Randy Moss ‘Moons’ Green Bay Crowd
Randy Moss didn’t leave Lambeau Field before the Vikings’ playoff game was over Sunday. He still was in the middle of controversy, however. Moss — whose reputation is still smarting for skulking off the field with 2 seconds left in a loss in Washington last week — pretended to pull down his pants and moon the crowd after scoring on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Daunte Culpepper in the fourth quarter. “Just having a little fun with the boys a little bit,” he told Fox after the Vikings’ 31-17 wild-card victory over the Packers. “I hope I don’t get in trouble by it, but if I do I’ll take the heat.”
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Moss can expect some “heat” from the NFL. When asked for a reaction to the touchdown celebration, an NFL spokesman told Mortensen: “Randy Moss can expect to be hearing from us.” Also Sunday, an ESPN interview with Moss did little to discount criticisms of his selfishness. Earlier, Moss said — in a roundabout way — he was sorry about the negative reaction caused by his early departure from the field at Washington in the regular-season finale. This time, though, none of his comments could be characterized as apologetic. “Defenses don’t frustrate me,” Moss said. “My team is what frustrates me. A defense can’t frustrate me. What frustrated me is seeing us not doing what we’re supposed to do.” Moss clarified that quote by claiming he was concerned solely about the Vikings’ offensive success, as opposed to catching a certain amount of balls. But in brushing off a question about center Matt Birk’s confrontation with him in the locker room following the loss to the Redskins, Moss said he wasn’t listening to Birk’s rebuke and that he really didn’t care what his teammate said.
He also gave a rather ambiguous answer when asked if he thought Minnesota was the right place for him. “Do I want to be traded? No. I have my times when I think I want to,” Moss said. “It all has to do with the frustrating part. … There’s something that’s unfinished here in Minnesota that started since my rookie year.”
Moss, with his hair poofed out in a giant Afro, had four receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Moss wasn’t the only Viking to go the huge hair route. Running back Larry Ned, left tackle Bryant McKinnie and defensive lineman Darrion Scott joined him in a movement that Moss led last season for a home game against Kansas City. Afros, by the way, stands for America’s Finest Receivers on Sunday. At least to the Vikings, it does. “It seems to be working, so we might keep it,” McKinnie said.
Lambeau ambush: Vikes, Moss stun Packers (Larry Weisman, USA Today)
Moss’ antics only added to the weirdness of this win. A week ago, when he walked off the field before the end of yet another loss, even teammates expressed anger and concern about his attitude. Sunday, after catching a 34-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter that stretched the lead back to 14 points, Moss aimed his backside at the crowd and began a celebration that Fox announcer Joe Buck said was “disgusting.” He and Moss don’t agree on this. “Just having fun, that’s all,” Moss said. “Basically, what I was doing was pretending to moon the crowd and then bump the goalpost with my butt.”
Some teams would think of this stuff as a distraction. Moss said it helps. No one, he said, talked about this playoff game last week. Instead they focused on him. “All you heard was Moss. That was a good thing. I felt very comfortable about being able to take the heat.”
The NFL pretends to be outraged by stunts like the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction at last year’s Super Bowl but lets players like Moss get away with this sort of misconduct with mere slaps on the wrist. If the League is serious about policing misconduct, they would have ejected Moss from the game after the incident and suspend him for next week’s game. Fines are virtually meaningless to multi-millionaires. Keeping them out of games, though, would send a much stronger message.
Moss turns heads with TD celebration (Canadian Press)
Randy Moss has done it again. The flamboyant Minnesota Vikings receiver bought himself another week of scrutiny by pretending to pull down his pants and moon the crowd following a touchdown reception in Sunday’s 31-17 win over the Green Bay Packers. “Just having a little fun with the boys,” Moss said after the game. “I hope I don’t get in trouble by it, but if I do I’ll take the heat.”
“I didn’t see it,” said Minnesota coach Mike Tice, when asked about Moss’ second TD celebration. “I didn’t see it,” echoed quarterback Daunte Culpepper, the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported. “Maybe you all didn’t see it. We definitely didn’t practise that.”
Moss, Vikes get down and potty (Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times)
On a cold and fog-swept winter afternoon when Packers quarterback Brett Favre suddenly looked ready for the rocking chair, Vikings receiver Randy Moss looked ready for an X-rated funk-fest. Moss had it all in the Vikings’ 31-17 upset of the Pack. The style — four catches for a team-high 70 yards and two touchdowns. The clothes — a black, fringed Superman vest under his shoulder pads. The hair — a massive George Clinton-esque hay bale of an Afro that seemed to have a life of its own once released from the confines of its helmet. And, of course, the attitude — after his fourth-quarter, dagger-to-the-throat 34-yard score, Moss made a pantomime of pulling his pants down and apparently defecating a football for the pleasure of the stunned Lambeau Field crowd.
Word was, the celebration was deemed too unsettling to replay on Fox, the network broadcasting the game. And this is a channel that finds Paris Hilton, bad plastic surgery, shootings and bodily functions of all kinds suitable for the living room.
