Randy Moss was the most exciting New England Patriot ever. I know, I know that’s like saying “Avatar” did well at the box office. My Patriots never had a player you’d describe as “thrilling,” except for those two seasons when Mike Haynes returned punts (unless you count Irving Fryar’s knife-wielding wife). Seeing Moss in a Patriots uniform always felt like a special treat. We never had a guy like that before. We also knew it wouldn’t last.
It couldn’t last because Moss is a front-runner: someone who has little problem mailing in games or sabotaging situations if the team isn’t winning, if he doesn’t like his coach or quarterback, if his contract status hasn’t been resolved to his liking or, in some cases, all of the above. Boston fans found themselves battling Manny Ramirez flashbacks during our last few weeks with Moss, but the Freak is cagier than Ramirez ever was.
Manny disrupted things much like a little kid would. Manny won’t go to school today, he’s pretending he’s sick. That kind of crap. You could always see right through it. Moss was infinitely more dangerous. Cunning, even. He made a big deal about obeying the Patriots’ tradition, then spent the last two seasons subtly undermining it. Which is part of what made him so damned exciting. When the Patriots dumped Moss this week, I had multiple readers compare it to cutting ties with a crazy hot girl. Jason Whitlock went there as well in his FoxSports.com column:
- “Moss is the unstable, super-hot girl you never marry. You tell her what she needs to hear, you might even give her the code to your garage door but you never commit. You enjoy the ride while it lasts and you move on without any hard feelings.”
I want to take that analogy a step further, and only because I wrote this entire column before reading that Whitlock excerpt. Hate when that happens. In fact, I swear on Larry Bird’s life that I wrote the following paragraph about the Crazy Hot Chick before seeing Whitlock’s piece.
“You know it probably won’t last long. You know you can’t get attached. You know that it has to be condoms all the time, every time, no exceptions. You know you can’t let her move her stuff into your apartment, give her a key, get your e-mail password or find out where your checkbook is. Even when things are going perfectly — like a vacation in Mexico when you’re watching the sun setting on the beach, or a dance floor at a wedding when she’s the sexiest girl there and you’re the envy of your buddies — in the back of your mind, you’re constantly saying ‘Keep your guard up, keep your guard up, keep your guard up,’ because that’s how it has to be. And at the first hint of trouble, you bail. No hard feelings.”