ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? Channing Crowder was here to save us from offseason boredom, until his spirit was squashed by crusty ol' management.
There are several reasons to love linebacker Channing Crowder: he resembles a cross between mustachioed Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride and a Cabbage Patch doll, is not afraid to scrap, thinks new Jets coach Rex Ryan is ridiculous, and just attempted to single-handedly save the offseason stretch with gleeful, mouthy insanity.
You see, the NBA finals bring about the sad reality that we're all staring down the barrel of tennis, bowling, and poker. It's the worst time to be a sports fan, unless your idea of joy is mid-season baseball (here, take your "vitamins"). Frankly, it's boring.
Fortunately for us, Rex Ryan is and was ridiculous, in sort of a Lane Kiffin-goes-to-Tennessee-and-gets-verbal-diarhhea sort of way, except that Rex Ryan is with the hated, losery Jets and is distinctly Not Boyishly Handsome. And he hadn't learned his lesson, which allowed the verbal sparring between Crowder and Ryan to escalate, hilariously. We need this sort of thing.
But after an ominous sounding "I'll deal with [Crowder's big mouth] myself" from Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, Crowder has been compelled to end the war of words. Don't worry, he's going out on top: "This is over. I'm done with this victory. I'm going to save the head coach the embarrassment of arguing with an opposing player to the media. We play twice this season, so we'll see who the better team is then."
Sigh. We were hoping this squabble would stay mean and entertaining until then.
Sure, it was completely ridiculous on both sides. An NFL head coaching job comes with some responsibility -- including not talking about beating down a player (pro tip: especially one who once waded into the fray between Florida and FSU and dared Seminoles to fight him). No one's been frightened of the Jets in years. Tattoos have been horribly, horribly slandered. For his part, Crowder's not exactly Ray Lewis; he was barely re-signed after his contract was up. Just one season before last, he would have been happy to form a sentence with the words "win the division."
But for one shining moment, we had an excellent, hilarious feud going between two bitter rivals, and it was glorious. In fact, we were willing to stand in one corner and squirt water on Crowder just to keep from being left with ESPN Classic for the next couple months.
Alas, poor feud; we loved you well.