When Maureen Dowd and Judy Miller yap back and forth, we call it a catfight. So when Steve Young and Phil Simms get in a similar yapfest, shouldn't we call it a dogfight? If so, who's the big dog here?
Young landed on Simms's son Chris, questioning whether Chris had the "mental toughness" to handle the "information overload" thrown at a starting quarterback. Young suggested this is because Chris Simms grew up in a "laissez-faire atmosphere."
Those are harsh words, since they seem to imply Chris Simms is: a) dumb and b) soft because c) he's a rich kid who d) didn't have to work for anything.
Phil Simms shot back at Young: "Come to my house, and we'll see how laissez-faire it is." (Attention Adam Smith fans: We have now set the record for laissez-faire references in a sports story.)
Then Simms warned Young: "You can say whatever you want about my son. The one thing that will get me mad -- and I'll stand in your face about it -- is toughness."
Whoa! "I'll stand in your face" means "I'll rip your lungs out, Jim."
This is how men behave differently than women. This is the DNA kicking in. The trigger is "toughness." With men, eventually, all roads lead to a beatdown. (Would that Maureen Dowd would throw down on Tina Brown, who recently skinned her! Be still my heart.)
Young is out of bounds here. A) Simms has had back-to-back great games for Tampa Bay. B) Young went to high school in the hardscrabble town of Greenwich, Conn. He ought to know that some rich kids don't lack for motivation. C) Or do the names Grant Hill, Bill Bradley, Barry Bonds and Peyton and Eli Manning mean nothing to him? D) Come on, Steve, you weren't in the house where Chris Simms grew up. You don't know the "atmosphere." (Of course, this is totally overblown, but it's fun, isn't it?)
Young has since tried to defuse the bomb, saying, "I'd let Phil raise my son." But the Super Bowl matchup everyone wants to see now isn't the Colts and whomever, but Phil Simms and Steve Young.