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Randy Moss

8/2/11

The Hole Randy Moss Will Leave in the NFL (Until He Returns For the Playoffs)

Talented Wide Receiver Randy Moss frozen in time as I like to think of him

Randy Moss may or may not be gone for good. The way injuries happen in the NFL, this post may be outdated by the 4th week of this season. But since Randy CLAIMS he’s retiring, lots of blogs will spend this week honoring him and reminiscing, hopefully, on a time when Moss’ play was elite, consistent, and awe-inspiring.

Sports Illustrated already put together a nice collage of rare Randy Moss photos I think is worth checking out. If you’re unfamiliar with Moss, it’s a great way to get a quick history lesson on the man who made phrases like “Straight cash homey” popular, interviewed himself a time or two, and just generally made the game more exciting to watch.

You can get your “is Randy Moss is the greatest ever” debate on some other blog. I have bigger concerns.

When Moss is gone, who will inject the NFL with his brand of authentic eccentricity?

No matter how much the NFL tries to crack down on players’ personalities the league has benefitted over the years from the story lines erratic behavior creates.  In particular, the behavior of those who have become known as  ”diva wide receivers.” It used to be the running backs that got all the glory, but as the pass in the NFL expanded, we got to know the likes of Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and Chad Ochocinco. We tuned in to see Moss’ mooning, T.O.’s cheerleading, and Ochocinco’s hair.

The media has changed so much in the time that that Moss first appeared on the scene. Today, we operate in a 24 hour news cycle and football is more popular than ever. There is endless encouragement for players to practice being what Moss was naturally.  With Moss you never got the sense that he was putting on for the public. Every strange press conference, run in with the law, hair style, and plaid piece of clothing felt as if Moss was simply being himself and you were just privileged enough to tune in to his channel.

The same media that spends so much time covering players’ antics (and racking up the dough while doing so), is the same media that berated Moss (and others) for giving them the footage they needed to survive. That bashing lends itself to a sports media that will provide a zillion excuses not to vote Randy Moss into the Hall of Fame his first year of eligibility but will swiftly insert Brett Favre. The same Brett Favre who has spent the last 4 years trying with all of his might to erase all memory of his greatness. Fortunately, for him, an adoring media wouldn’t let him. Moss should be so lucky.

It’s a shame that Moss’ kind of personality can only really be appreciated in retrospect. In a 16 game season every play is so consequential. When a player seems eccentric we spend every free moment speculating about what negative impact he’s having on the team. You want a player like Moss to show up every game and not be a “distraction.”  It never occurs to you while running through the season that you should stop and appreciate the smell of something besides the roses.

I was a fan of the great Jerry Rice, and when Rice retired, there was no question in my mind how great a player he was or that his level of skill and professionalism was a loss to the sport. But his retirement didn’t leave me with the kind of longing Moss’ less-than-ideal departure will inspire. You know, that general feeling that without this person around, I’m “missing something” a whole lot bigger than game highlights. We can hail star students who are most widely known for their dedication to the sport, and it’s a wonderful thing to do. But when the last pass is caught, it is players like Moss who leave us with iconic footage on and off the field.

 

11/3/10

ESPN says Bears Need Moss…Chicago Tribune says HELL NO

ESPN’s Jon Greenberg makes the case for why the Bears should sign Moss right away.

Case, yes. Glowing endorsement…not quite. It’s a curious article to say the least.

Greenberg writes:

Is everyone caught up? Well good, now let me just get up on my soapbox and tell a professional football team ranked in the top 32 by Forbes Magazine how to handle its business.

Sign Randy Moss. Sign him tomorrow and pay him the $3.38 million he’s owed for the rest of the season. You can pay him in “straight cash homey,” his preferred method of paying fines, or you can pay him in unsold Jay Cutler jerseys.

The Bears have wasted money on lesser players. Orlando Pace made almost twice as much last year as a turnstile operator. Money should not be an object for this franchise.

Just pay him and play him.

Sure, Moss is on the downswing of his epic career, and yes, he’s not the friendliest of guys or the easiest to coach or the first to avoid annoying a traffic cop.

At this stage of his career, the 33-year-old Moss is no sure thing. The New England Patriotswouldn’t have gotten rid of him otherwise, and the Minnesota Vikings wouldn’t be putting him on waivers after he ripped the team just yesterday.

Greenberg goes on to list all the negatives with Moss (dropped balls, unhappy over future, stiffing the media etc.) and lists only one real positive–that he’d be the best receiver on the roster.

You know, I had a conversation with a guy at a sportsbar a few weeks back about “best” player vs. “most productive.” I will take a productive player over one that is considered to be the best any day. What does it mean to be one of the best receivers in the league or even the best receiver on a team if you’re leading the league in dropped passes?

With the overall sour mood in the Bears locker room do they really need Moss who has made it clear that he’s not just unhappy about where he is, he’s unhappy about where he’s not.

The Chicago Tribune says NO MAS to the Moss talk:

Before anybody near Lake Forest posts “GROW MOSS HERE,” signs outside 1000 Football Drive or prints “WE WANT RANDY,” T-shirts, no, Randy Moss makes no sense for the Bears to consider.

