Callum Borchers' Blog

Sociologically significant sports (and class assignments)

Moss coverage not as unfair as receiver predicted

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What Randy Moss said in his postgame press conference Sunday, after the Patriots opened the season with a 38-24 win over the Bengals, was wrong. Not what he said about his desire for a new contract before his current, three-year, $27 million deal expires at the end of the season; not what he said about feeling unappreciated by team ownership. I’m talking about his prediction that sports reporters would pillory him for his complaints.

Moss’ statements included generalizations like “anything that I may say will get blown out of proportion” and “anything that I say is going to get spun around.” The seven-time Pro Bowl receiver passed judgment on the coverage of his comments before the stories were written—before his comments were even completed, in fact.

Certainly, some media members fulfilled Moss’ prophecy. Those of us listening to the Pats’ postgame show on 98.5 The Sports Hub heard host Gary Tanguay characterize the presser as “idiotic” only moments after it ended.

But while preparing this post, which I planned as a counter-current defense of Moss, I discovered the current is, in fact, not flowing as strongly against the star as he forecast.

Ron Borges of The Boston Herald wrote Moss may be “the last honest man in pro football.” “Not many Americans like the truth anymore because it’s often inconvenient,” Borges added. “It’s not a cartoon or a simplistic homily. It’s not black or white. It’s complicated, nuanced, seldom what you think it is. That is especially true in pro sports, as Moss made clear.”

ESPN.com’s Jackie MacMullan penned a critical column, but managed to appreciate Moss’ candor, even as she objected to what she deemed poor timing and lack of tact.

“It’s called diplomacy, and it must have been a course that Moss skipped during his lengthy NFL education,” she wrote. “Give the man points for being honest, but then subtract almost as many for making it all about No. 81 on a day when [Wes] Welker completed an unfathomable comeback from a career-threatening knee injury to catch two touchdown passes.”

And Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe, though he dedicated much of today’s column to the inconsistencies between Moss’ personal and professional rhetoric, opened the piece by writing, “Randy Moss will forever be inscrutable. I don’t have a problem with that. Do you?”

No, I don’t. And, it turns out, neither do many reporters. So my biggest beef with Moss is that he condemned sportscasters and writers for the universal spinning and blowing-out-of-proportion he was certain would follow when, in truth, their analysis has been quite thoughtful and fair.

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Written by callumborchers

September 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm

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