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Talk, Talk Talk...Linda Richman Should Be Involved

Welcome to Coffee Talk, with your host, Behind The Steel Curtain.

We just watched a highlight video of the 2010 season, both glorious and heartbreaking. The team came together in such a fantastic way, with rookies playing above expectations, and gutty defensive performances, and-I'm getting verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves, I'll give you yet another topic:

Ravens vs. Steelers. It's called one of the best rivalries in all of sports, yet, Steelers FS Ryan Clark says both teams need to win equally for it to be a rivalry. Discuss!

Hopefully some of you remember the classic Saturday Night Live skit "Coffee Talk with Linda Richman." Seems fitting in an offseason full of labor strife to bring it up, considering the basis of Mike Meyers' sketch is to "talk about dinnah, dawtahs, dawgs, give us a call, we'll talk, ya know, no big whoop."

That's all everyone and anyone is doing. Talking. And it's getting old.

Clark has made a name for himself this summer in sounding off about the lockout, serving as the team's player representative (Charlie Batch is on the executive committee). Not one to shy away from the media, or to pass a chance to defend his teammates,in an interview with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Clark spouted off about the lack of merit to the word "rivalry" being associated with "Steelers/Ravens."

The interview was set up after Clark got into a Twitter battle (we need a term for that) with Ravens RB Ray Rice, whosesnide comment about the arrest of Hines Ward for suspicion of DUI prompted Clark to quietly chide Rice.

"Well it looks like Hines Ward will miss week 1 when the lockout ends DUI charge not a good look," tweeted Rice.

Clark responded with, "So glad you could Weigh in. Thx,"

This prompted Rice to fire back with, "It's whatever u wanna do bro you know how to find me."

While I'm not entirely sure what that means exactly, clearly, Rice is looking to mix it up with Clark, who, in turn, looked to take the high road.

"I hear ya brother.Thought we were all better than that," Clark tweeted. "Wouldnt speak negative of you. I'll find you!It's not hard. God bless."

I thought it WAS hard to find the 5-foot-7 Rice. "It's whatever," though, I guess.

Not even a day after Clark's jab at the Ravens, it's Baltimore WR Derrick Mason, of all people, who provides sensible direction on the spat. "I think Ryan Clark is cool [people] and a good player but RYAN let’s keep the talking on the field," Ravens receiver Derrick Mason posted on Twitter. "If the league wants to call this game a rival … let them call it that! When we play each other it’s good for football [because] you know there will b a lot of hard hitting going on."

Ahhh...sweet, sweet on-field I've missed thee. Instead, we've been treated to a barrage of social-media delivered barbs thrown at 140 characters per post. Electronic trash talk has reached Guaranteed Headline status.

Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley took to more conventional methods during an interview with NFL Network when he said Ravens QB Joe Flacco "will never win a Super Bowl in this lifetime." Funnier was Flacco's flaccid reaction to it: "[Woodley] obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about," Flacco said. "At some level I don’t care [what Woodley says] because what does that really mean? But there is another level where it does kind of piss you off a little bit."

Flacco is 2-6 against Pittsburgh, and 0-2 in the playoffs. Are you sure Woodley's the one who doesn't know what he's talking about, Joe? And what else would "Not going to win a Super Bowl in this lifetime" mean? There are only so many ways to take that. I'm buying into the talk.

With word coming late in the evening July 14 of a greatly accelerated timeline toward a deal, ending the lockout and beginning what will no doubt be the most insane period of free agency the game has ever seen, one has to wonder if part of that is caused by players taking to Twitter to taunt each other, instead of getting ready to lace up the pads and smack each other on the field. They're pent-up, fed-up and eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get to work.

Who, ultimately, will be said to have won the Great Lockout of 2011? I have no clue, but I don't care. I'm sick of talking about it, and just want the guys on the field again. Let's hope that happens over this week.