It hasn't been unusual for players to snub the media when they didn't feel like talking. Moss did it often and at whim. It was hoped that when he came back after years in Oakland and New England that had changed. If anything, it has gotten worse.
Moss has routinely not commented for the media following games. He didn't want to after the Jets. He didn't against the Dallas Cowboys. He didn't against Green Bay. Complicating matters is that, for the last couple of weeks, he hasn't even spoken while in the locker room during the open media session.
Even more frustrating was that reporters (and, by extension, fans who read what the reporters write) were hoping to get storylines involving Moss' return to New England. He was saying nothing. Unlike other high-profile players who have been impossible to get quotes from on Wednesday and Thursday of prep week – Jared Allen, for example, hasn't been in the locker room during open media time since Week 2 – Moss has sat at his locker the entire time only to deny repeated requests from local TV and print media for interviews. The standard question has been to ask if he has a couple of minutes to spare to speak. The standard response has been "I ain't talkin'."
It's little wonder that the media perception toward Moss has always been so decidedly negative. It's impossible to deny his on-field prowess. It just as impossible to deny that, when dealing media, Moss remains the same surly person he was back when he was being coddled by Dennis Green along with Cris Carter and Daunte Culpepper. There was a feeling back then that there was a set of rules for those three and a set of rules for the other 50 players on the roster. Since those days, there have been many changes in the Vikings locker room, but seemingly no change in Moss' behavior.
His boorish behavior finally came to a head to this week. When approached on Wednesday to speak, Moss again said "no" to the request, prompting one reporter to ask why the other 52 players in the locker room all speak to media and Moss won't? He didn't take well to it, saying, "I'm done man. Y'all get up out of here" before a public relations representative shooed away the assembled media members.
A complaint filed was filed by the media with the league, claiming that Moss has repeatedly refused to cooperate with the news media, which is a violation of league policy, his contract and the league's collective bargaining agreement. On Friday, Moss was hit with a $25,000 fine.
Will that be enough to get him talking? Knowing Moss' history of defiance, even when going with the flow would make his life much easier, don't bet on anything to change. It's just Randy being Randy. He claims to love Minnesota and feels like he's home, but, until he starts letting fans get a little insight into what is going through his mind, he will maintain the same media interpretation – that he is locker room cancer that will negatively affect young players.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.