The North Country- An inadvertent tweet, intended for a single set of eyes, was cast upon the sports scene late last evening and erupted into the story of the week as Randy Moss, upon whose shoulders the world may sit, is set to return to the land which spawned him.
Moss returns to Minnesota as what could be the final piece to a Superbowl puzzle that has eluded the proud, pig-tailed posse of sea-faring plunderers known far and wide as The Vikings for a generation and more.
The radio waves are electric with the news. "Good riddance!" say some while others lament the loss as a Titanic lapse in judgment and good sense. The purest of the optimists in the Foxboro Region have already made the leap to assume the trade can mean only one thing; New England will package the 3rd round pick with disgruntled hold-out, Logan Mankins in a blockbuster deal with San Diego for WR Vincent Jackson.
Ah yes, the Kool-Aid is best served in a tall glass 'round these parts.
The trade that will send The Prodigal Son back to his roots leaves an impact on the 3-1 Patriots but the fallout from this front page story will be felt in the Twin Cities as this premier talent joins a team with starlit dreams, a closing window of opportunity and a combination of talent that might, just might, bring salvation to a fan base that ranks among the most-loyal, most-frenzied and most-crazed in all of sports.
Is this the piece that completes the puzzle? Can Moss provide that elusive deep threat that Brett Favre needs? Does this tip the scales in the NFC North and load the weight in favor of Minnesota? On the surface the answers to these questions is a resounding 'yes' but peel the skin and what does it say?
The easy answer is Moss is trouble, he'll run his welcome out long before the final snap and the locker room? Well, as they say in Brooklyn, fuggetaboutit...
That's the easy answer and one best left to the other forums. Here we tend to dig it a little deeper and pry a little further. This deal makes sense. Makes sense to Moss who, despite his name of ill-repute, is a solid member of the locker room (always a good place to test and dismiss the rumor mill). No Patriot in three years has had a single negative thing to say about Moss behind the closed doors. Second, he's a very intelligent businessman who has not only used his paychecks wisely, he's allowed them to grow beyond their original worth. So the move could have more to do with Randy seeking to position himself in a financially stable position with an impending NFL lockout on the horizon than anything else.
Adding a Hall of Famer to a team that has eyes on the Big Prize with an aging, veteran quarterback at the helm is something one would have great difficulty arguing so for the Vikings this is obviously a wise move.
But the Patriots? This is where it gets murky. The reasons here are harder to find. The popular, morning after reaction is if Randy was on his way to shutting it down for the season then By God, get him out of town on the next Greyhound bus. I'm not sure that's the case though and I've yet to see evidence of his desire to do so. I don't think this is about poor attitude or locker room distraction. I think it's more about the business of the NFL, an opportunity to look to the future and perhaps, an acknowledgment that this season finds the 3-1 Patriots a year removed from where they need to be with a young defense, a sideline devoid of coordinators and a stockpile of appetizing draft picks which may work in Foxboro favor to re-tool, re-build and return to the lofty prominence this franchise has become used to.
But in the Chilly Cities the fever is peeking and a team which entered the season with one focus now has lasered that focus into a brilliance that may sustain it all the way to a February date in Dallas...
Time, as they say, will tell.
Thanks again for letting me drop by Viking fans, always interested to know how this looks from your side of the aisle but my attraction to the Purple Pride has now taken on a new shine and lent a tasty carrot to my recent induction to that vast armada that is Viking Nation...Vikings in the Superbowl? I started believing two weeks ago and my faith seems somehow stronger today...Hope the day finds you well.