SBD/February 7, 2011/Media

Phil Simms, Desmond Howard Get Into Heated Altercation In Dallas

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Simms is upset that Howard elected to tweet details of their altercation
ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard claims that CBS NFL analyst Phil Simms "threatened to hit" him Saturday at the NFL Experience in Dallas, though Simms contends that there "was no chance the altercation would get physical," according to Steve Serby of the N.Y. POST. Howard following the altercation tweeted that his "criticism during the college season of Simms’ son Matt, a quarterback at Tennessee, led to Simms threatening him." Howard wrote, "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!!" Howard later added, "It ended w/police stepping in between so I could continue my appearance w/fans." Simms in a statement released through CBS responded to Howard's tweets, saying, "Desmond and I were having a private conversation that became heated. But at no time was there ever a chance of any physical confrontation or that I felt the police officer assigned to me by the event planners for my appearance needed to separate the two of us." Serby noted Simms also was "angered five years ago when ESPN’s Steve Young questioned the toughness" of another son, Titans QB Chris Simms (N.Y. POST, 2/6). YAHOO SPORTS' Doug Farrar wrote Simms "needs to understand that in his role as the most highly-regarded color NFL announcer on a major network ... he has an obligation to at least give the appearance of professionalism in public settings" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/5).

CAN YOU FILL ME IN? In N.Y., Bob Raissman reports Simms yesterday "didn't backpedal or attempt to distort reality." Simms said, "There were words. Were they heated? Yeah, they probably got heated a little." He added, "Just the fact that it was tweeted and all that. I think that bothers me more than anything." Raissman writes, "Simms is one of the more thick-skinned voices in the business. He doesn't whine -- at least publicly -- over criticism directed at him. He rarely reacts. Nonetheless, Simms' reality is no different than the players he comments on" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/7). Also in N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Howard was "off from the start," but Simms "made it worse by confronting Howard." Simms could "hear much worse from adults about his son sitting in the stands on game day" (N.Y. POST, 2/7). In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes, "Two things. One, being an analyst himself, Simms should know as well as anyone that it's Howard's job to give honest analysis on television. He shouldn't have become bent out of shape. But, two, Howard came off as a bit of a dweeb by tweeting the whole episode like he was running to the teacher about some kid picking on him in the schoolyard" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/7).
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