Darren Sharper started talking big about Brett Favre's ankle surgery and Visanthe Shiancoe and Bryant McKinnie came to Favre's defense. It's a new era of instant and public Blackberry battles.
Advancements in technology have turned bulletin board material into Blackberry battles. Just a few years ago, it took a day or so for a player to respond to comments made by a rival player to fuel a rivalry.
In the era of instant messaging, a war of words can be waged almost instantaneously and, as luck would have it, former Vikings teammates are at the center of the latest round of public chest-thumping.
Former Vikings and current Saints safety Sharper got things percolating with a Twitter post about Brett Favre
's recent ankle surgery. He made the comment that "‘X' marks the spot" on Favre's injured ankle – implying that the Saints defense will again come after Favre looking to knock him out of the game and put him on the shelf. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe
defended his QB, saying that a man like Sharper that lives in a glass surgery house shouldn't ought to be throwing stones.
"Sharper had surgery too – and on his knee," Shiancoe said. "So if ‘X' marks the spot on Brett, I wonder what would mark the spot on Sharper? I know which one it is. I know exactly which one it is."
In an interesting twist for the new age of bulletin board material, the two have exchanged barbs on Twitter. After learning of Shiancoe's comments at the Vikings OTAs, Sharper tweeted, "So visanthe stankoe X marks the spot on me, how bout X marks the spot for how many catches and TDs you'll have come Thursday night. X (equals) zero. If you feeling yourself put your game check on it. No TDs and less than 3 catches you give me your game check. Now whose talking."
In something akin to an east coast/west coast throwdown, Twitter aficionado Bryant McKinnie
had a response – "Oh so I heard u was on twitter going in, but I missed it! Man u don't want these preoblems." He went on to say that the Vikings offensive line is "the secret service and Brett is Obama, so try to get thru if u want 2! Now this is ur warning!"
McKinnie let his followers know that, despite the 2010 season in its initial phase, the rivalry – both personal and professional – is on between the Vikings and Saints, tweeting, "I bet all this trash talk sharper42 is doing has yall Viking Fans excited 4 the season 2 start!"
It isn't even June yet, but the glove slaps have already begun. Somewhere Kip Dynamite is singing how much he loves technology.
A Favre movie? If the Vikings win the Super Bowl, it would be a natural. Perhaps a bit too soon to think about it unless it's a cheesy made-for-TV movie – the type that somehow convinced executives to have bulb-nosed 60-year-old Karl Malden of "Streets of San Francisco" fame portray Herb Brooks in the "Miracle on Ice" TV movie. Even if Herb didn't have an ego (he did, by the way), he had to be upset that Malden was picked to portray him. He had to have the reaction of "What? Buddy Hackett wasn't available?" Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and prevent a repeat of that casting debacle if a Favre movie is made. In the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, actor Dennis Quaid, who has starred in seven sports-themed movies, was asked what he would think of portraying Favre in a big-screen adaptation of his career longevity. "I'd love to play Brett Favre," said Quaid, whose head was superimposed over Favre in a Vikings jersey. "He has that fire in his belly. Why should he retire? He can still perform. I love Brett because I don't want to retire either." In case Favre is still on the fence, do it for Dennis.
There continue to be rumors floating that the Vikings have a serious interest in free agent-guard Chester Pitts. Coming off surgery, teams haven't been willing to commit to him until they're convinced he is sufficiently healed to contribute immediately. There are multiple teams that are interested, so, if Pitts can convince the medicos that he will be good to go, something is likely to happen before training camp – whether it is signing with the Vikings or another team.
Former Packer Antonio Freeman was at a breast cancer awareness benefit in Beloit, Wis. Thursday and told a Beloit Daily News reporter that Favre's impact still runs deep in Wisconsin and was asked about whether Favre will somehow return to the House of Lambeau after his playing days are over. Freeman believes he will, saying, "Brett will circle the wagons and come back and retire as a Packer." There are some on the other side of the Mississippi River who believe if Favre wins a Super Bowl at age 41, the Vikings might be in the mix for his Hall of Fame jersey.
There's no saying that there will be any interest from the Vikings because they drafted Toby Gerhart, but expect somebody to pick up recently released running back LenDale White. As a change-of-pace back, he can add something to an NFL roster, but red flags, including a pending four-game suspension that got him cut by Seattle Friday, could hurt his market value. When your college coach cuts and runs on you before you ever had a training camp practice may speak the loudest without saying a word.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.