I'm a Loner, Dottie. A Rebel

It hasn't been very often that Randy Moss has speaks to the media. When he does, it's news. So, this week's Sports Illustrated story about Moss and his relationship with the Vikings players and fans is bound to turn heads.

Covering Randy Moss for the media has been just about as difficult as being a cornerback. Moss was fickle and would often simply refuse to answer questions, despite being the most sought-after quote in the Vikings locker room.

Regardless of what some 90-year-old scribes say, if Moss had a great working relationship with any local writer, it was a mystery writer -- because it was a mystery to everyone else when those touching poignant moments took place. Perhaps what most thought of an insult -- calling Methuselah "Big Nose" -- was, in reality, a code word for a touching, respect-filled conversation to follow later in the players parking lot.

Unfortunately, the reality is that Moss was a product of a system that not only allowed him to be held to a different standard than other players, but condoned it. Denny Green, who has always been adversarial to the media, was the first component in building the animosity Moss had toward the media. Add that to the always-salty Cris Carter, who would give interviews one day and snap at the same writer the next without reason or provocation, and it was a cocktail for disaster.

Even when the team hired Mike Tice as the new head coach, it was primarily because the higher-ups with the team felt Tice could "control" Moss. You can be the judge as to the level of success he had in that regard.

But, the SI article does portray Moss in a light we have seen him in for years -- as a loner who is wary of everyone and marches to his own tune, whether anyone else likes it or not. When he says "I don't have any friends with the Vikings," he's wrong, but he has justification for making the comment. One need look no further than one statement -- Daunte Culpepper was viewed by Moss as his best friend on the team, but since the trade, neither has spoken. Granted, a phone works two ways, but it wasn't Daunte who had the rug pulled out from under him.

Is Moss bitter? Yes. He's feeling betrayed and well he might. It's rare when the most dominant player in the game is traded at the height of his career. But, that's what the Vikings did. If you read the story, take into account that Moss has always had problems with authority and likely always will. While many of us at VU don't share the team party line that trading Moss was the best solution to any problems the team had, we have to respect the fact that when they weighed the options, they felt moving him was in the best interest of the 53 guys in the locker room.

Only time is going to tell whether Moss will enjoy a rebirth in Oakland, but the simple truth is two-fold. The team felt he had to go and we won't see his like again -- both of which are unfortunate as far as most fans are concerned.

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