For the last couple of weeks, the war of words (or tweets) between Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and former Viking Darren Sharper has escalated to the point of one coach stepping in and telling his player to cool it.
The Twitter barbs began when Sharper said "X marks the spot" on Brett Favre's injured ankle. Both Shiancoe and offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie took the offensive, essentially saying that Sharper had surgery as well in the offseason and that he could be a target himself. Sharper countered by offering to bet Shiancoe's game check that he would be held to three catches or fewer and wouldn't score when the Vikings meet the Saints Sept. 9.
The battle had a big dust-up this week after the Vikings visited the Minnesota National Guard. Shiancoe posted a photo on his Twitter page of a target used in shooting practice that is of terrorist Osama bin Laden. In the photo, a cartoon voice balloon says, "I'm Darren Sharper" and also depicted bin Laden wearing a No. 42 on his chest (Sharper's number). Along with the photo was the Shiancoe tweet, "Before target practice a soldier suggested a custom target for me. Guess he wanted to start my engine early for the SAINTS game!"
Sharper wasn't amused. His Twitter throw-down response was quick and decisive, saying, "Ok homeboy you done went to far, making me out to be something that has brought this country a lot of heartache. Imma bust you right under your chinstrap from the first play on. I don't about a fine. Imma do it for the red, white & blue. And you'll see me cuz I'll be dressed in black & gold. Protect your neck that's all the warning you get."
Misspellings aside, it would seem the argument got a little too personal and both players were told to cut back on the threats to one another. When asked about the ongoing feud, Shiancoe said it isn't personal. He and Sharper are just competitive.
"That's my boy," Shiancoe said of Sharper. "But at the same time, we're very, very, extremely competitive guys. He was my locker mate for three years, so we know each other well. We hang out and things of that nature."
Shiancoe said that too much has been made of the escalated venom in the tweets sent back and forth and he is finished on his end. In a story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Sharper said coach Sean Payton told him to call a ceasefire as well.
So is it over? Maybe.
"I said what I had to say and I'm done with that for a little bit," Shiancoe said. "We'll see what happens in the future, though. You never know what will re-invent itself in the future. Stay tuned."