Unless you grew up in the 1970s and/or early 1980s you might not know who Conrad Dobler is. For starters, he once graced the cover of Sports Illustrated with the tag, “Pro Football’s Dirtiest Player.” So, when ESPN’s Schefter likened Incognito to such a precarious player, some people may have wondered why. It was just this Tuesday that Antonio Smith of the Houston Texans was suspended and fined, for his altercation with the Dolphins' guard, not the other way around. Yet, recent reports have indicated that Incognito may not be so innocent or reformed after all.
Dobler played nine-years in the NFL and was selected into the Pro Bowl on three occasions. He was once quoted by ESPN.com saying, “ "I see defensive linemen jump to knock a pass down. When that happened near me, I'd smack 'em in the solar plexus, and that got their hands down real quick." Essentially he was punching the player in the stomach to “knock the wind” out of them. Sounds like a move used in a street fight.
On Wednesday, NFL.com reported that back in June Incognito had a fight of his own. While visiting Club Liv, a Miami Beach nightclub, a local police sergeant stated that a man in the Dolphins' guard’s group started an altercation. The man was shouting and eventually pushed Carlos Joseph, a security guard, who wouldn’t allow the group closer access to the stage. Once the situation escalated with all members of the group beginning to fight, they were soon escorted from the club. ESPN reports that unreleased hotel video supports this claim.
Incognito had a different take. He admitted that he and his friends were trying to get closer to the stage, but once a fight ensued he only stepped in to break it up. That’s when Joseph punched him in the face.
In the end, no charges were pressed, but Incognito was banned from returning to the club unless the owner grants him permission.
The Miami Dolphins are aware of the June altercation and the NFL has yet to inflict any punishment on the Dolphins' guard. Though, as the NFL Personal Conduct Policy states, “All persons associated with the NFL are required to avoid conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.” Being that no charges were pressed in the matter, Incognito may remain unscathed.
The brawl at Club Liv, the latest situation during Saturday’s exhibition game and Incognito’s history as a dirty player don’t illustrate a player whose claiming to be reformed. At least, that’s what Texan’s defensive end, Smith is saying. Fox Sports, recently quoted Incognito (replying to Smith’s comments) indicating otherwise as well.
“Every so often it crops up,’’ Incognito said of Smith's comments. “Someone on an opposing defensive line calls me a dirty player. And I understand it. I play a physical brand of football, and I get after people between whistles. . . . I’ve been called a lot worse (than what Smith said).
Incognito’s former general manager, Bill Devaney, said at the time of his release from the St. Louis Rams, “five-percent" of the time the Dolphins' guard was unpleasant.
“Man it’s ugly and you want to kill him. Unfortunately, he lets it get the best of him way too often,” Devaney added.
On ESPN’s “NFL Insider,” a panel of analysts discussed how members of the Dolphins' organization were surprised by the self-control that Incognito showed during Saturday's quarrel. As his teammates, they should know him as good as anyone. If so, Incognito is who we’ve always known him to be, fearless and malicious on all counts. Sure he’s not the only one. It’s NFL football after all, not your son’s pee wee league.
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