BALTIMORE -- When a handful of reporters approached Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder to talk about Sunday's 26-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, we expected to hear his usually colorful and blunt assessment of the game.
He sounded a bit agitated and inserted a few too many profanities for the FCC's liking, but he otherwise was of good humor for a couple minutes. That was until South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Mike Berardino asked what seemed like a throwaway question about a third-quarter skirmish.
Crowder replied with an accusation that touched off fireworks in both locker rooms a half hour after the game ended. Crowder claimed Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain spat into his face.
"I just got told not talk about it, so I can't talk about it," Crowder said, then proceeded anyway. "But Le'Ron McClain spit in my face. He spit in my face. That's some real ho s---. So if you talk to him, tell him he's a ho. And if he ever comes to Miami, he's got to see me."
Crowder said referee John Parry's officiating crew wasn't sympathetic.
"Then they said something about they let [Dolphins linebacker] Karlos Dansby get away with a facemask the play before," Crowder said. "Who the f--- cares? A guy just spit in my face! I don't give a damn about Karlos pulling somebody's facemask. Like they didn't see [Dolphins quarterback] Chad Henne get hit twice when he slid. Yeah, a little Stevie Wonder and Anne Frank."
Crowder might have been done talking right then, but I had to ask what he meant by Anne Frank.
"Who was that? Is that the blind girl?" Crowder said.
Helen Keller, I suggested.
"Helen Keller," he said. "I don't know who the f--- Anne Frank is. I'm mad right now. F--- it. I'm not as swift as I usually am.
"That's the first time I've ever been spit in my face in my life. And that's the worst thing you can do to a man as another man, spit in somebody's face. Why would you do that? Why would you try to? Because you're scared of me? Really? Spit on me and then walk away real fast and let your team protect you? That's what he did."
McClain denied spitting at Crowder and admitted saliva might've flown out of his mouth while they were jawing, facemask-to-facemask.
McClain was smiling in an aw-shucks manner over the incident and did a good job of being diplomatic, noting Crowder probably was just frustrated about the loss.
"You have to be able in this sport to be able to back up what you talk, and for some reason this guy every time he says something he doesn't back it up," Mason said. "He's not a marquee player. I don't think they even want him on this team, but they have no one to replace him. So he has to be there.
"He's in the game, and he's getting knocked down. He's getting pushed out of the way. The guy is horrible. Honestly, the guy is horrible. He's probably a good guy. Not taking that away from him, but he's horrible. He's not a good football player. Honestly, he needs to go back and watch the film and humble himself and not say anything."