We have now learned more about why Boca Raton police were called to a local gym Wednesday morning and eventually took former Bills and Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito into custody and then to a psychiatric facility.
As we wrote yesterday, Incognito, who recently retired but then asked his former team the Buffalo Bills to release him to make him available for a possible new NFL team, was working out Wednesday at a Lifetime Fitness in Boca Raton.
For whatever reasons, incognito became upset with another person working out at the facility and began to behave in an aggressive and provoking manner.
TMZ Sports, which broke the story on Wednesday, also landed an exclusive interview later in the afternoon with the other gym customer. Warning the language is NSFW:
Richie Incognito's Victim's Blow-By-Blow: 'I Knew Something Was Off' https://t.co/D54WXiagkG
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) May 24, 2018
“Mark,” as the Tabloid site refers to him, detailed erratic and odd behavior from Incognito. And, at the point where he picked up a weighted dumbbell and threw it at him, almost anyone would have called the police.
It’s also new and interesting information that according to Mark, Incognito ripped a “workout mannequin” that is used for boxing exercise off it’s base and then, sat on it, while making irrational sounds and half sentences. And, as the gym patron told TMZ, at that point, he didn’t know who Incognito was, but knew something was definitely wrong with him.
Boca Raton Police did confirm later on Wednesday that Incognito was not arrested, but that the 34 year old was “Baker Acted” under Florida law, where someone can be held for up to 72 hours for psychological evaluation. He remains there Thursday morning.
Thursday afternoon, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald obtained the actual “incident” report from the Boca Raton Police. He detailed that Incognito was obviously in an altered state:
When police approached Incognito, he told them he was training when he felt like he was being watched.
“There’s a guy walking around with head phones on,” Incognito, 34, said according to the report. “I’m running NSA class level 3 documents through my phone. I can’t have anybody in blue tooth capability of me or taking pictures of me.”
When police asked Incognito what he was talking about, Incognito said he couldn’t tell them because they didn’t have high enough clearance, according to the report.
The report also states that Incognito took the over-the-counter supplement “Shroom Tech,” his hands were shaking, his speech was erratic and that he would “suddenly jump up and move locations without warning.” When told he could potentially be a danger to others, Incognito asked a woman in the nearby pool to call the FBI, according to the report.
Investigators ultimately concluded that “Incognito was suffering from an altered, paranoid state and believed ordinary citizens were government officials that were tracking him and recording him.”
Incognito has had a 12-year career littered with controversy and suspension, and it’s likely that this incident will scare off any team once and for all, from giving him yet another chance to play pro football in the NFL.
Time for concern after XFL TV ratings declined again last week?
For the second consecutive week, the XFL televison ratings continued to slide in the wrong direction. And, the troubling part is that if the trend continues, the XFL will have no leverage for sponsors and revenue to keep it going long term.
First, here are the specifics on the bad viewership news: According to Showbuzzdaily.com all four XFL broadcasts last Saturday and Sunday afternoon had lower ratings in their slot than the previous week.
That includes the Tampa Bay Vipers home debut against Houston, which was the early game on ABC Saturday. And, while that window had 400,000 less viewers than week 2, the bigger concern is ABC has lost almost 40% of the audience from the 3.3 million average that watched their Week one debut game on Saturday afternoon.
The ratings downward trend is following the same pattern as last Spring’s Alliance of American Football, where the ratings dwindled to under a million fans for broadcasts by week five and eventually the league shut down after just eight weeks. This was in part because of concerns on how the AAF could make any revenue, through television in specific, if they had very little audience for the end of year one and to sell off of for year two.
Now, WWE owner Vince McMahon, who folded the XFL the first time in 2001 in large part because the television audience plummeted over the course of the first month or so of its existence and never recovered, has the same issue in 2020.
And, as we wrote previously, this audience decline while negative is far less McMahon’s original XFL and it’s first season of 2001. That’s when, it debuted on its first Saturday night on NBC with a massive 10.1 rating, which translated 18 years ago to more than 9.5 viewers on network TV. A Smashing success.
However, the XFL’s ratings plummeted starting the following week and had fewer than 25% of that opening night audience just a month later with the games still being shown on a Saturday night coveted slot on NBC. It doomed the league from a P.R. and sponsor standpoint and McMahon pulled the plug.
Now, in 2020, McMahon reportedly has money to burn and is apparently prepared to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in year one. So, even if the XFL TV ratings continue come down significantly, it will not spell the end of the XFL (like it did nearly 20 years ago) after just a single season.
At least, that’s what we think.
Vipers better but drop third straight game in home opener
Although their play was improved offensively, in the end it wasn’t enough for the Tampa Bay Vipers after they dropped their third straight XFL game to start the season 34 – 27 to Houston Saturday afternoon in Tampa.
Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, as Houston scored early in the fourth quarter to go up by seven and held off the Viper the rest of the way.
The Vipers offense came to life after they had failed to score in the offensive touchdown in either of their first two games. Both of which were losses on the road. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius, subbing for starter Aaron Murray who missed his second straight game with an injured foot, once again had modest numbers 16-31 for 193 yards 1 TD, 1 INT.
However, he did pull the game even at 18 – 18 at the half after scoring on a one yard QB sneak and Tampa Bay got the two-point conversion.
Still, the former Oklahoma State quarterbacks day was inconsistent and the home crowd at Raymond James Stadium began to chant the name “Flowers, Flowers” for former USF Star Quarterback Quinton Flowers, who played sparingly for the third straight game in a reserve role.
Flowers got Tampa Bay’s first offensive TD on the young season with a seven yard run in the first quarter, but only played QB sparingly in the game, again. He was just 4-6 for 57 yards passing with 29 yards on six attempts on the ground.
Meanwhile, the former Temple star Walker found receiver Cam Phillips for the third of their three touchdown hookups from 17 yards out to give Houston a 34 – 27 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. Phillips devastated Jerry Glanville’s Vipers defense for 194 yards receiving on eight catches with the three TDs.
The Vipers look like they were going to have a chance to re-tie the game when Cornelius (above) completed a pass to his top target on the day, Jaylen Tolliver, at the two-yard line. However just like a week ago in Seattle when a critical fourth quarter drive stalled and Tampa Bay came away with no points in a 17 – 9 lost the Dragons, the Vipers got no points after Cornelius threw incomplete on second, third and fourth downs.
Many in the crowd and observers in the media were curious, as to why coach Marc Trestman didn’t go to Flowers as the dual threat running QB to at least try something different on one of those plays? Flowers even questioned why he did not play more after the game to the media.
The Vipers got the ball one final time, but Cornelius was picked off near midfield with just over a minute left to seal the defeat.
The Vipers played the first spring professional football game in Tampa, since the closing of the USFL 1985 season. That’s when Steve Spurrier’s Tampa Bay Bandits were a popular item at Old Tampa Stadium. Saturday’s home opener drew and announced crowd of 18,117.
However it’s little consolation for former Bears and CFL coach Trestman and his team, as they remain winless on the season. The L.A. Wildcats playing Sunday are the other 0-2 team in the league, currently.
And, you have to wonder whether Trestman will be forced to go to Flowers for the start when they host the D.C. Defenders next week.