And in this corner ...
War of words escalates between Sharpe, Buchanan
Posted: Friday January 29, 1999 11:32 AM
MIAMI (AP) -- Forget Dan Reeves vs. Mike Shanahan. Ray Buchanan and Shannon Sharpe took an insurmountable lead Thursday in the Super Bowl name-calling contest.
Buchanan said Sharpe looks like Mr. Ed, and Sharpe said Buchanan should put away his high heels.
The war of words worthy of pro rasslin' was waged by two players separated by 20 miles but linked by a media throng eager to fuel the feud.
"Shannon can always win, because he can talk," said Buchanan, the Atlanta Falcons' Pro Bowl cornerback. "But Shannon looks like a horse. I'll tell you, that's an ugly dude. You can't tell me he doesn't look like Mr. Ed."
Buchanan's comments were quickly relayed by reporters to Sharpe, the Denver Broncos' Pro Bowl tight end.
"Ray said that?" Sharpe responded. "Well, I think he's ugly, but did I ever call him that? No.
"Tell Ray to put the eyeliner, the lipstick and the high heels away. I'm not saying he's a cross-dresser, but that's just what I heard."
Sharpe calls himself the best trash-talker in the NFL, but he met his match in Buchanan, whose media savvy has made him a Super Bowl star before the game even kicks off. He guaranteed a victory for the Falcons, then stole the spotlight at media day by showing up in a dog collar symbolic of their underdog status.
With coaches Reeves and Shanahan no longer willing to discuss their soured relationship, motormouths Sharpe and Buchanan have emerged as the marquee matchup.
Thursday's barbs were the most pointed yet, though delivered with a nudge and wink. Both players talk with tongue in cheek.
"If I see Ray in a snowstorm," Sharpe said, "and his truck is broken down and mine is running perfect, would I pick him up? No."
More likely, the 230-pound Sharpe and the 195-pound Buchanan will cross paths Sunday. Buchanan made reference to the mild concussion Sharpe suffered in the third quarter of the AFC Championship Game.
"Shannon just runs his mouth saying anything, so we don't need to pay attention to him," Buchanan said. "He'd better watch out for himself, because he might get knocked out like he did that last game.
"We're not a team that's going to go out on the field and pull up our skirts and show our panties. I'm not saying we wear panties, but I'm saying we can't go out there and play like females and win the game."
Sharpe responded: "I'm not hard to find. I'm No. 84, and I've got the biggest mouth on the field. Tell Ray I'll be looking for him also."
Both players eventually paused for breath, cracked grins and indicated the taunts and threats were merely pre-game entertainment, much like Cher or KISS.
Buchanan: "Guys are going to talk. We all know it's just the nature of the game. It's going to boil down to what happens on the field."
Sharpe: "I don't take what anybody says about me seriously. It's kind of like a heavyweight fight."
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.