I normally wouldn't bother to lay out a piece that takes rebuking a pundit as its jumping-off point. But what's the point of blogging if not to vent your spleen from time to time?
There's no game so perfect that Dan Shaughnessy won't take a leak on it in an effort to make himself seem relevant. Sunday's win was no gem, but rather than simply celebrating the beauty of Brady-to-Moss, Shaughnessy can't help but throw a few barbs at Randy, apparently because he doesn't like talking to the press.
He comes off as rude, ridiculous, self-important, and difficult.
Why not take a look in the mirror, Dan? 'Cause that sounds like a sportswriter I know.
Woe is the reporter who accuses Moss of going through the motions. Belichick and his minions are ever-ready to defend Randy with froth and fury.
Huh. I wonder why? Obviously, whatever Randy isn't to the media, he absolutely is to his teammates. There are no clubhouse cancers in New England and there haven't been for just under a decade -- even when they aren't going to the playoffs, the team presents a united front and guys who don't toe the line are run out of town. Asante could ball, but that didn't save him. Hobbs was serviceable, but he got run when he got too big for the team. I think it's safe to say that whatever else Randy Moss is, in that character is a likeable guy.
Just shooting spitballs here, but could the fact that Randy's entire life course was in some ways set by what other people said and wrote about him have something to do with the fact that he doesn't like or trust the media? Moss kicked a kid while he was down in high school. Read the media from the time, and it's clear that two black hoods jumped an innocent white kid. Spooked, holier-than-thou Lou Holtz pulled the ticket to Notre Dame (note: but not like a man. Apparently, Randy didn't fill out his form correctly).
Randy Moss has learned this much: The past does not stop. Year after year, it comes back to haunt, demand explanations, complicate things. It can shackle a man as much as it can a place, never allowing either to completely move on.
Cut Off from the Herd, S.I., August 25, 1997
I'm not typically one to defend the high and mighty athlete -- I figure, we pay and part of what we pay for is some of his time. But in fact that's not the case, really. We pay to see what he does on the field. Now the NFL mandates that players give the press some face time and some quotes. Time was, a guy like Randy simply wouldn't ever speak to the press and that would be that.
"We're never going to know Randy Moss," Shaughnessy sighs, whether with bitterness or longing one can never quite tell. Sadder still, Dan's just flat wrong. It's like watching a pathetic kid lob up a freethrow in the driveway, miss, and say, "I'll just never be good at basketball." Sigh, droopyeyes. Well, no, you won't -- not if that's your attitude.
"He not only knows what he’s doing, he knows what everybody else is doing," Belichick said. "He knows what the defense is doing and he usually knows what the quarterback is doing with the ball, based on all that information he compiles in a very short amount of time – a couple to pre-read and then maybe a half a second or second into the play." Moss: Mentally and Physically Superior
And he knows what you're doing, Dan. Sad thing is, it'd be easy enough to see what he's doing, too, if you took your job seriously. I guess this is what they mean when they differentiate between "reporters" and "columnists." Sadder still, it's the online "unprofessional" community that has done the majority of honest reporting on Moss the man. The print and corporate media seem more interested in reruns of Moss the boy.
Every article ever published about Moss's charity work -- whether it's "Links for Learning" or his charity bass tournament or his visits to kids in the hospital includes some version of the phrase "Moss doesn't like to publicize his charity work." But if you go look for it, it isn't hard to find. Just poke around Rand, West Viriginia and start asking questions.
Here's the thing: If Randy ever becomes a problem, he'll be ditched in a heartbeat. When his game slips, he'll be gone. Wants too much money? Out.
And in this corner, the Boston Globe and "columnist" Dan Shaughnessy, whose whiny, limp prose has been suffused with the tone of the put-upon, the schlemiel, the loser, the victim ever since he stumbled on the "curse of the Bambino" as a way to support a career -- not a career in sportswriting, but a career in professional collective self-pity that uses Boston sports as its McGuffin.
But until he does something actually illegal, the chances of him ever making way at the Globe for someone of Breer or Reiss' caliber is slim-to-none.