The war of words between Channing Crowder and Derrick Mason became a full-blown soap opera this afternoon.
Spitgate is upon us.
Crowder, the Dolphins linebacker who called Mason "old man" earlier this week, got into an altercation with Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain late in the third quarter of the Ravens' 26-10 win over Miami.
The two had words, and then, Crowder claims, things crossed a line. And here's where things get spicy.
"That punk Le'Ron McClain spit in my face," Crowder said after the game. "Write that down. He spit in my face. The referees told me they didn't see anything, but I know what he did, and so does he."
"He spit in my face and that's why I got mad," Crowder continued. "The refs told me they didn't see the spit hit my face. That's some ho [expletive] and he's a ho, go tell him. That's why he was cutting me, he's a cutter, he's soft. I want to say some other choice words ... he's soft and he spit in my face."
McClain says that's not how things went down.
"Nah, I didn't spit on him," McClain said. "That's crazy. That's not my game. I'm Le'Ron McClain, man. Le'Ron McClain don't spit on another player. But I will block you. Four quarters. That's a fact.
"If he's frustrated that I was straight getting after him all game, that's a fact. That's his opinion if he thought I spit on him, but the fact is, throughout the game, for four quarters, I was doing my job. And I'll just leave it at that."
The altercation came a play after the Ravens had converted a fake punt. Miami called a timeout, and Crowder was walking in the direction of the Dolphins' sideline and then spun around. He walked toward McClain, and the two started talking facemask-to-facemask.
After a few seconds, Crowder and Mason started having words, and the players had to be separated.
McClain said he didn't see Crowder after the game. While Derrick Mason didn't have great things to say about Crowder (more on that in a bit), McClain complimented the ability of the Dolphins' linebacker.
"He's a great linebacker, he was just talking from play one on," McClain said. "The little stuff that he said to Mason at the beginning of the week, that got to me a little bit. So, I told him you got to deal with me for four quarters. And that's rough on anybody, dealing with a fullback like myself for four quarters throughout the game. He got a little rowdy on the play they called the timeout on, but it's all football to me. At the end of the day, I'm slapping hands with you, saying 'Great job, you're a great player. Good luck for the rest of the season.'"
Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby said things could have turned ugly if he had seen what Crowder saw.
"If I'd have seen that it would've been a damn brawl out there straight up," Dansby said. "We don't play that. We some tough guys, but if you take a coward way like that, you got to be straight. Hopefully [NFL Commissioner].Roger Goodell look at the film and do something about it. If he don't, we're gonna have to handle it like men, but for you to spit in a guy's face and then walk away, that's a coward move. He's supposed to be some tough guys, they ain't all that damn tough. That's just what their makeup is."
While the Dolphins are under the impression that McClain went too far during the altercation, the Ravens' fullback maintains he did nothing wrong.
"I guess he just got frustrated throughout the game," McClain said. "Tried to say I spit on him or whatever. It ain't nothing like that. I came out there after that play and just kept playing. It looked like he just got a little down on himself. That's my mentality just playing that game. If he thought that, that's on him."