Two weeks ago, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted some news about Giants DE Osi Umenyiora filing an affidavit with the court against his team basically calling GM Jerry Reese a liar. Seemingly out of nowhere, Eagles RB LeSean McCoy replied to Schefter on twitter that Umenyiora was “Overrated n soft 3rd best d-line on his team honestly.”
Umenyiora certainly wasn’t going to let this slight go unrequited and fired back at McCoy referring to him as a “chihuahua,” a girl and bizarrely, “Lady Gaga.” Apparently that’s the nickname a few members of the Giants use for McCoy. Several of Osi’s teammates also responded, including Justin Tuck, who recently said, “I honestly think social media has made people cowards, where I’m from, if you had a problem with somebody, you said it to their face.” Of course, he said this on a radio show.
It was always fair to assume that the NFC East rivals would have some bad blood, but the vitriol back and forth has been surprising. So much so that one has to wonder whether it’s just another symptom of the lockout?
For one, we know these guys have less to do these days than they would in a normal NFL offseason. Presumably, they would be at team facilities or OTAs studying, working out and preparing for the season. But also, they would be tended to by team PR departments, coaches and media staffs. Every NFL organization has a team of people dedicated solely to coordinating players media appearances, controlling what they say and maintaining the teams’ image.
In any normal offseason, you can bet that Andy Reid and Tom Coughlin would be calling McCoy, Osi, Tuck, etc., into their offices and directing them to keep quiet. You can bet that the team PR directors would be doing their best to quash the story. But in the lockout, players are free to do and say what they like... and maybe they don’t always have the best judgment.
Funny enough, this whole back and forth seemed to start on the field and was kept away from the media prior to the lockout. Umenyiora recently told the Newark Star Ledger that the mutual dislike between he and McCoy is nothing new.
“Yeah, me and him, we had words on the field — both times we played. I hate him, he hates me, period. He chose to take that off the field and make it public when it’s something that’s between me and him. It’s something we can address on the football field. He let the whole world know about it, so I’m going to respond.”
It should be interesting to see how quickly the Eagles and Giants shut down this little feud once the lockout ends.