michael irvin-steve smith

Last week, Michael Irvin made fun of his NFL Network colleague Steve Smith’s pants on live TV, and Smith was not pleased about it. The former Pro Bowl receiver and noted straight-shooter responded, unsmiling: “When I come to L.A., I’ma whoop your ass.”

We still don’t know whether he was kidding.

Well, fast-forward to Thursday before the Jets-Bills game, when Irvin stood on the field at MetLife Stadium and clarified that he was just joking:

“I was wearing a whole suit that looks just like his pants look. I was just having fun with him!”

As with Smith’s original comment, it’s impossible to tell exactly how much of this is a joke — or what the joke is. Our best guess is that Irvin’s goal here was to sound truly rattled and apologetic, as if he was really scared Smith would beat him up. Maybe he thinks some beef will be good for ratings. His giggling at the end kind of gives him away, though.

It’s also possible Irvin is actually trying to assure the public that he didn’t mean to piss off Smith. We were not alone in wondering whether Smith actually planned to get in Irvin’s face next time they wound up in the same place. Maybe Michael is hedging his bets.

Here’s the original jab from Irvin that began this “feud.”


The big question, though, is whether Irvin actually went out and bought that suit just for this occasion, or whether he had it laying around in his closet and whipped it out to match Smith’s pants.

On the off chance that this is all serious and Smith and Irvin are destined for a fistfight in NFL Network studios, it’s worth noting that Smith was listed a 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, while Irvin was listed at 6-foot-2, 207 but has probably lost a step at age 51. Could be a pretty good fight.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.