Is this ever going to end?
Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and New Orleans safety Darren Sharper had lockers next to each other in 2007 and '08 at Winter Park and during that time the two seemed to develop a friendship that was based in part on their gift for gab.
Thus, it came as no real surprise that Shiancoe and Sharper have both embraced Twitter and started to spar via the service after Sharper wrote that X would mark the spot on Brett Favre's surgically repaired ankle on Sept. 9 when the Vikings open at New Orleans.
But now it's tough to tell if what appeared semi-good natured at one point has turned personal. Things might -- and we stress the word might -- have gotten out of control when Shiancoe visited Camp Ripley on Tuesday and was given a target that featued a picture of Osama bin Laden with Sharper's jersey number and the words, "I'm Darren Sharper."
Sharper claimed he did not take kindly to that and on Wednesday he tweeted, "ok homeboy you done went too far, making me out to be something that has brought this country alot of heartache. Imma bust you right under your chinstrap from the first play on. I don't care about the fine. [Bleep] the money. Imma do it for the red,white&blue."
The money part was a reference to Sharper's offer to put his game check on the line for Sept. 9 if Shiancoe was held to less than three receptions and no touchdowns.
Later Wednesday, Sharper sent the following text message to Saints beat writer Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune after Triplett asked if the exchange was still in fun or had turned serious: "What u think, he pitting me as a terrorist, that ain't funny. ... You'll be there Thursday night so you'll see how serious I am."
Today, Shiancoe has responded and while he starts out by explaining things, he quickly makes it personal.
"That target was already set up for me," Shiancoe tweeted, meaning he did not put the jersey number on the picture of bin Laden. "No insult was intended to anyone. You are the FURTHEST thing from a physical safety ... even you know that your sofT with a capital "T!" You remind me of a growling chihuahua.. ... don't get your jaw broken trying to be a tough guy. Stay "sofT" and be yourself ... a ball hawk."
It's a well-known fact that Sharper has never been considered a physical safety, but those do sound like fighting words. Then again there are professional wrestlers who have acted as if they want to kill each other and at the end of the night they go out for a beer and laugh at all the suckers who thought they were serious.
There is a chance that is exactly what's going on in this case.