MOST OF the questions aimed at LeSean McCoy yesterday concerned Monday night's game in Indianapolis, because the media representatives assembled in the tent adjacent to the practice fields at NovaCare all were assigned to cover the Eagles, not the restaurant or etiquette beats.
But there were some questions about the 20-cent tip. Enough questions for the journalists in the tent to walk out feeling they hadn't shirked their duty (whatever that is these days). Not enough questions to make the journalists feel they'd splashed on clown paint and jumped headlong into the click-bait circus that swirls today around social media, celebrities and any hint of controversy.
The last question about McCoy's 20-cent tip for a $61.56 tab at PYT - an upscale burger restaurant that is part of the Piazza at Schmidt's - was mine. I was wondering if this bizarre episode - which eventually included Charlie Sheen pledging to send $1,000 to McCoy's stiffed server - had taught McCoy, 26, anything about the dos and don'ts of life as a celebrity.
"No," he said.
But, Charlie Sheen . . .
"That's cool. I'm happy he's finally doing something positive. On another note, I didn't do anything wrong. If it happened again, I'd do it the same way," McCoy said.
McCoy blamed the incident on bad service at PYT. He did not provide details. When I tried to get him to explain after the news conference, he said only that if he did so, "we'd be here all day."
Earlier, when the subject first was raised, McCoy said: "Just to be honest, like I always am, I tip on my service. I think it's a difference between good service and bad service, and just having a bad day. There's a big difference between [a bad day and] being rude and disrespectful. That's how it works.
"Listen, anybody that knows me knows I'm not disrespectful. Any restaurant that I go around in Philadelphia, I tip very well. And I'm very respectful. You check on that restaurant . . . everybody is talking bad about that place."
He smiled and added, "But good food."
Since I was the guy who asked McCoy about the then-just-emerging controversy Monday evening, before his 94 WIP radio show, I've gotten a lot of tweets over the last 3 days from people who claim to know about McCoy's restaurant and bar habits. Many of them have said the PYT kerfluffle was not unusual for him, here or in his hometown of Harrisburg. A few others have said exactly the opposite. And yet another group of tweets has said poor service and a bad attitude are common at PYT. Until TMZ obtains a tape of McCoy's dining experience, the matter likely will remain in dispute.
PYT owner Tommy Up has said he posted the receipt with the 20-cent tip on Facebook, igniting the controversy. Up subsequently took to Facebook to defend doing that and to provide his version of the context.
"He and his group, from the moment they sat down, were verbally abusive to our staff in the most insulting ways," Up said. "Reports of him receiving 'bad service' is a complete slanderous lie, and my crew here is better than that and deserves better than that."
Server Rob Knelly told the Daily News' Molly Eichel, "I wasn't surprised [by the tip], I saw it coming. They were extremely rude. I kept my cool for as long as I could, where you just don't want them yelling and cursing you."
McCoy said yesterday his intent that day was to vividly demonstrate his displeasure by means of the tip.
"The 20-cent tip was more just kind of a statement," he said. "You can't just disrespect somebody and [expect a tip from] them. I don't care who the person is. That's why I left my card [instead of cash], so they could see my name. Simple as that."
Of course, nothing is that simple when you are the Eagles' biggest star, the NFL's defending rushing champion, in the third year of a 5-year, $45 million contract. There are people in the serving business who will never look at McCoy the same way again. There are Eagles fans who will never look at PYT the same way again.
McCoy is outspoken on all sorts of matters - Eagles coach Chip Kelly made a joking reference to his "beautiful mind" this summer, when McCoy said something that directly contradicted Kelly's stated reasoning on the release of DeSean Jackson.
McCoy made his NFL debut at age 21 in 2009 and hasn't always shown polish and maturity off the field; there was a dispute over McCoy allegedly being slow to refund an appearance fee after canceling an autograph signing near Wilkes-Barre in 2011; a lawsuit over him allegedly kicking a woman off a New York-bound party bus in 2012; and his 2013 Twitter fight with the mother of his son, in which McCoy urged followers to tell the woman "to get a job n stop begging for child support money."
That last episode and this week's flap probably would never have gained any traction 10 years ago, before Twitter. You can decide whether that is a good or a bad thing.
A postscript: The Eagles' media guide notes that McCoy is good friends with former Eagles running back Ricky Watters, a fellow graduate of Harrisburg's Bishop McDevitt High School. McCoy is quoted as saying the biggest thing he has learned from Watters is "how to separate football from all the potential distractions."
I don't want to speak for Watters, but I'm pretty sure one good way to do that is to avoid creating potential distractions.
A couple of nights ago, I ran into a guy I know who has been in the restaurant business in this area for many years. He brought up McCoy and the tip, couldn't believe PYT had gone out of its way to publicize such a thing. But the most interesting thing he said was that a group of Eagles frequented one of his places in the 1990s. One of them was an especially lavish tipper, a staff favorite.
"What's his name? That star running back everybody was so mad at," the man said.
"Yeah - Ricky Watters! That's him."