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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Minnesota misses with Moss: as assessment of the Moss mess

By Mark Thomson

Really?As you’re probably aware, Randy Moss managed to get himself booted off the Minnesota Vikings this week, the second time in five weeks that he’s gotten himself kicked off of his team. This is the fourth time he’s gotten himself traded or waived by a team in his 13-year career. His reputation as a diva has been with him since his college days. Consequently, his waiving shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

His effort was visibly lacking in his second stint as a Viking. He made comments he shouldn’t have made in press conferences: “It was hard for me to come (to Gillette Stadium) and play. It’s been an up and down roller coaster emotionally for me all week.” He made comments he shouldn’t have made at a team after-practice dinner: “What the [expletive]? Who ordered this crap? I wouldn’t feed this to my dog.” And the team’s performance with him (a 1-3 record) was far from last year’s form.

As a result, he needed to be let go. To the Vikings’ and Brad Childress’ credit, they cut their losses. Childress even owned up to his mistake and was quoted as saying the trade for Moss was “a poor decision.” But I’m not sure that the trade was the poor decision.

Moss’ talent is unquestioned, even now in the twilight of his career (see his one handed catch over Darrelle Revis this year). He still demands the respect of opposing defenses and can single handedly change games when motivated. I was a huge fan of the trade at the time because I thought he’d be out to prove something. A third-round draft pick was a bargain compared to the upside that Moss brought to the table. The trade itself was a brilliant move, even in the wake of his waiving.

Ultimately, I think their handling of the situation was the problem.

If you recall, there’s another talented diva wearing a Vikings uniform this year. The organization did everything they could to make Brett Favre feel welcome in Minnesota, which was understandable considering his vast talents. However, they’ve gone too far in making it the Favre show.

Favre runs the offense unchecked, even if it proves to be at the team’s detriment. They have the best running back in the NFL in Adrian Peterson (sorry Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden) yet they seem to turn away from him in the second half of every game. Moss would have loved to run the offense in such a manner, but as long as #4 was under center there was no way this was going to happen.

Last week’s game was proof positive at the extent to which the Vikings are Favre’s team. Brad Childress wasn’t enough of a coach to bench Favre last week even when Tavaris Jackson (I can’t believe I’m about to say it) would have given his team a much better chance to win. Favre is 29th in the league in passer rating, only ahead of Derek Anderson and Matt Moore. Yet it’s undeniable that he’s the man in charge.

They’ve still given Favre this free reign even when his effectiveness has waned. Throughout his career, Moss has always wanted what the organization gave Favre. But when Moss made his return, he arrived with little fanfare and even less autonomy.

For a mercurial player like Moss, he needs to respect the people around him or to be given independence to be content. And he neither respected Childress nor was given the keys to the offense. It was a recipe for disaster unless the team accommodated him like they did for Favre, which they obviously didn’t do.

I’m not giving excuses for Randy Moss’ behavior. It’s appalling that a NFL player making millions of dollars needs to be coddled like he has throughout his career. It’s even more appalling that he acted in the manner that he did this go-around in Minnesota. But they knew he was going to act like this. They could have saved themselves from this fate. But they’re now 2-5 on the year and likely headed to a top-10 draft pick, while Moss has taken his talents to Nashville, Tennessee. When does baseball start?

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