The drama surrounding Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin's died down a bit lately (Super Bowl will do that), but popped up back up with referenced text messages that supposedly included "banter." The reported revelation of thousands of text messages exchanged between Incognito and Martin -- aka, the banter -- should crank up the heat on the story even more.
The full set of texts were obtained by Jason McIntrye of TheBigLead.com and posted there. They are ... interesting reading. (Please be warned that if you click that link and scroll you could run into explicit content.)
I use the word interesting because, well, they reveal a few things but also manage to read about as well as two bricks being smashed together. There's a lot of discussion about women in inappropriate ways and there's a lot of use of the word "bro." Perhaps this isn't surprising. They're both uber-male types and they probably thought these messages were private.
The texts do not show a heavy tone of bullying in the purest sense of the word. I'm sorry, they don't. There's too much interaction on Martin's behalf to meet up and hang out with Incognito. They appear -- based strictly what you read in them -- to show a pair of friends.
It's therefore totally understandable why some on the Dolphins felt confused (and in some cases, angry and betrayed) by Martin's departure from the team and subsequent blaming of the incident on Incognito. These guys hung out a LOT. Assuming you believe the texts, they went to movies together and were frequently partying.
But I think it's worth noting that there are some undertones, if you read between the lines, where Martin feels uncomfortable. It reads at times like Incognito is his big brother ... only Martin might not want that. He doesn't come right out and say it, but there's awkwardness in the sort of way where he feels like he has no choice but to participate in this friendship.
Having said all that, when the case went public Martin and Incognito (reportedly) started texting again. And they sure seemed friendly and there's the text from Martin to Incognito -- one we'd previously seen -- where Martin says "I don't blame you guys at all."
"Yeah I'm good man," Martin texted. "It's insane bro but just know I don't blame you guys at all it's just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little."
And when it began being reported that the NFLPA was investigating Incognito's role, well, it got pretty awkward.
Martin claimed in a reply that he had "nothing to do with it" and that was the last text that Martin -- according to TBL's records -- sent to Incognito.
Presumably at that time, the mess was hitting the fan. And Incognito was starting to realize he needed to go on the offensive when Martin didn't respond to his final texts.
Incognito would do an interview with Jay Glazer one week after that final text above.