Full props to the New York Daily News for encouraging full disclosure of what Tony Dungy hinted at earlier —- that Randy Moss’ feigned mooning of Packer fans was hardly unprovoked and may well have been a response to racist taunts.
Conspicuously absent from the absurd hysteria surrounding Randy Moss’ pantomime moon job in Green Bay on Sunday is a story not accompanied by video. It is a story deserving of the label Joe Buck attached to the Vikings wideout’s tush antics: disgusting.
Ironically, this story was reported by Buck’s partner, Cris Collinsworth, Wednesday night on HBO’s “Inside the NFL.” As his colleagues – Bob Costas, Dan Marino and Cris Carter – discussed the Moss affair, Collinsworth shined a light on something more serious and despicable than Moss’ end zone “celebration.”
Collinsworth, who worked Sunday’s Vikings-Packers playoff game with Buck and Troy Aikman on Fox, said he was standing on the field before the game.
“Randy Moss (above) comes out (on the field) and his hair – they (some Vikings players) blew out their Afros – and there were some racial comments (from fans directed at Moss) along the lines of ‘(Hey) Buckwheat’ and other things,” Collinsworth said. “It was pretty crude going both ways.
Those running the National Football League tacitly condone this abhorrent behavior. They encourage – and many of their sponsors glorify – “tailgating.” This is when fans sit in the parking lot of a stadium and get so twisted on booze they become emboldened to say whatever comes to what’s left of their minds.
The combination of liquor consumption, the violent ambiance of an NFL arena, and, sometimes, their own prejudices produces a cauldron of sleaze – the kind of stuff the NFL uses its United Way commercials to hide behind.
“Classless, ignorant and embarrassing,” is how Fox’s James Brown characterized Moss “celebration” in Green Bay. Wonder how Brown, who earlier that day said he didn’t “get upset at Randy Moss anymore,” would characterize the racist bile Packer fans hurled in Moss’ direction?
Perhaps Fox honchos, and their NFL studio cast, can show legitimate, righteous integrity this weekend by revisiting this Moss episode and reporting on the Green Bay fans’ racist taunts. This, of course, would not please their TV partners at league headquarters. Obviously, fans calling Moss “Buckwheat” or using the N-word does not concern or bother Paul Tagliabue and his lackeys.
Why else would Moss be fined $10,000 for daring to taunt the pigs who started things in the first place? Maybe Bradshaw, Brown or Long can explain why Moss gets fined $10,000 and Jets linebacker Eric Barton gets a slap-on-the-wrist $7,500 fine for trying to take Drew Brees’ head off Saturday night.
This is justice?
So, don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to touch this story or offer some balance by reporting what Collinsworth revealed on the HBO show.
The Fox voices, and the suits at Fox Sports – like their TV partners at the NFL – want this story to go away. Not only will it get in the way of their precious playoffs, they all know Randy Moss is perceived as Public Enemy No.1 in the league. They know no one cares whether he gets fair treatment.
Moss provides the NFL with a convenient scapegoat. Especially for fans with a racist agendas.
Agendas that can be described the same way Brown described Moss.
Classless. Ignorant. Embarrassing.
Conversely, the New York Post’s Mushnick manages to accomplish that rarity of Phil Pheats ; echoing CSTB’s sentiments about Michael Irvin calling the kettle black, and also taking a gratuitious swipe at the manufacturers of video games in the same story. Newsflash to the Mushy-mind : for better or worse, videogames are purchased and played by otherwise normal adults in great numbers, hence their being advertised on programs with few pre-pubescent viewers such as “Sportscenter”.