Yesterday, I turned on the Ravens/Bengals game just in time to watch Michael Oher (of Blind Side Fame) drive a Bengal defensive tackle five yards down the field and pancake him into the turf.
I couldn't help but think how humiliating it might have been to dominated so thoroughly. Then, what really came to mind was that football is the ultimate game of bullying. Moving a guy who's trying to move you is the ultimate form of humiliation or "bullying" to coin today's vernacular.
I'm sure that when that particular play started, that Bengals DL would have like nothing more than to do the same to Oher and stand over him like Mohammed Ali stood over top of Sonny Liston.... the ultimate humiliation.
How many times in high school and college did Johnathan Martin pancake a well undersized defensive lineman and either talked trash or mocked him. My guess is quite a few.
Now he gets to the NFL where the guys are just as big and tougher to dominate. Your teammates ride, harass and haze you as training for the Big Show. If you can't stand up to the guys on your side how are you ever going to take on guys like Reggie White?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not an apologist for Richie Incognito. The fact that that guy has managed to not be suspended for steroid use is a testament to the NFL's horrible drug testing policy. The guy is a walking bottle of Anabol. He would never be on a team I ran.
None the less, the NFL isn't for the faint of heart. I once met a guy who signed on the the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent wide receiver. He told me that the first pass he caught, Kenny Easley hit him, drove him into the turf and buried him helmet right into the based of his spine.
When he got up, Easley told him the next time he would be in two pieces.
He told me that he handed the ball to a coach and said "screw this, I've got a degree".
That's life in the NFL. It's a game where bully meets bully.
Unfortunately, for Johnathan Martin, he was so used to bullying everyone else in his career, he never new what it was like to be on the other end.