DAVIE — The Miami Dolphins are unwilling to shrug off low expectorations.
Coach Tony Sparano said Monday he wants the NFL to investigate a Dolphins' complaint that Baltimore Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain spat in the face of linebacker Channing Crowder.
McClain denied doing it, but a video replay from WFOR-TV in Miami appeared to confirm the incident, and Sparano said he verified it.
“I have enough evidence,” Sparano said. “It's upsetting to me.”
Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby said McClain, a Pro Bowl fullback, should be suspended for the rest of the season.
“As a man, you spit in somebody's face, you crossed the line,” Dansby said. “Where I'm from, that'll get you killed, straight up. That's around the world, period.”
Crowder didn't talk to reporters Monday, one day after a disappointing 26-10 loss at Baltimore dropped the inconsistent Dolphins to 4-4.
After the game, Crowder was so upset about the confrontation he mixed up his historical figures, complaining the officials had eyesight comparable to Stevie Wonder and Anne Frank. When reporters confused by the reference to Frank, further queried Crowder, it became clear he meant Helen Keller.
“Is that the blind girl?” Crowder said. “Helen Keller? I don't know. … I'm mad right now. I'm not as swift as I usually am.”
Crowder is widely considered one of the league's foremost trash-talkers, so it was no surprise to see him and McClain face mask to face mask trading taunts after a play, with an official trying to separate them.
The video shows the conversation ending when McClain rears his head back before thrusting it forward. Crowder then waves his left hand in front of his face, as if trying to intercept the spittle, before the players are separated.
None of Crowder's teammates said they saw the incident. Dansby quickly became aware of it and said his linebacking partner deserves credit for his restrained response.
Ironically, in the days leading up to the game, Crowder praised McClain as one of the league's best fullbacks. But Crowder also called Ravens receiver Derrick Mason old, and after the game, Mason fired back at Crowder.
“He was getting knocked down, getting pushed out of the way,” Mason said. “The guy is horrible.”
Photo: Channing Crowder