Unless you think a me-first quitter well past his prime helps the Bears’ playoff chances. I don’t. When I think of Moss, who was waived by the Vikings on Monday, I see Manny Ramirez in shoulder pads. The Bears need a spark, not an explosion; intensity more than a player prone to long spells of indifference.

Moss may fit in perfectly in the Bears media room with his insolence but not so wonderfully in any locker room. His moody temperament gave the Patriots justification to trade him and the Vikings reason to think they were better without him despite their 2-5 record.

He remains as divisive as he is dangerous at this stage of his career, a talented player with Pro Bowl skill but diva-like tendencies who makes the atmosphere heavier every time he walks into a room or huddle.

While we’re having an emotional moment (yes, every moment we talk about Moss is emotional) I really wonder what makes guys like Moss tick. Here you have a guy who has made a lot of money and gotten a lot of respect but for some reason cannot seem to focus on anything beyond the negative. I wonder if, in 10 years, when Moss looks back on his career will he regret some of the things he’s said and done, especially those things that have happened since he’s been old enough to know better.

This is like when Michael Jordan gave that bitter ass Hall of Fame speech…this is like Allen Iverson signing with a Turkish basketball team. By all accounts Vikes Coach Childress handled this situations 11,000 different types of wrong, but still this is not the way I like to see sports heroes behave. I mean…he asked himself questions and answered them at the podium………………………………………

??

11/2/10

Week 8 Recap: Is Favre’s Play a Miracle? Is Shanahan mentally sound? Is Belichick in the Illumanati?

Back in Shakesperean times, women weren’t allowed to be in performances. Men played all the parts in the dramas. Today, we call that football. Football is an all male Young and The Restless with enough drama for everyone from the casual watcher to the maniacal fanatic.

Week 8 served up plenty to talk about, and it’s always interesting how story lines are covered by different news outlets.

To start, the Washington Post’s Redskins blog rounded up all the reactions from people around the league regarding Shanahan’s what-the-fuck decision to bench McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman with 2 minutes left on the game clock.

The reactions were mostly angry. Actually, I was surprised at how angry they were. The only  mild reaction was the best one in my opinion. Michael Irving said:

“It wasn’t just taking Donovan out. It was bringing Rex Grossman in. All of our eyes have seen enough of Rex Grossman.”

Basically!

Michael Wilbon, Mike Ditka, Tony Kornheiser et al were more thorough in their statements, but Irvin’s sentiment was shared by all.

Unless you’ve been hiding inside Troy Polamalu’s luxurious locks the last 24 hours, you’ve probably heard that Randy Moss was unceremoniously waived by Vikings Coach Brad Childress. Not only was he waived, but he was the last to find out.

Jason Cole at Yahoo Sports didn’t like Childress’ decision one bit:

In announcing the team’s intentions to release Randy Moss(notes), Childress confirmed what many in the Vikings organization have believed about him for years: His management of people is questionable, his willingness to listen is nonexistent and his reaction to criticism is punitive.

This only confirms the growing tension that already existed in the Minnesota locker room before the season. Everyone in Minnesota knew back in training camp (and actually long before then), that Favre and Childress don’t get along. Favre doesn’t respect Childress, viewing him more as geeky impediment rather than a sophisticated football mind.

The difference with Favre is that Childress knows he needs Favre to have a real chance. Once Childress got Favre, there was no turning back. Make no mistake: Favre runs the show in that battle of alpha males.

When it came to Moss, Childress wasn’t going to let another player run roughshod over him. When Moss criticized the coaches Sunday after the loss to the Patriots, that was the tipping point.

I’m not fan of my-way-or-the-highway Coaches, I wrote about it when I gave my reaction to McNabb’s benching. So overall I don’t disagree with Cole. However, I don’t agree that “Childress knows he needs Favre to have a real chance.” I think it’s pretty clear the Vikings don’t have a chance with Favre. They’d probably be just as well to have Jackson QB with an experienced and prolific WR like Randy Moss to throw to.

I do agree that Favre is winning their battle, unfortunately there’s nothing to be won.

Who gets Moss? Guesses?

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter said various league sources indicated the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and the Bears could be possibly interested in making a claim for Moss.

The receiver will enter waiver process Tuesday, and there’s a good chance he could join a new team soon after he’s officially waived, considering his representatives — according to reports — have already been contacted by the Dolphins and Seahawks. The Buffalo Bills, by virtue of owning the worst record in the league, get first dibs on Moss, who will be awarded to the team with the worst record to put in a claim.

The fact that the Patriots are on that list just shows how odd the NFL can be sometimes. In terms of the list of interested teams, Moss might make a good choice for the Raiders and possibly the Seahawks, but Moss is gonna be a pain in the ass for any team that isn’t winning. Not sure how he’d be all that useful for the Dolphins. Unless he can gain 70 lbs in a week and get some blocking skills, the Skins should stay far away. And as far as I’m concerned the Jets need to work with what they’ve got.

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