Earlier this week, the National Football League announced that it would be taking the suggestion of Dante Cano, an 11-year-old boy from Marlboro, N.J., and use pink penalty flags during this Sunday's Miami Dolphins-New York Jets game at MetLife Stadium in honor of Breast Awareness Month.
Any concerns that the use of pink penalty flags would soften the Dolphins-Jets game are probably moot as the two AFC East rivals have engaged in a war of words before their second meeting of the season.
The verbal battle initially began a month ago after Jets head coach Rex Ryan said he wanted his team to pour "hot sauce" on Dolphins running back Reggie Bush during their Sept. 23 meeting in Miami, which the Jets won 23-20 in overtime. Bush interpreted Ryan's comment to mean that the Jets were out to deliberately hurt him. Bush would leave that game with a knee injury, as did Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, prompting Bush to suggest that karma was somehow involved in the tearing of Revis' ACL.
This week, Ryan has said that he had clarified his earlier remarks to say that his defense was merely going to pay extra attention to Bush and wanted Bush to apologize for his comments about Revis. That is unlikely to happen as Bush didn't believe Ryan's apology was sincere as Jets players ramped up the trash talk.
"We want to knock him out, but we're out to do it legally," Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin said of Bush on Wednesday according to ESPN New York.
As offensive linemen tend to do when opposing players are piling on a teammate, Dolphins center Mike Pouncey quickly responded.
"I don't even know why Aaron Maybin is talking,'' Pouncey said according to the Associated Press. ''He's done nothing in this league to even open his mouth. I don't even want to talk about him. He's a joke.
"I think it's just him just wanting to get his name get said in the NFL. I think that's all it is."
Maybin is regarded as one of the bigger draft busts in recent NFL history. Selected by the Buffalo Bills with the No. 11 overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft, Maybin had 24 tackles and zero sacks in 27 games over his first two seasons in the league. The Bills released Maybin in 2011 and he was picked up by the Jets, enjoying a mini-resurgence with a team-high six sacks. Through seven games in 2012, Maybin has one tackle while playing in 22.47 percent of the team's defensive snaps and 37.14 percent of the Jets' special teams plays.
Maybin was not the only Jets player to speak up. Safety LaRon Landry, who made the injurious hit on Bush in Week 3, said that he's "grateful for another opportunity to play this guy [Bush]" and that he "will remember that hit." Pouncey gave Landry a pass.
''I respect LaRon Landry,'' said Pouncey. ''He's a great football player. He's going to make a lot of plays. He plays hard. I can understand it from him. But Aaron Maybin? It makes no sense.''
A somewhat interesting subplot to all this trash talk is that Bush, Landry and Pouncey are represented by the same agent, Joel Segal of Lagardere Unlimited Football. Segal was co-agents with Chafie Fields on Maybin's five-year, $24.6 million rookie contract with the Bills. Fields is now listed as Maybin's lone agent.