridiculous outfits. It can even be ridiculous haircuts given by veteran players who are far from trained barbers. These types of hazing do little harm and are more about paying dues to the players who have been there before the young rookies. They are also a great way to bond a team as the players that go through the experience together feel a special bond between them. What Richie Incognito did to Martin was completely different as he would leave voicemails with racial slurs and threats towards Martin. The voicemail released to the media would be one of many through the two years that he was on the Dolphins. It was a lot for a young player to deal with and Martin would take a leave of absence from the team. As bad as this hazing incident was the comments that came out after the incident would make everything even worse. Teammates and opponents would all come out saying that this type of thing was just a rite of passage for young players. They would claim that everyone goes through this to pay their dues to the veterans and that Martin was just too sensitive. The attitude surrounding the incident seemed to be about Martin being too sensitive and if he couldn’t hack it he didn’t belong in the NFL. The attitude needs to be changed as rookie hazing is a natural part of the football world but this was far more than just regular hazing. This was true threats and racial slurs that made Martin feel unwanted and uncomfortable in the locker room so much so that he seemed to need a break from a place where he should feel at home. The NFL world took another hit this week with the Miami Dolphins incident and the fans would once again get a peek behind the curtain and not like what they saw. The NFL continues to fight off these type of issues and there seems to be a new issue every year. The attitude in the NFL is still old school and every time something like this happens it seems to bring that attitude under fire and this time is no different as rookie hazing has become the latest topic in the NFL.


Fifth Quarter:
(Four Quick Thoughts on Week 9)

Sideline Scare
In a scary incident on Sunday Night Gary Kubiak would collapse on the sidelines after suffering a mini-stroke that would send him to the hospital and bring recognition to the health of the men patrolling the sidelines

Another Coach Sidelined
In another example of coaches health issues Denver Broncos’ head coach John Fox would undergo heart surgery this week to replace a valve putting him away from the team for multiple weeks and giving Jack Del Rio the reigns for now

Return of the Back-up
Aaron Rodgers was the only piece on the Green Bay Packers after they lost many of their star players to injury but he would go down in week 9 and will be out with a broken collarbone bringing many to wonder if Matt Flynn will return to Wisconsin after being released by the Eagles


NFL Standings 

American Football Conference
AFC East:
1. New England Patriots (.778)
2. New York Jets (.556)
3. Miami Dolphins (.500)
4. Buffalo Bills (.333)
AFC North:
1. Cincinnati Bengals (.667)
2. Cleveland Browns (.444)
3. Baltimore Ravens (.375)
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (.250)
AFC South:
1. Indianapolis Colts (.750)
2. Tennessee Titans (.500)
3. Houston Texans (.250)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (.000)
AFC West:
1. Kansas City Chiefs (1.000)
2. Denver Broncos (.875)
3. San Diego Chargers (.500)
4. Oakland Raiders (.375)

National Football Conference:
NFC East:
1. Dallas Cowboys (.556)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (.375)
3. Washington Redskins (.286)
4. New York Giants (.250)
NFC North:
1. Detroit Lions (.625)
2. Chicago Bears (.625)
3. Green Bay Packers (.625)
4. Minnesota Vikings (.125)
NFC South:
1. New Orleans Saints (.750)
2. Carolina Panthers (.625)
3. Atlanta Falcons (.250)
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.000)
NFC West:
1. Seattle Seahawks (.889)
2. San Francisco 49ers (.750)
3. Arizona Cardinals (.500)
4. St. Louis Rams (.333)


Key Scores:
Carolina Panthers 34 – 10 Atlanta Falcons
– The Atlanta Falcons came into the season as favorites to win the division again this year but so far their season has gone very much the opposite direction and a big loss against the Panthers has just increased the panic for the Falcons

Dallas Cowboys 27 – 23 Minnesota Vikings
– The Cowboys seemed to be getting used to losing games in the last second but they would finally get a win in that dramatic fashion beating the Vikings with a last second TD and attempting to get back on track

Cleveland Browns 24 – 18 Baltimore Ravens
– The Browns are a much better team this year as they continue to develop after years of sitting in the basement and they would make a statement in the division by beating the Baltimore Ravens who are a shell of their former selves

Chicago Bears 27 – 20 Green Bay Packers
– The Green Bay Packers were banged up heading into their rivalry game but they still had Aaron Rodgers to pull things together until the first drive of the game when he would fracture his collarbone and leave Seneca Wallace to lead the offence which could not keep up with the Bears


Next Week:
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers (Sunday November 10th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Packers have not found a replacement for Aaron Rodgers yet and if they do not Seneca Wallace will lead the Packers against a struggling Eagles team that will look to take advantage of a team without their best player

Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears (Sunday November 10th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Lions and Bears are fighting with the Packers for the top spot in the division making this game much more important and with Jay Cutler returning to the Bears lineup Chicago is looking to take over first place

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens (Sunday November 10th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Bengals are on a run to try to win the AFC North division and a win against the Ravens will put them further ahead in a year where the defending champions are struggling to get to the top of their division

Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Monday November 11th; 8:30 pm ET)
– The Bucs have been a mess all season with no shortage of drama in the locker room but they have been joined this week by another Florida team as the Dolphins look to move on past the hazing incident that grabbed all of the headlines this week

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