NFL will review Jets altercation involving Geno Smith & IK Enemkpali as per the Personal Conduct Policy, according to league spokesman #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) August 12, 2015
SpyGate. BountyGate. DeFlateGate. The New York Jets have a way of making those landmark cases drop off the back pages. Jets' starting QB Geno Smith had no intention of paying LB IK Enemkpali the $600.00 for failing to appear at the reserve linebacker's football camp in Pflugerville, Texas, on July 11. Please say hello to WireGate.
After pointing his finger at the backup LB, Smith said, "You're not going to do anything about it." Seconds later, Enemkpali broke Smith's jaw in two places. That $600.00 nonpayment cost Enemkplai his job, and may ultimately move Geno Smith to another NFL team.
There have been plenty of training camp fights. This past Saturday, the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins had two full-scale fights at practice. ABC Sports:
It started on the field where the Texans defense worked against Washington's offense. After back-to-back plays, they squared off only to get back to work. Finally, after a tackle down field both teams got after it. Players threw punches and a helmet flew out of the melee.
Minutes later, another brawl broke out on a separate field between the Texans offense and Washington defense. That triggered every player from the other field to rush in to join the fight. Players were on the ground and more punches were thrown before coaches finally broke it up.
The New York Giants had a training camp battle in August, 2002 when rookie TE Jeremy Shockey was ordered to sing for the veterans, a customary ritual in training camps. His refusal led to an altercation with LB Brandon Short during the team dinner that required several players to separate Shockey and Short. Dinner was over.
The 1976 Dallas Cowboys had a training camp flareup when backup Clint Longley and legendary QB Roger Staubach got into some scrapes, and Staubach required stitches over his left eye. Staubach called it a “gutless affair” and denied Longley’s account that Staubach had pushed some chairs into him.
In 1997, the Carolina Panthers had an incident involving OT Norberto Davidds-Garrido and QB Kerry Collins. Garrido was rumored to have punched his teammate after Collins drunkenly used a racial epithet about Garrido's Hispanic descent, but this later turned out to be false. The New York Times later came out with the claim that the punch was a result of horseplay and “play wrestling.”
The most vicious training camp tussle involved RB Stephen Davis and WR Michael Westbrook with the Washington Redskins in 1997. The three time Pro Bowl running back teased the former first round wide receiver by repeatedly addressing him with a gay slur. Davis chose the wrong target for his accusations for Westbrook was an accomplished MMA fighter in the heavyweight division. Westbrook pummeled Davis mercilessly. This incident occurred three years after Westbrook was the receiver in the play known as "The Miracle at Michigan," a Hail Mary pass from Colorado Buffaloes QB Kordell Stewart to beat the Michigan Wolverines in the final seconds of the game, 27-26.
While the Buttfumble on Thanksgiving night in 2012 was ranked as the worst moment in New York Jets history, it has been replaced by the suckerpunch thrown by IK Enemkpali on August 11, 2015. Now third on the most embarrassing list is Bill Belichick quitting the New York Jets at the press conference in 2000 moments before he was to be introduced as the replacement for Bill Parcells. Head coach Todd Bowles may have second thoughts about being a part of the Jets’ tortured history.
The New York Jets are like the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted List. It is always changing.
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .
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