Desmond Howard: Phil Simms wanted to take a swing at me

Phil Simms admitted on Saturday that he had a heated exchange with ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard at the NFL Experience exhibit in Dallas. Apparently the altercation stemmed from a comment Howard made prior to the Tennessee-LSU game on October 2 when he said, “You will see three of the worst quarterbacks in the SEC in that game.”

Why the comment struck a nerve with Simms is because his son Matt was one of those three quarterbacks. He just finished his junior year at Tennessee and apparently ol’ dad didn’t appreciate what Howard had to say.

USA Today has the rest of the details:

On Saturday, Phil Simms confronted Howard about the comments.

“Desmond and I were having a private conversation that became heated,” Simms said in a statement released by CBS. “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.”

Howard, who was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXI with the Green Bay Packers, said on his Twitter account that Simms threatened to throw a punch.

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!!

It ended w/police stepping in between so I could continue my appearance w/fans.

Later Saturday, Howard issued a statement of his own through ESPN.

“I was at a public signing for a sponsor when Phil approached me to express anger over on-air analysis I made months ago about his son, Tennessee QB Matt Simms. During the conversation, Phil made a reference to hitting me and security and sponsor representatives soon stepped in. It was an unfortunate incident and I’m moving on.”

I’ve had the opportunity to interview Phil Simms twice here at The Scores Report and he was a pleasure to speak with both times. He’s honest, funny, positive and he knows the game of football.

He also knows that it’s other media members’ jobs to share their opinion when they’re in front of the camera or behind the computer. Others may have found a more delicate way to say what Howard did, but in the end he was just sharing his opinion. That’s what he’s paid to do and Simms can’t take it personal. He knows better than anyone that the media doesn’t always have kind words to share about players and quite frankly, that they’re not always right either. (In fact, we’re/they’re wrong way more times than we’re right.)

Simms is fortunate to have a couple of sons that were/are good enough to play at the college and/or pro level and everybody (including Phil himself) needs to roll with the punches (no pun intended). And hey listen, I get it – he’s a parent first. It can’t be easy to listen to someone criticize your child. But in the end, criticism is just part of the business – a business that Simms knows very well.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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