Even people who are not sports fans, like myself, are proud of our New England Patriots’ spectacular season.
Then there's someone called Randy Moss spoiling it.
Moss is the perpetually traded bad boy for whom the Patriots paid more than $3 million when they traded him from the Raiders (who were paying him $8 million.)
As far as I can tell, if Moss hadn't been a talented wide receiver, he'd probably be in a dive somewhere stoned on pot and barely surviving financially.
Football has been 30-year-old Moss's life. His dream was to play for Notre Dame, and after high school he got a scholarship to join that historic football team. Even in those early days, however, Moss couldn't avoid trouble. He lost his Notre Dame scholarship following his arrest on assault charges from a racially inspired school fight.
But Moss lives in today's celebrity world where moral character, civilized behavior and ethical concerns are irrelevant. As long as a guy can toss a ball through a hoop, carry a pigskin to a touchdown, knock his boxing opponent out cold, slide the puck to goal or hit a home run, the money will keep rolling in and the fans will remain adoring.
I have never understood the need for sports teams to be so tolerant of antisocial and even criminal behavior. They want to win, of course, but the playgrounds of New Bedford, Boston, Revere, Providence or wherever are probably full of kids at least as talented as Moss and others like him. The scouts need to spend more time helping talented kids get onto the college teams that have become football's free "farm team" system. If that's the way it's gong to work, professional football needs to have more players in reserve: when the time comes, they'll just pull some kid out of college anyway.
Somebody's time should be coming right now, to replace Randy Moss. It doesn't even really matter if the latest domestic assault charge sticks or not, as far as I'm concerned. He has also driven into a (female) traffic officer who stopped him after he took an illegal turn, squirted water in a referee's face, and walked off the field. Then, of course, there is the infamous "mooning" incident. Randy Moss's rap sheet already includes enough assault charges, marijuana use and parole violations to certify him as wayward.
Moss says the woman who has sought and received a restraining order against him is just looking for money. So let's take away this guy's money; it only seems to get him into trouble. Let's just fire Moss for his own good since he seems to be a threat "to himself and others" when he has access to enough cash.
While talk of recession gets louder and more difficult to avoid, struggling Patriots fans in Bristol County and elsewhere depend on the spiritual lift great local sports teams can provide (as long as we can watch them on TV, since tickets are beyond reach for most of us).
Those struggling with a moribund economy need real heroes to see them through. Moss and others "just here for the beer" don't fit that profile.
- ▼ 2008 (17)