Randy Moss - Troubles On And Off The Field
Troubles On and Off the Field
There was much pre-season hype before the start of the 1999 Vikings year, with many predicting they could make it to the Super Bowl. Yet Moss's performance was spotty that year, and he paid a team fine for squirting an official with a water bottle. In 2000, the team finished 11-5, a small improvement over the past season. The onset of the 2001 football year began badly for Moss and the Vikings, when his teammate and friend Korey Stringer died of heat exhaustion after a pre-season practice. Moss stunned reporters when he wept openly about the loss. Then, a few weeks into the season, he was again fined for insulting the executives of some of the team's corporate sponsors over a seat on the bus. His most infamous moment of the 2001 season, however, came in November when he told Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Sid Hartman, "I play when I want to play." The remark was widely reported in the national media, but Hartman had written in the preceding paragraph that Moss's "veteran teammate, Cris Carter, will tell you there is not a player who goes 100 percent all of the time." As Moss reflected after his soon-to-be-infamous statement was made, "Do I play up to my top performance, my ability every time? Maybe not. I just keep doing what I do and that is playing football. When I make my mind up, I am going out there to tear some-body's head off," he told Hartman.
Moss's boast "made him the poster child last season for all that is wrong with professional sports," noted Sports Illustrated writer Michael Silver, and Vikings fans began to boo him on the field. The team finished the season with a dismal 5-11 record. The tension between Moss and Vikings coach Dennis Green was said to be the reason that Green did not finish out the 2001 season, and the team's offensive line coach, Mike Tice, advanced to the job. The Vikings failed to re-sign Carter for the 2002 season as well. Had Vikings owner Red McCombs been convinced by Tice that he could reign in Moss and make him the Michael Jordan of football, he was asked? "No," Moss told Silver in Sports Illustrated. "Mike Tice got the job because he and Randy Moss can get along. Nobody controls me but my mama and God."