BOSTON (CBS) — The term “bulletin board material” takes on a whole new meaning in the age of social networking.
Arian Foster apparently came across a column from Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe, and the Texans’ star running back was entertained enough by it to change his profile photo to a screenshot of the column.
“The 2012-13 New England Patriots just became the first team in NFL history to get back-to-back byes before advancing to the conference championship game. Could this get any easier?” the column reads in Foster’s avatar. “I mean, seriously? The planets are aligned and the tomato cans are in place. The fraudulent Houston Texans are the only team standing between the New England Patriots and a trip to the AFC Championship game. All the Patriots have to do is beat the terrible Texans. One week from today. At Gillette Stadium.”
The column, titled “Texans matchup just what the Patriots wanted,” isn’t Shaughnessy’s first of its kind this season. When the Texans came to town in December, Shaughnessy wrote a column titled “Texans have no chance vs. Patriots.” He proved to be very correct in that assessment, with the Patriots winning that game 42-14 in a romp on Monday Night Football. Foster ran for just 46 yards on 15 carries that night, well below his average of 89 yards per game, and his touchdown vs. New England came far too late to give the Texans a chance to come back.
Foster was asked by a Twitter user if he felt disrespected by the column.
“Not at all,” Foster wrote. “Just thought it was funny.”
Later, during Alabama’s trouncing of Notre Dame in the BCS National Title Game, Foster used Shaughnessy’s words to make a joke.
“The tomato cans are in place for Bama,” Foster wrote. “Whatever that means.”
Shaughnessy doesn’t mention Foster by name in the column, but he does use words that won’t be welcomed too kindly in Houston.
“The 2012-13 Texans? Pure frauds. The worst 11-1 team in the history of the NFL,” Shaughnessy wrote. “These Texans have absolutely zero chance of beating New England here next week. And everybody knows that this is true.”
This time around, there’s clearly much more at stake, with the winner advancing to the AFC Championship Game and the loser heading home for the winter and spring. The stakes are motivation enough, but it’s clear from Foster’s Twitter picture that he’s drawing even more inspiration from Shaughnessy’s column.