T.J. Simers: Randy Moss, a gifted athlete who cut corners
It’s been suggested, I think in jest -- if Charles Manson were available and could catch a football, he would have 10 teams pounding on his door. Troubled players don't seem to concern teams so long as they are producing.
Players get in trouble all the time because there’s so little accountability off the field lest it distract from their ability to help a team on it, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seemingly the Lone Ranger.
But I digress. Randy Moss’ name surfaced again Wednesday, with former Vikings Coach Brad Childress telling NFL.com, "We had good guys, by and large, [but Moss] walked in the locker room and vomited on it."
OK, first of all I don’t know how much Childress had to do with picking up Moss last year, but if he was complicit, why did they let Childress keep his job until November?
The New England Patriots released Moss, with the best coach in the game no longer wanting any part of him, and so Childress thought he could do better?
I happen to consider Jerry Rice the best player to ever play the game, an amazing hard worker who pulled everything he had in him to the surface. Unlike quarterbacks who start every play with the ball in hand, Rice had to go get it, which makes him so super.
Moss had so much more to offer than Rice in natural ability, running, leaping and towering over top-notch opponents when he chose to do so.
He could be magical, a Thanksgiving Day game against Dallas coming to mind, doing the seemingly impossible.
But how many plays did he take off during his career? How much talent was left untapped?
It’s one of the most vexing things about sports, a truly gifted athlete arriving in town with every chance to be special, rich and beloved, only to fall short of expectations because they deemed it not worth their effort.
They fail in one place, and immediately someone falls in love and gives them another chance elsewhere. Hello, Tennessee, how did that work out last year?
Moss goes away known as well for dominating the game, as he does for disregarding it, cutting corners when he could. But instead of being locked out, he’s a lock to earn a Hall of Fame invite, which is sickening.
P.S. As useless as he proved to be in 2010 and as big a drag on a team as he has proven to be, will it really be surprising if he doesn’t get a call to play again later this season?
-- T.J. Simers
Photo: Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images