Randy Moss, as you probably know, is currently on a nine-month tryout with the San Francisco 49ers. For some teams, Moss in nine-month doses is magnificent. He proves to be everything he was billed to be: a spectacular athlete, a consummate teammate, and a generally affable character. But for most, those nine months are wretched. Sure, the initial cuteness of Moss is great. But, then Moss starts vomiting on the locker room, and people start asking questions. Then, all of a sudden, Moss is no longer a member of the team; he is the team itself.
Though generalizing has been inconsequential since the beginning of man, it is safe to say that the gestational period for Moss typically proceeds as follows:
The First Trimester
In the off-season, Moss stays relatively quiet. Sure, he might buy the occasional Craftsman Truck Series team, or smoke the occasional blunt, but this is to be expected. In rare cases, Moss can be exhorted for money following domestic altercations. But such cases typically clear up in a matter of weeks.
In general, the biggest change brought with Moss is the offseason regimen. What has been coined the “Moss Method” consists of jumping into garbage cans with one leg, pulling heavy chains, and battling for tennis balls while attached to a stretchy band. Sound rough? Well, it is worth it.
Trainer Tim Martin equates the Moss Method to illegally modifying automobiles. “It’s kind of like a car,” Moss states. “Some cars have a governor on it. You may get up to 110 mph and it just shuts off. Some athletes like to put governors on themselves at like 80%, but I like to try and break the governor.”
Such a regime is not all together different from that of Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, and Larry Fitzgerald. Moss’s work ethic off-the-field has never been questioned, but it has never needed to be. He prepares as one of the greatest receivers. He’ll occasionally practice like one too, but not before a quick trip to SeaWorld.
The Second Trimester
Welcome to Training Camp. For all intents and purposes, Training Camp will be the best part of the experience. Most find Moss to not only be extraordinary, but to also be downright fun. Signing $100 bills, befriending 7-year-old girls from South Dakota, driving purple SUVs, and playing a game of catch with the airmen of Travis Air Force Base are all part of the experience.
The best part of Moss in the second trimester is seeing him in his natural state: lined up at split end. Moss will shine because he’ll be committed to the team, happier than he’s ever been, and not to mention motivated. The cumulative effect will be obvious. Not only will Moss display his abilities unencumbered (just ask Charles Woodson), but he will also make those around him better.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that this phase will pass. Expectations must be tempered as a result. A team who counts on the continuation of second trimester Moss into the third trimester is in for a rude awakening.
The Third Trimester
The third trimester usually occurs with the commencement of the regular season or when Moss “vomits” on the locker room. The vomiting typically arises after Moss consumes meat that is so low-grade he would not feed it to his dog. The bigger issue, however, is not the vomiting, but the lethargy. Should “personality differences” rear their ugly head, Moss will become so pedestrian that many will assume Moss’s skills have atrophied. Others will be slightly more blunt and accuse Moss of “shutting it down.”
Moss will typically accompany his quiet play with an equally quiet media blitz. In fact, it is not unusual for Moss to usurp the media’s role and interview himself, as he famously did with Vikings in 2010. Unfortunately, there is no remedy for such silent treatments. To fine Moss is just to further incite him. Whether the fine is $10,000 or $25,000, it is all “straight cash” to Randy Moss.
Of course, as Moss once eloquently stated, “There’s no telling what you are going to see.”
I love what I do, (and) I love having fun,” Moss continued. “When it comes to big games, you never know what you’re going to see out of me. As long as we win, I’m just having fun. If the antics come, I’m here to apologize first before they happen.”
Apology accepted, Randy. Now go do what you do best: overshadow immense talent with your petulant behavior.