It's been almost four years since the New York Giants and New England Patriots played in the Super Bowl and neither Osi Umenyiora nor Matt Light seems to have forgotten about their pregame war of words from January, 2008.
The two got into a scuffle late in the first half of Sunday's game, which led to a larger fracas between their teammates. Despite some extracurricular shoves and some late pushes, no flags were thrown.
The refs had three options there:
1. Flag Matt Light for starting the whole thing with his post-whistle shove. (At least twice on Sunday, other players in different games were whistled for similar moves.)
2. Throw offsetting flags to make it appear that there was some semblance of referee control.
3. Do nothing.
It was a pleasant surprise when they chose the last option. Not everything needs to be regulated in a football game. Sometimes guys get into it; it's the nature of the game. As long as nobody gets hurt or throws a punch, let 'em play (as Cris Collinsworth is fond of saying anytime he watches the Pittsburgh Steelers).
Umenyiora and Light have had beef since the 2008 regular-season finale in which the Patriots won to go 16-0. Before that season's Super Bowl, he was asked about Light's on-field demeanor:
"He's a good football player, a very, very good football player, very talented and athletic, he just did a couple things he shouldn't have done. In the heat of the moment anybody can react like that. He might not have seen it as being dirty, he might have just seen it as playing to the whistle, but I can see it as being a little unnecessary."
On the play above, Usi got the best of him. No wonder his smile was so big when he was coming off the field.