At least one current Buffalo Bills player reads Buffalo Sports Daily, follows my twitter and apparently, is not a fan of either.
Donte Whitner blocked me from Twitter several months ago after not enjoying some of the things I wrote about him. Clearly, it hasn’t stopped him from checking in because he’s now interested in laying the smack down on my candy ass—via a boxing ring.
I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Sunday on his Twitter, Whitner called me out, challenging me to a three-round boxing match.
“I challenge u to a 3 round boxing match…$10.00 per tix I’ll match whatever money is made…to donate to a charity..chicken.” Whitner tweeted on his account.”
I want to stay safe. Does anyone have a Rob Gronkowski jersey I can borrow?
Actually, this was my response.
In all seriousness, what is with this guy? He gets paid millions of dollars to play professional football and doesn’t expect sharp criticism to come with the territory? Hell, I barely earn enough to pay my cell phone bill on time and I get called an unintelligent hack at least twice per day. True story.
I’m not going to lie; I hold somewhat of a personal vendetta against Whitner and its showed in various columns. He’s allegedly been a team leader and a “stand up” guy, yet his words and actions, especially of late have made me lose a ton of respect.
First, there was the contract negotiation for an extension which took an ugly turn late in the season. Whitner regularly blasts the media yet had no problem turning to them when it was learned the sides weren’t close to a deal. Amazingly, Whitner said publicly that he is deserving of top safety money.
“Things aren’t going the way I want them to go or getting it done,” Whitner told the media in late December. “It might come to me actually hitting the free agent market because we’re far off. We’re far off in dollars. We’re far off in everything. So, that’s what it’s going to be.”
Then the morning after the season ended, Whitner was the lone player completely absent from locker room cleanout day. Before 9am not only was Whitner’s stuff gone from his locker, so was the nameplate bearing his name. The image captured by Joe Buscaglia from WGR represented things perfectly.
Lastly, I was incensed last week when Whitner twittered to fans to be “careful what they wish for”, in response to mounting criticism and multiple suggestions that he takes his talents elsewhere.
Look, some things fans and the media say to Whitner are out of line. I never have nor do I think now Whitner is a bad person. There’s no denying his passion for the game and he plays it as hard as anybody. Fair or not, people go overboard in their resentment and millionaires or not, football players are human and callous words sting.
At the same token, it’s time for Whitner to develop thicker skin. While not speaking for everyone, I’m confident everything I’ve written has come with a plethora of stats and facts to back it up. I’ve never blamed him for being the eighth overall pick in the 2006 draft because it’s not something he could control. But what he does have power over is what comes from his mouth, and Whitner foolishly talks and conducts himself like an elite safety.
He embarrassed the organization publicly in 2008 after personally guarantying the Bills would make the playoffs. He backed up his words with zero interceptions, one sack and one forced fumble in 13 games as the Bills became the first team in NFL history to start a season 4-0 and finish dead last in their division.
He isn’t elite and it’s not close. I’ve recited the numbers before and will do so again. Five full NFL seasons with five total interceptions, two sacks, three forced fumbles and one defensive touchdown. He then publicly boasts that he expect to be paid like a top safety, when his five-year career numbers are about a month’s work for guys who actually deserve that kind of money: Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, etc.
Supporters will say that it’s not fair to put his numbers up against the game’s great safeties because he’s played on mostly lousy defenses. Maybe so, but his numbers barely stack up to reserves on his own team; George Wilson and Bryan Scott.
I know I’m treading a thin line here. Not all, but more than enough consider Buffalo Sports Daily as a legitimate source of sports information. It’s admittedly indulgent for me to continue firing verbal jabs at Whitner without expecting a response. Making things “personal” has never been motivation for me with this website and won’t be going forward either. I could sit here and relentlessly toss barbs his way in an attempt to further my name and this website.
I’m not going to do that.
However, you’re more than welcomed to. Here’s a few of the better ones.
I’m very tempted to take Mr. Whitner up on his offer. Like Buddy Nix I’ll never be the smartest guy in the room, but I’m intelligent enough to know getting my brains bashed in for nine minutes or less by a professional football player wouldn’t be the worst career move.
The issue is if I get into a ring with Whitner, I may not be around to enjoy any post-beating benefits. I have a hard enough time taking out the garbage, let alone getting on the treadmill without losing my breath.
Plus, I’m not sure I desire my legacy to be the subject of a YouTube viral sensation getting my head knocked off by a professional athlete.