The past half-decade of Broncos football has featured very few ‘fun’ moments for the fanbase, but Aqib Talib’s beef with Michael Crabtree might have been one of them.
In a game between the Broncos and Raiders, Talib infamously snatched Crabtree’s chain off his neck, breaking it, and igniting a personal feud that would last the next few matchups.
In a recent interview with Master Tesfatsion, Talib explained the whole history of his beef with Crabtree.
Untold Stories Episode 31
Aqib Talib shares how his well known feud with Michael Crabtree started, and how the two Dallas high school football legends settled their differences pic.twitter.com/sTpIQbqgHd
— Hookah Doncic (@MasterTes) November 18, 2021
“It started off [as] some Dallas sh-t,” Talib said in the interview to preface the story. “I was playing for Tampa, [Crabtree] was playing for San Fran I think, then I don’t know whatever happened in the play, little scuffle in the play, and ‘Crab’ was just like, ‘Bruh! You from my motherf–king city! I better not see you in the city!'”
Broncos fans familiar with Talib, will realize that Crabtree just made a fatal error.
“So I’m like, ‘Alright, alright fam, alright. So when I see you, just have that same energy, fam,” Talib said. “Next offseason . . . he in the north [part of Dallas], I see him, boom, and he’s actually with a guy I [used to] go to school with, so I know the guy you with right? He ain’t the hardest guy you with, y’know what I’m saying? I’m with wifey. ‘What’s up, bruh?’ [I asked], and he was like ‘Man, ‘Qib, what’s up?’ So I’m like ‘alright, alright. I was just checking your energy fam, we exchanged words, whatever, whatever.’ No smoke.”
However, when Talib joined the Broncos and Crabtree joined the deeply hated Raiders, their personal beef dialed up.
“Von Miller is kinda a mutual friend between both of us,” Talib said. “So we got into again on the field and he’s talking and I’m like, ‘But tell him about when I seen you at the mall then.'”
Talib explains that these were precursors that just continued to stack up until things finally blew up with the chain-snatching incident.
“We finna play the Raiders next season, it kinda led up to this right,” Talib continued. “It’s speech week, it’s a rivalry game, everybody giving their speeches man. One of our coaches on the Broncos [is like], ‘They think it’s f–king fashion shows. They running out with chains. If I was playing I’d snatch that sh-t.'”
Talib wasn’t able to play that week due to injury, but the next time he was on the field against the Raiders, he had his mind made up. He was snatching that chain.
“I got it in my head, like I’m gonna embarras him,” Talib said. “Once the game starts, I’m locked in. I’m not thinking of no chain, I’m thinking about winning this game. He finna win this game, whatever. They throw him like a little fade, I strap it up, ain’t nothing, I push him on the ground. So then, I kinda was over him, so he got up, boom, with a little shoulder check to my chin and sh-t. And after that, all I could see iss the chain. I just see the chain right there so I try to snatch it. I thought I had it, but it was just hanging on his neck (broken)”
The Broncos’ former star cornerback made sure he got that chain the next time around though.
The play in which Talib finally got the chain was preceeded by Crabtree punching Chris Harris Jr. in the stomach, leading to an injury timeout. After trying the same move with Talib, the situation broke out in a fight.
“Next play [Crabtree] comes out on my side, run play. He did the same thing, so I’m laughing like, ‘You just did that to Chris [Harris],'” Talib said. “He just start pushing me, he’s blocking me, I’m thinking he’s gonna let me go. I’m not really on that sh-t this time, so I’m like, ‘chill out! It’s old,’ but he was still mad, I guess. So while he blocking me again, all I seen was the chain, so I’m like ‘I’m gonna get him again.’ I snatch it again.”
At this point, Talib and Crabtree went to the ground and started fighting in an altercation that eventually ended with Talib throwin his helmet at Crabtree and receiving a hefty fine from the league. However he says John Elway, who was the general manager at the time, fortunately came to his defense and helped get the suspension reduced to some extent.
The story has a happy ending though, as Talib and Crabtree would later run into eachother at a go-karting establishment with their families, and hashed things out.
Although the beef certainly added some extra gasoline to the Broncos-Raiders rivalry, and many fans savored Talib’s embarrassment of Crabtree, it’s good to see the two have left that in the past and moved forward with their relationship.