Thursday, May 23, 2019
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Despite loss of Moss, life goes on for Vikes' fans
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The Vikings may have been motivated to trade Moss because of health problems. He missed several games with a pulled hamstring, and has been hobbled by a chronically sore ankle and back. (Getty Images)
The impending trade of Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders is causing a buzz with Vikings fans and, no doubt, with football fans around the country. Some are shocked that the Vikings would trade a player who, statistically, is one of the best wide receivers to ever play the game. Others are not surprised. They say Moss' controversial behavior was a drain on the team and they welcome the trade.

St. Paul, Minn. — In his first seven seasons in the NFL, Randy Moss gained over 9,000 receiving yards. That's more than any other NFL wide receiver has accumulated in the same span of time.

However, Moss has also gained notoriety for his temper and attitude. He has been fined more than $100,000 for behavior on and off the field. The latest was a $10,000 penalty for pretending to moon Green Bay Packer fans in a January playoff game. Moss has also been fined for squirting a referee with a water bottle and cursing out corporate sponsors who sat in his seat on the team bus.

"I can certainly have an opinion that Randy Moss is a punk and jerk. I think it's a fairly commonly-held opinion," said Jeff Dubay, a co-host on an area sportstalk show.

Moss trade talk was the main topic on the "PA and Dubay Show" on KFAN 1130 AM. Hosts Jeff Dubay and Paul Allen tell one caller that while they think the Vikings offense will miss Moss, they won't.

"Is Randy Moss' responsiblity as a football player to be Mr. Nice to you or anybody else? Or to win Super Bowls?" a caller asked.

"I'm more plugged into this thing than Jeffrey. I go on the road with the team. I see a lot of stuff with Randy Moss that is not shareable on the radio," Allen said.

Troy Powell, who owns a barbershop in South Minneapolis, doesn't like the trade. "Things Randy did really wasn't that big of a deal. People just blew it out of proportion here."

Powell says Randy Moss is too good of a player to let go, even though he's been a distraction to the team. Powell, who's an African American, says he thinks if Moss were white his attitude wouldn't attract such criticism.

"He didn't do anything that really hurt anybody. He walked off the field with 2 seconds left; ain't like they were going to win the game. He was upset. And I think it's good that you have somebody who gets upset about losing."

Regardless of race, football players who draw attention to themselves for their behavior can be a liability to their teammates. On several occasions during last season, Moss' teammates and coaches expressed fatigue over answering media questions about Moss.

"Disruptions are a headache. As an employer if you have a bad employee it screws things up," says Greg Goblisch, a Viking's fan and the owner of Goby's Bar and Grill. He says Moss is one of the best wide receivers in football. But Goblisch also says he can see a benefit to trading Moss away.

"If I had the greatest bartender in the world and he was bringing in tons of customers, but he was getting into fights with people or stealing or being a pain in the you know what. Yah, you got to cut the problem out. You might take a little hit, but you might not either."

The Vikings may also have been motivated to trade Moss because of health problems. He missed several games with a pulled hamstring, and has been hobbled by a chronically sore ankle and back.

Moss' agent, Dante DiTrapano, won't say why the Vikings agreed to trade Moss. But he doesn't think it was because of Moss' attitude.

"And I think that his attitude has been fine. Of course he gets frustrated when they lose but who doesn't? Randy's used to winning and they haven't won much up in Minnesota."

DiTrapano says Moss wants to play on a team that can win a Super Bowl. And he says the Oakland Raiders could be that team.

"They tend to throw the ball deep a lot and that's what he likes. and that's how you maximize his abilities so he's looking forward to that."

Apparently some Oakland Raider fans are looking forward to Moss' arrival as well. Ken Kawaichi, who lives in Oakland, says he's not so worried about Moss' attitude.

"As you know Oakland has a reputation for picking up people, putting them in the right place and they turn out pretty well. I'm hoping this is the case. You never can tell. One of the things to ask is, is the guy physically injured because he had kind of an off-year last year."

By league rules the Moss trade won't be official until the beginning of the NFL's fiscal year, which starts next week. Officials with the Minnesota Vikings say they won't comment on the trade. And representatives for prospective Vikings owner Reggie Fowler say he won't say anything about it until after the NFL completes its examination of his bid to buy the team.