Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith’s battle against New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib provided more action than the majority of Floyd Mayweather’s fights.
Yet, in addition to winning the contest, Smith directed a simple phrase toward Talib after Carolina's 24-20 victory that is destined to become an instant classic.
“Ice up, son,” Smith said during his postgame interview.
Smith and Talib tussled throughout Monday’s game, but this was not a battle between two men who are afraid of confrontations.
By all accounts, Smith is undefeated in fights against teammates throughout his NFL career. Smith reportedly broke the noses of two former teammates (Anthony Bright and Ken Lucas), plus defeated receiver Guilian Gary when they were supposed to be fighting together to defeat their opponents.
Conversely, Talib was scheduled to stand trial on charges of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly shooting at his sister’s boyfriend, but those charges were eventually dismissed.
When Talib and Smith battled each other on Monday, you knew their anger was real, and nobody would have been surprised if they met in the parking lot after the game to finish their fight.
Speaking of finishing, Smith had four catches for 62 yards, including a 42-yarder with Talib in coverage. Talib could not finish the game because he aggravated a previous hip injury.
When asked about his confrontation with Talib, Smith dealt his nemesis the final blow.
“I don’t know,” Smith said. “You’re gonna ask him because he didn’t finish the game. Ice up, son. Ice up.”
Drop the mic.
Walk off stage.
- - - - - - -