Anthony Davis SF 49ersBy now you’ve probably already heard about the Twitter feud between San Francisco 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis and St. Louis Rams left defensive end Chris Long. This isn’t Davis’ first rodeo, of course. He invented the “#StopCohn” hashtag and has posted disdainful tweets (which are usually deleted within 24 hours) about opposing defensive linemen including Terrell Suggs and Cliff Avril.

Instead of throwing a bunch of tweets up and saying, “Whoa, these guys REALLY don’t like each other,” I decided to determine who got the upper hand. I may be embarking on an impossible mission.

Here’s how the battle started:

But that wouldn’t have been enough to start beef on Twitter. No, this feud needed some help from my least favorite kind of person on Twitter.

Sometimes you just want to subtweet someone (to subtweet is to post something on Twitter about someone, without the object of derision finding out), but many Twitter users are subtweet blockers. To liven things up, these amateur Don Kings respond and mention by “@” name everyone who could possibly be involved. The “@” addition effectively means bringing into the conversation people who weren’t involved before. Sometimes that leads to online arguments, followed by innocent bystanders posting photos of Michael Jackson eating popcorn from the “Thriller” video to show how excited they are to watch.

Yeah! Say it to his face! Maybe it’s not *actually* to his face, but you get the idea.

Anyway, Long responded. Two days later!

You could pretty much make this joke about anything you wanted, right?

  • I see Eric got his medical marijuana card + went straight for the OG superficial
  • I see Angela got her medical marijuana card + went straight for the OG recalcitrant
  • I see Leo got his medical marijuana card + went straight for the OG pretentious

Long then doubled down on the weed joke with a fat joke:

And that was probably the peak of this Twitter skirmish, but it kept going on Thursday.

Davis made a good point in response to Long’s dig at his body composition:

anthony davis chris long

Then he made a reference that didn’t make a ton of sense, since Long, 28, is less than four years older than Davis.

Anthony Davis Long

You knew this next tweet was sure to get a response from Long:

bam davis chris long

Long loses a lot of points here for using “brah brah.”

Davis mentioned age again, this time incorporating Long’s joke about marijuana strains:

bam davis chris long playoffs

And here’s how it ended:

anthony davis chris long shouldn't say shit

Tale of the Tape

I went through each Rams-49ers game played since the 2010 season, when Davis was a rookie. I added up the number of sacks, hits and hurries accumulated by Long, and the amount of sacks, hits and hurries allowed by Davis against the Rams.

Two things: First, I got my figures from Pro Football Focus. The NFL’s official numbers have Long with 5.5 sacks in eight games against the 49ers from 2010-13. But PFF is one of the only outlets keep track of stats other than sacks and tackles. Second, the stats don’t line up perfectly because Davis and Long didn’t spend every single play going against each other one-on-one. Blitzes, stunts and different formations can change things on any given play, although considering their positions, they went against each other a vast majority of the time.

PFF grades in parentheses

Long
2010
Week 10: 1 sack, 2 hit, 7 hurries (7.4)
Week 16: 1 sack, 2 hits, 1 hurry (0.0)

2011
Week 13: 2 sack, 1 hit, 1 hurry (-1.2)
Week 17: 2 hits, 5 hurries (-0.7)

2012
Week 10: 1 sack, 1 hit, 7 hurries (4.8)
Week 13: 4 hurries (0.5)

2013
Week 4: 1 sack, 2 hurries (-0.8)
Week 13: 2 penalties, 3 hurries (0.5)

Totals
6 sacks, 8 hits, 30 hurries (10.5)
5.5 sacks officially

Davis
2010
Week 10: 1 sack, 1 hit, 2 hurries (-5.3)
Week 16: 1 sack, 2 hits, 3 hurries (-3.7)

2011
Week 13: 2 sack, 1 hurry (-2.1)
Week 17: 5 hurries (-2.0)

2012
Week 10: 1 sack, 5 hurries: (0.6)
Week 13: 1 sack, 2 hurries (5.5)

2013
Week 4: 5 hurries (-1.4)
Week 13: 3 hurries (1.2)

Totals
6 sacks, 3 hits, 26 hurries (-7.2)

Long definitely owned Davis in 2010, and continued outplaying Davis in their 2011 matchups. But Davis has done a pretty decent job handling Long over their last three meetings. And Davis has been a starter for three straight teams that made deep playoff runs, while the Rams have averaged 4.8 wins per season since Long arrived in 2008.

***

  • Best Tweets: Davis (you can’t beat his dismissiveness)
  • “E” for Effort: Long (he put a lot of thought into that medical marijuana joke)
  • Worst Tweet: @The_Lodi_Legend for forcing the issue
  • Winner: Everyone or no one, depending on how entertaining you find this stuff

This all could’ve been avoided if Davis would’ve done what he normally does when he tweets anything halfway controversial … and deleted all the tweets from March 25. But we’re in the midst of the slowest part of the NFL offseason, the time when free agency starts dying down but the draft is still several weeks away. We’re going to be hearing about this Johnny Football pro day workout throughout the weekend and probably next week, too.

Davis was probably bored, and Long was probably bored as well. The moral of the story? There isn’t one. It’s a story about a social media quarrel between two millionaire athletes that was fueled by fans who aren’t satisfied with seeing these guys battle on the field twice every season.