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You Can NOT Be Serious

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Every time I think that I've read the dumbest sports article I'll ever read, someone like Jemele Hill from ESPN.com comes along with a nugget like this little beauty here.

Good lord, where to even begin. . .how's about the very first sentence:

Normally, I don't condone athletes giving up. But in Randy Moss' case, he was right to quit on the Oakland Raiders.

Oh, come the hell on, Ms. Hill.  It's OKAY for a professional athlete making millions of dollars a year to quit on his team?  Not as long as I'm buying tickets and merchandise, it isn't.  And I am.  So it's not.

Despite giving a lackluster effort for much of his two years in Oakland, the stars aligned to send Moss to the best franchise of the millennium, which has put him one victory away from unprecedented history.

"The stars aligned?"  Really?  Honestly?  If by "the stars aligned," you mean "Moss whined, cried, sulked, and pouted his way out of the Bay Area," then I suppose you might be right.  Otherwise, I don't think the stars aligning really had a whole lot to do with Moss' situation in Oakland.

When Moss fled to Oakland from Minnesota, there were high expectations, since the Raiders were only two seasons removed from playing in the Super Bowl and Moss was considered a great talent. But frustrating injuries limited Moss' effectiveness. And bad coaching, questionable play-calling, working alongside fellow malcontents such as Warren Sapp and Jerry Porter, and failures at quarterback -- all this amounted to a Molotov cocktail for Moss, which resulted in the perennial All-Pro becoming disinterested and loathed.

"Disinterested and loathed?"  For crying out loud, the guy made more money in two years in Oakland than I'm going to make in my entire life. . .and, at the risk of sounding arrogant, my job is a wee bit more important than his is.  If someone's paying you millions of dollars every year, I don't care how bad the situation around you is. . .the least you can do is ACT interested.  Randy Moss couldn't even pull that off.

Years ago, when Barry Sanders retired from the Detroit Lions via fax machine, a large number of Lions fans were angry at what they perceived to be a betrayal. Sanders never shorted his effort on the field, though he did pout at times. But he left the Lions soon after receiving an $11 million signing bonus and the biggest contract of his career. Many fans felt he should have stuck it out. But Sanders later admitted he retired as a healthy 30-year-old because he felt the Lions would never win. And to think, Sanders thought that way about the Lions before the Matt Millen era was in full swing.

Sanders knew he was too good to play for an organization that bad. He might have handled his situation more maturely than Moss, but ultimately they both realized their talent was far too great to be controlled by people who didn't know how to win.

Right now, if I'm Barry Sanders, I'm trying to get a hold of Jemele Hill to demand an apology.  Hell, she even says the key point there herself. . .Sanders never shorted his effort on the field.  Sure, Barry Sanders might have thought his situation in Detroit was hopeless, but you can bet YOUR ass that every time he set foot on that field, he was busting HIS ass.

Why?  Because that's what professionals do, that's why.  Sure, as Hill suggests, there are people out there that don't like their bosses.  Hell, I've had some commanders in my near decade in the Air Force that I haven't seen eye-to-eye with.  But does that give me the right to go into work and put out a half-assed effort?  It most certainly does not.  Like Moss, I have people in my chain of command and on my base that depend on me.  The difference between us is that I actually give a damn about those people around me, while Randy Moss is all about Randy Moss.  He always has been. . .yes, even when he was in Minnesota. . .and he always will be.

Don't get me wrong. . .I loved Randy Moss when he was in Minnesota, just like many of you out there.  I was pissed when he got traded to Oakland, and for as long as I watch this sport, I may never see another wide receiver as physically gifted as Randy Moss.

But applauding him for his behavior in Oakland is, to put it mildly, totally idiotic.  Of COURSE he's happier in New England than he was in Oakland.  Who wouldn't be?  In Moss' case, it's even more so because he is, quite frankly, the ultimate front-runner.  He was happy in Minnesota when the Vikings were winning, too.  However, far too often. . .when the going got tough, Randy Moss took a powder.

The media crapped on Randy Moss for the entirety of his seven-year career with the Vikings for bouts of exactly the same behavior that he showed for two years with Oakland.  Now that he's playing for the Patriots, it's okay that he acted that way, because. . .cue the sappy violin music. . .he just wanted to be happy.  Spare me.

It simply blows my mind that any semi-responsible member of the sports media would condone the kind of crap that Randy Moss pulled for two years while he was stealing money from the Raiders.  Then again, nothing from the Eastcoastbias Sports Programming Network should really surprise any of us any more.

Back to the draft positional analysis next time, folks.  Until then, have a good one!