Remember playing football in the schoolyard? When the quarterback, or maybe even the team itself, just decided not to throw to one individual for the whole game. Maybe you were that player being ignored, or maybe you’re the one who acted petty, vindictive and childish. But the NFL is too professional for such acts, right?
When the New England Patriots dismantled their division rival Dolphins in Miami 41-14 Monday night, they consciously ignored Moss. With this tacit act, Bill Belichick made it publicly known that Randy Moss had worn out his welcome in Foxboro.
While the timing of his trade to the Minnesota Vikings, and the deal itself seem senseless from New England’s standpoint- take the time to look at it with more detail, from the organizational point of view- it makes perfect sense.
For a Vikings fan rebuttal to this essay go here.
By Paul M. Banks
First off, let’s discuss “The Patriot Way.”
Yes, it’s kind of like “The Butler Way” or “The Oriole Way,” we have a lot “ways” in sports. And though a lot of these sports business mission statements sound like meaningless cliched corporatespeak a good chunk of the time, the ideas are consistent and concrete regarding a few company best practices.
Most of the “ways” stress team over individual, interchangeable parts and pieces instead of permanent cornerstones. The Patriot Way takes this idea a step further, because players are explicitly expected to often take a pay cut in order to join the team. And it’s a welcome tradeoff giving many players their best chance at winning a title with the “team of the 2000s.”
And the Pats also have no problem sticking the controversial franchise tag on their highly paid, extremely sought after players. This often leads to bitterness and caustic situations of separation.
Remember Deion Branch in 2006? The most overrated sappy U2 song of all time, “With or without you. I can’t live. with or without you,” sums it up nicely.
Now if you watch the comedic music video below, BradyFan83’s classic “Randy (an apology)” you’ll hear the lyric “you can be a whiny tool who acts the fool, but that’s ok with me…you’re pretty good when you tryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Please try for me, oh Randy.”
Well that takes the words right out of my mouth when describing 1.) his questionable personal character that often lands him in trouble. 2.) his on-again, off-again work ethic. God forbid I’d ever give Darrelle Revis credit on anything, but you can understand why he called Moss a slouch.
Yes, the video above was produced during Moss’ Super Bowl year when he broke the NFL record for single season TD receptions, and was intended as an apology for what BF83 produced about Moss during his lost years in Oakland.
Moss reportedly through a fit at halftime Monday night, and he also opened his mouth after week one about grievances with the Patriots organization. Given that Bill Belichick views the idea of leaking anything remotely relevant or interesting as akin to a terminal illness; you know Moss’ talking with the media did not sit well.
Basically, when Moss is properly motivated he’s as good as the game has ever seen. But when he’s acting like a moody b****, he’s not only wasted space, he’s a Milton Bradley level detriment. So when Moss started re-living his Oakland days, the Pats dealt him, and added by subtraction, and I’m actually SHOCKED the Patriots and Moss actually lived in harmony for three years prior to this.
He wanted a long-term contract, the Pats didn’t want to extend one. Both sides knew what they were getting into before signing the original deal. Moss is rather moody and egocentric, and the Pats organization has a fear of commitment to their player and often treats them like commodities. There’s a reason so many star players leave New England, and leave acrimoniously.
Action is character. Past is prologue.
And they dealt Moss for draft picks, stockpiling for next April. Have you ever followed a New England Patriots draft? That’s what they do.
So again, at first glance this deal made no sense on paper. But look at it again with a magnifying glass, and prior knowledge of recent organization history, and it all makes perfect sense.
Paul M. Banks is President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
He also does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank