Beat writers fight at Eagles practice

A war of words on Twitter between two Philadelphia Eagles beat writers escalated into a physical altercation Wednesday, with one writer landing a punch to his counterpart’s head.

Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News and Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer had to be separated by their peers at the Eagles practice facility, according to local sports radio personality and WCAU-TV contributor Howard Eskin.

The two men were involved in a Twitter spat Tuesday, during which McLane called the elder Bowen an "old hack that hasn’t broken a story in years."

Bowen, who vowed on Twitter to handle his "business in person" landed a punch to McLane’s head before the feuding beat writers were quickly broken up, according to Eskin.

Tempers flared after McLane posted a tweet Tuesday regarding the status of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, in which he wrote Vick would likely start Sunday despite a bone bruise in his non-throwing hand.

The tweet prompted a line from Bowen which read, "Oh, and [by the way], nobody has any idea on Tuesday whether Michael Vick is starting this week."

McLane apparently took offense to Bowen’s tweet, prompting the younger reporter to issue a slamming indictment.

"How about if Vick starts Sunday you have to say on [cable show] Daily News Live, ‘I’m an old hack that hasn’t broken a story in years, needs my editor to keep my blog fresh, and missed Vick on Monday because I was cluelessly tapping away on my computer and had to steal quotes from hard-working reporters who have a clue,’" McLane wrote directly to Bowen.

Bowen’s only response to McLane’s unflattering assessment was to say he would handle it "face to face."

"I don’t intend to have any tantrums on Twitter, myself," he replied to one follower. "If I have something to say to someone, it will be face to face."

"I will handle my business in person, not thru yapping on Twitter," Bowen wrote.

According to Philly.com, Bowen has covered the Eagles for the Daily News since 2002. He spent nearly 13 years covering the Flyers prior to taking the Eagles beat.

McLane began covering the Eagles for The Inquirer in 2009.