Another side of Randy Moss

Last week, we teamed with theScore’s creative geniuses to produce an infograph to sum up Randy Moss’ career, on and off the field. Here’s another look:

A commenter chipped in with a pair of stories that could have been added to the right side of the illustration. Both showed Moss giving back to the community by way of charity and philanthropy.

But you rarely read about that side of Moss.

And then, in today’s Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King wrote about how Moss returned to Boston recently to pay his condolences to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who lost his wife last month:

Still a tough time for owner Robert Kraft, mourning the death of his wife, Myra. But he got a boost when, sitting shiva several days after her death (shiva is the Jewish mourning period when friends and family come to the home of the survivors and share fellowship), he looked up and who walks through the door? Randy Moss. He flew up from Florida for one reason: to tell the Patriots owner how highly he regarded Myra Kraft.

“Randy is a good friend of mine,” said Wilfork. “He called me and said, ‘Vince, I’m nervous about coming up. But I want to come. I shared a bond with her. I really want to be there.’ Guys who don’t know Randy, they’ll say he’s arrogant. But if he could have retired here, he would have. He came here for one reason and one reason only: He wanted to support the Kraft family.”

When Moss signed with the Patriots, Kraft brought him into his office and told him if he played for the Patriots, he’d always be in the Patriot family. So when he opened Moss’ sympathy card, he knew Moss remembered the family speech. Moss signed his sympathy card: “Randy Moss Kraft.”

This doesn’t immediately make Moss a great guy, but it puts the bad stories into better perspective. Our society is remarkably good at highlighting the bad and marginalizing the good. In our infograph, Moss’ accomplishments were all football-related, while his failures were behavior-related. We have this desire to place people and things into one of two categories: good, bad; black, white; right, wrong. But human beings are much more complicated than that.

There are many sides to Randy moss. And in addition to sometimes being a jackass and usually being a phenomenal football player, No. 84 is also a good guy once in a while. If we’re being fair while appraising his legacy, that too should be noted.