It's on now. Matt Elam, a rookie safety for the Ravens, was asked about covering Lions receiver Calvin Johnson in Monday's game and ended up talking shit about Megatron. Did he really?
Here's the quote that apparently started this bulletin-board, trash-talking subplot for the Ravens-Lions game, in an article by David Ginsburg of the Associated Press:
"He's pretty old, so I don't know how physical he'll be," Elam said. "He's a big guy, but he's older. I guess when they get older they're not going to be as physical, you know what I'm saying? We're going to have to be physical, make him uncomfortable."
Johnson is only 28, which doesn't normally qualify as "old." Elam's a 22-year-old rookie, though. Maybe we could let it slide; most people are old to him. His coach John Harbaugh used that defense when asked about it.
It's too juicy of a quote, though! These guys will be playing directly against each other on some plays during the game. Stir that shit. When someone told Johnson about it, he gave sound bites about Elam that writers ran with:
Calvin Johnson playfully said that he's going to show Matt Elam what old-man strength is all about.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) December 12, 2013
Calvin Johnson on Matt Elam: "He can talk all he wants. He plays back. I don’t see him every play unless I run past him."— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) December 12, 2013
Calvin Johnson on Elam and Ihedigbo: "Nothing extraordinatory. Those are definitely guys we can make plays on."— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) December 12, 2013
Old-man strength, Elam. Your shit's about to be ruined. Come Monday night, Megatron's dropping a 400-yard game specifically on you, calling your mom, and letting her know how disappointed she should be in her son. Damn.
Was Elam really being as disrespectful as portrayed, though? Read the lede of that first article, before Elam called Megatron an old fart:
Ravens safety Matt Elam nearly ran out of breath trying to come up with words to describe wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the main object of focus for Baltimore's defensive backfield Monday night in Detroit.
"Big, fast, athletic, unstoppable, freak," Elam said.
That almost sounds like praise. Weird.
It's not like Megatron needed motivation to school Baltimore's secondary, and we already had a rare compelling matchup with two teams striving to improve their playoff hopes, but of course the rookie-talks-shit angle gets pumped. Sure, Elam called Johnson "old," but that wasn't the only adjective he used. It was the only adjective that stuck, though.
Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images