Moss, when you think about it, is a perfect candidate for his own Fox reality show. Call it, “I Don’t Give a Damn What Anybody Thinks,” and envision the 6-4, 210-pound seventh-year man from Marshall going through a typical day being sullen, selfish, wildly talented, obnoxious and carefree. Just last week, in the Vikings’ 21-18 regular-season-ending loss to the Redskins, Moss left the field even as his teammates were lining up for the final play.
All week long the Minnesota media debated the worth of a superstar player who seems more immature and less team-oriented than a non-potty-trained 2-year-old. But the Vikings never could have won without Moss. Indeed, they had lost both their 2004 regular-season games against the Pack, by the same 34-31 score. And as a dome team, they are terrible in late-season outdoor games. Thus, the dilemma. “I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” frazzled Vikings coach Mike Tice answered when asked his opinion of Moss’ toilet behavior. (Oh, yes, Moss appeared to rub his backside on the goalpost after the initial pantomime.) “You think I have one eye on the tunnel and one eye on him?”
Moss taunts fans after TD by mooning ’em, sort of (Arizona Sentinal, AP)
Randy Moss may be hearing from the commissioner’s office. The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver pretended to moon the fans of the Green Bay Packers. After his first touchdown reception during Sunday’s game, Moss went through the motions of pulling down his pants and showing his backside to the stands. Moss says he was “just having a little fun with the boys.”
He tells Fox that he hopes he doesn’t get in trouble for the end-zone stunt. But if he does, Moss says he’ll take the heat. The Vikings stunned the Packers 31-17 in Green Bay.
Minnesota receiver Randy Moss caught two touchdown passes Sunday, but they weren’t the reason he was a subject of conversation after the Vikings’ 31-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers. It was his crude celebration that had people at Lambeau Field talking. After scoring on a 34-yard play in the fourth quarter, Moss walked over to the goalpost, bent over and pretended to pull down his pants and moon the crowd. TV cameras caught the moment but quickly switched to a shot of quarterback Daunte Culpepper raising his arms and teammates cheering on the sideline. Fox announcer Joe Buck referred to Moss’ antics as a “disgusting” display.
The celebration probably will draw a fine from the NFL. Denver quarterback Jake Plummer was fined $5,000 last month for making an obscene gesture to the Bronco crowd.
Viking Coach Mike Tice said he didn’t see Moss’ gesture and he wasn’t told about it. “I don’t even know what gesture you’re talking about,” Tice said. “The league will deal with that. That’s not up to me. The league will take care of that just like they took care of the quarterback from Denver a few weeks ago. We don’t walk around whispering what each other does at every moment.”
Moss has not spoken to print reporters since September. A reporter from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tried to engage him Sunday after the game. “If you’re from Green Bay,” Moss snapped, “to hell with you.” “How about Milwaukee?” the reporter asked. “No,” he said, walking away, “you’re part of Wisconsin, homey.”
Moss gathers more flak – Controversial Viking taunts fans at Lambeau with vulgar celebration after second TD catch clinches upset of Pack (Neil Best, NY Newsday)
This time Randy Moss stayed until the end of the game. And before leaving, he contributed two of the biggest plays in the Vikings’ biggest victory in years. True to form, though, the gifted but goofy receiver produced another controversy yesterday, one sure to further stain his image. It also overshadowed a brilliant effort by his quarterback and a surprisingly effective one by his defense. Daunte Culpepper badly outplayed the Packers’ Brett Favre to lead the Vikings to a 31-17 victory in an NFC wild-card playoff game and earn a divisional-round visit to Philadelphia.
That was impressive, but the enduring memory will be that of Moss celebrating the clinching touchdown by running behind the end zone, turning his back to the crowd and pretending to pull down his uniform pants and show fans his rear end.
Moss twice refused to discuss the matter, using an expletive both times. Eventually, he spoke to a small group of reporters, taking a brief break to curse out a Minnesota columnist whose recent work displeased him. “The celebration was more of a fun thing and not more of a hatred thing,” Moss said. “I was just trying to enjoy myself.” Moss said he usually doesn’t like celebrations aimed at opponents or their fans, but that did not stop him this time. Was he worried about what fans would say about his stunt? “I don’t give a damn what they talk about; they better talk about this ‘W’ we put on Lambeau Field,” he said. “Whatever they talk about, we’re moving on to Philly. We beat their — right here at home.”
Moss’ antics were the culmination of a week in which he was severely criticized for leaving the field with two seconds left in a loss to the Redskins. Teammates and coach Mike Tice confronted him about the incident. In retrospect, though, Moss said it helped that the attention on him took it off a team that had backed into the playoffs at 8-8. “The only thing they talked about was me – Moss this, Moss that, Moss this, Moss that,” he said. “So in all honesty, I’m glad the pressure and talk was about me, because I can take the negative criticism … I’m not saying it didn’t hurt or I wasn’t bothered by it, but I shook it off and came out here to play ball.”
The Packers, who beat the Vikings twice in the regular season, were back in the game at 24-17 early in the final quarter after trailing 17-0 nine minutes into the game. But Minnesota drove for a 34-yard TD pass from Culpepper to Moss with 10:18 left, sparking Moss’ mock moon.