P.J.R.: Moss' new personae will get him in Canton much earlier
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Randy Moss eased his car into a traffic agent in downtown Minneapolis in September 2002. Before that, I had been on board with the theory that Moss was a reasonably bright fellow who chose to carry himself as the coolest punk in the NFL.
The Vikings forced Moss to apologize publicly after that incident. He rambled on for eight, nine minutes in the team's media room and when he was done, my reaction was: "This guy isn't all that bright.''
Moss remained a hero to Vikings fans, even when he walked off the field in Washington ... even when he put his rear end near the goal post in Lambeau Field and shook it like a dog with fleas and was justifiably called out by play-by-play announcer Joe Buck.
They even blamed coach Brad Childress for Moss' disruptive antics and unproductive second try with the Vikings in 2010. Childress cut him quick when he saw the lousy influence Moss was on Harvin (although it turned out not be quick enough).
That was Chilly's last positive act as Vikings coach.
It was near the end of Moss' first run with the Vikings when the team was coming off the Winter Park practice fields after a closed park. The door was open to the converted racquetball court that served as the media workroom.
Moss was walking past, paused and shouted: "You know you're all a bunch of [non-heterosexuals], don't you?''
You got the word, right ... the one with an f and a couple of gs in it?
Sportswriters aren't easily insulted. As I recall, our reaction was, "And hello to you, too, Randy.''
It's kind of a hoot now to see Moss having surfaced as a commentator on Fox's new sports network. And he's on his way to proving my original theory was the more accurate:
He was a reasonably bright fellow choosing to carry himself as a punk.
There's an additional advantage to Moss being a TV regular and transforming his doesn't-give-a-damn image: It will hasten his entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The selection process for Canton is much more political than the vote that admits members to Cooperstown. Those football guys demand full appreciation for the honor before a player can pass muster.
And Moss is taking care of that unspoken requirement with his new public personae -- still super cool but not the punk.
--PATRICK JAMES REUSSE