We have got some mileage, here on the NFC East blog, out of the periodic Twitter spat between New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora and Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. It started last summer, when McCoy tweeted that Umenyiora was "overrated n soft," and Umenyiora (who was not yet on Twitter) gave some interviews in which he called McCoy a "Chihuahua" and "Lady Gaga." By this spring, Umenyiora had his own Twitter account up and running, and in May he set out a tweet wishing McCoy a Happy Mother's Day. (Umenyiora would later issue a public apology for the sexist implication that it's insulting to suggest someone is a woman.)
Anyway, this whole thing is apparently for real, and with the Giants traveling to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on Sunday night, it's also a feature on tonight's episode of E:60 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Here are some snippets:
McCoy on Umenyiora: "Yeah this is for real, like I don't like Osi. I don't know how he feels. He might think it's a game, but I don't play those type of games. So every time on the field, I would say stuff to him like, 'You're a bum. You're the third-best defensive lineman on the defense,' which, I didn't lie. Wait. I did lie. He's the fourth now, so actually I did lie."
Umenyiora, in response: "Well, my response to that is LeSean McCoy is one of the greatest running backs in the league. He's playing on a very good football team. Andy Reid is a great coach, they have a good offensive line and I wish him much continued success."
McCoy, on the Mother's Day tweet: "Osi, I mean, he really is a good player. I think he's a good player. I think he thinks he's better than what he really is. I think he's a ballerina in a Giants uniform, but other than that, that's all I've got to say about Osi."
Umenyiora, in response: "Well, he's probably right. I might be a ballerina in a Giants uniform. I'm lucky I got the contract. I'm lucky to be playing 10 years in the league, to have won two Super Bowls. All that is pure luck, and I'm happy for him. I'm happy he got his contract and I'm happy everything is working out well for him in Philadelphia."
I'd love to know what the genesis of all of this is, and since these two teams play twice a year I remain fascinated to see if it ever flares up into anything on the field. But I'm going to watch tonight, because I'm curious to see whether these guys are smiling when they say this stuff. Just very odd that it's reached these levels.