So it turns out there was more to the Randy Moss release, as most of us assumed. From Mike Silver at Yahoo! Sports:
As is the team’s custom on Fridays, a local food establishment was invited to the training facility to serve a catered, post-practice meal in the locker room. In this case, a St. Paul restaurant that is a favorite of former Vikings center Matt Birk. As the proprietors helped serve chicken, ribs, pasta and other dishes to Vikings players, Moss paced up and down the serving line and loudly expressed his displeasure with the offerings.
According to one player who witnessed the scene, Moss yelled, “What the [expletive]? Who ordered this crap? I wouldn’t feed this to my dog!”
Said the witness: “It was brutal. The truth is, he deserved to be cut after that. It was such an uncomfortable moment. You know that feeling where you just can tell someone feels so small? That’s what it was like being there.
“This wasn’t a chain – it was a mom-and-pop restaurant, and you could tell it was their best stuff. They had a special carving station set up, and there were players and other support staff lining up to eat it. And [Moss] is at his locker saying, ‘You know, I used to have to eat that crap – but now I’ve got money.’ You just felt so sad for them. I had never seen anyone treated like that.
“And by the way, the food was actually really good.”
I’ll keep this short and sour. Moss is a clown. He’s always been and always will be a clown. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard stories of Moss belittling and embarrassing those who he obviously doesn’t consider to be as important as he is, and I’m sure there are dozens of other stories that have never become public knowledge.
What does surprise me is that no one said anything. I don’t care if Moss is a future Hall of Famer, if I’m in that dressing room, I’m speaking up. I’m telling him to shut his mouth and have some respect for hard-working people who aren’t as fortunate as he is.
If I were a ball boy in the Vikings locker room, I’d have walked up to Moss and told him to shut up. How is it that the other 52 active players on the Vikings’ roster, including Brett Favre, failed to cut him off?
And while I’m glad that the incident in question at least partly led to Moss getting released, that doesn’t do anything to repair the feelings of the caterers who presumably slaved away to earn future business from a big league sports team.
For those who say that this is just something spoiled athletes do, you’re wrong. I’ve been in many professional locker rooms and have interacted with hundreds of professional football, basketball and baseball players, and I’ve never seen a display of disrespect like that. It’s sad, because a few bad apples really do kill the reputations of pro athletes in general. Most of these guys are honest, good dudes. They make mistakes, but they usually respect other human beings.
Moss doesn’t. The most telling quote from the above snippet: “You know, I used to have to eat that crap – but now I’ve got money.” That’s Moss admitting that he has forgotten about his roots — he has sold out.
Like so many other NFL players, Moss’ story is one of rags-to-riches. Most of these guys never forget about the rags. Moss has. He barely knew his father, his mother worked long hours as a nurse’s aide. How would he feel if a patient spoke to his mother the way he spoke to those caterers?
Moss also has to stop and consider where he’d be had he not been unbelievably lucky in the world of genetics. How would he feel about the tongue-lashing he’d receive upon accidentally filling a Mercedes up with regular?