Apparently, there's one thing you don't want to do if you're going to be anywhere near former New York Giants quarterback and current CBS analyst Phil Simms, and that's to cast aspersions on the playing abilities of his son Matt, who's currently the quarterback at Tennessee. Ex-NFL punt return ace Desmond Howard did so last season in his role as an analyst on ESPN's College Gameday show, and this led to a little go-round between the two former Super Bowl MVPs at the NFL Experience event down in Dallas.
From Howard's Twitter account:
At NFL-Xperience and Phil Simms just threatened 2 hit me b/c I said his son was 1 of the worse QBs in the SEC. I told him "LET'S GO!"
I am DEAD serious about the Phil Simms thing. We all thought he was joking, but he kept going and said he wanted 2 take a swing at me!!
During the season we talked about the Tenn v LSU game and I said "u will see 3 of the worse QBs in the SEC" That's what Phil did not like.
It ended w/police stepping in between so I could continue my appearance w/fans.
Two things come to mind here. First of all, while it may be natural for Simms to get a bit lit up when people call his son a sub-par player, he needs to understand that in his role as the most highly-regarded color NFL announcer on a major network (an appeal that has always mystified me; Simms gets as much stuff wrong during a telecast as anyone you'll see), he has an obligation to at least give the appearance of professionalism in public settings.
Second, Howard has every right to say whatever he wants about Simms' performance in his capacity as an analyst, and in this case, the younger Simms hasn't exactly set the NCAA on fire. A junior college transfer, Simms threw 113 completions in 195 attempts for 1,460 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions. Not horrible numbers, but he wasn't going to make anyone forget Greg McElroy or Cam Newton. If Howard had said something about Matt Simms that was more personal in nature, especially if it was something libelous, it would be easier to understand. But in this case, and until we hear his side of the story, Simms comes off as a goofball and a fake bully.
And having said all that, I'd better hope Simms doesn't show up at the scouting combine in three weeks and threaten to beat me up. Howard's just lucky Simms didn't have his friend Paulie Walnuts (pictured above) with him at the time!