THE VIKINGS AT SAINTS season-opener is months away. But the trash-talking has already begun.

About 2 weeks ago, New Orleans safety Darren Sharper hinted that the Saints would target Brett Favre's surgically repaired ankle in Week 1 (assuming Favre and his ankle return for another season).

Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and Sharper - friends from the time they played together in Minnesota - have been trash-tweeting on Twitter ever since.

On Tuesday, things ramped up a bit when Shiancoe targeted Sharper. Literally.

Some of the Vikings went to the Minnesota National Guard and Shiancoe posted a shooting-practice target that had an Osama Bin Laden photo with Sharper's No. 42 on his chest and the words "I'm Darren Sharper" written above it.

Sharper heard about the incident and tweeted the following yesterday:

"Ok homeboy you done went too far, making me out to be something that has brought this country a lot of heartache. Imma bust you right under your chinstrap from the first play on. I don't care about the fine . . . Imma do it for the red,white&blue. And you'll see me cuz I'll be dressed in black & gold. Protect your neck that's all the warning you get."

Vikings coach Brad Childress, who was with Shiancoe at the shooting range said he's not overly concerned with the feud.

"Somewhere, we will reel it in," said Childress.

Hey LeBron, you want fries with that?

Chef Michael Symon - a huge Cavaliers fan - is cooking up a plan to try to keep superstar LeBron James in Cleveland.

Symon, who appears on the Food Network's "Iron Chef America" show, said he will prepare a meal at James' home once a month if the All-Star re-signs with the Cavaliers.

Maybe the Sixers can get Georges Perrier, of Le Bec Fin fame, to make LeBron two meals a month if he comes to the Sixers.

Just a thought.

- Tom Mahon