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Vikes knew what they had in Moss

Billick discusses the chemistry in Minnesota.
Billick discusses the chemistry in Minnesota.
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Mark Kriegel

Mark Kriegel is the national columnist for FOXSports.com. He is the author of two New York Times best sellers, Namath: A Biography and Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich, which Sports Illustrated called "the best sports biography of the year."

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Can’t say I was shocked by the clips of Randy Moss interviewing himself after losing to the Patriots.

After all, I grew up in New York City in the halcyon years before Rudolph Giuliani disappeared the winos, the bums and the schizos. In other words, I’m used to people interviewing themselves.

They tend to be delusional, grandiose, pathologically self-involved, paranoid and absolutely impossible to please. Then there are those deep-seated feelings of persecution. But you learn to live with them. Besides, what do you expect? They’re crazy.

I’m not suggesting Randy Moss is crazy in the rubber room sense – although he does seem to have his moments. In fact, I’m not coming down on Randy Moss at all. He was just being Randy Moss. It’s almost like having an insanity defense.

The real crazies are the guys who are going to waive him.

What were the Vikings expecting? Wes Welker? Larry Fitzgerald?

Let the record reflect that Moss – football’s best pure deep threat since Don Maynard – lasted all of 27 days in his second stint as a Viking. Also be reminded that Minnesota gave New England a third-round pick for this privilege. Again, don’t be so surprised. This is the same team – or should I say, owner? – that gave Brett Favre an extra $3 million guaranteed just to show up late for training camp.

Actually, Favre is complicit in this fiasco, too. If he’d just been the quarterback he was a year ago, the Vikings would still be in the running for a Super Bowl, and Moss would be on best behavior, or at least, his version of it.

Now all this stuff you heard about him being a great teammate is well and good. But he’s not playing to make Percy Harvin a better receiver any more than he was playing for the greater glory of Wes Welker. Bottom line: With 13 receptions in four games, Moss feels uninvolved and unloved. Sound familiar?

It’s worth noting Moss’ fantastically entertaining self-interview contained wistful and obsequious references to his former coach, his former teammates, the wife of the Patriots owner, even his successor, Deion Branch, with whom he never played. But he made no mention of Favre, who just took 10 stitches trying to get the ball to him.

Favre, you may recall from Green Bay, was the quarterback who really and truly wanted to play with Moss, a talent whose deep-threat capabilities he thought he could fully exploit. The respect was supposedly mutual. Finally, last month, quarterback and receiver got the partner he had long wanted. For Moss, who spent seven years in Minnesota before joining the Patriots, this was a chance for a glorious homecoming. With Sidney Rice injured, he could play the sudden savior. But as his collaboration with Favre produced a single win, over the lowly Dallas Cowboys, it was quickly doomed.

What, you were you expecting, a tearful “that’s my quarterback” speech?

He’s Randy Moss.

After Sunday’s loss, interviewer Moss elicited an incredibly candid answer from the receiver Moss: “I miss those guys. I miss the team. It was hard for me to come here and play…Coach Belichick gave me an opportunity to be a part of something special …”

Of course, this is the same Bill Belichick who dumped his ass Oct. 6.

In fact, Belichick is the only guy who comes out looking great here. Somehow, he could deal with Randy Moss being Randy Moss for three-plus seasons. He got him for a fourth-rounder in 2007, traded him for a third-rounder in 2011 and received 3,904 yards and 50 touchdowns in between.

Now the Patriots are 6-1. The Vikings are 2-5, and Moss is criticizing Brad Childress’ game-plan. Wouldn’t you know it, the coaching staff didn’t listen to him? Like he’s Bill Walsh.

“It hurts as a player that you put a lot of hard work in all week and toward the end of the week, Sunday, when you get on the field, that is when they acknowledge the hard work you have put in all week,” Randy Moss told Randy Moss. “So that is a disappointment.”

This is the same Randy Moss who spoke of a similar disappointment way back on September 6.

“When you have done so much and put so much work in, it kind of feels like I am not wanted.”

Just another persecuted, misunderstood man in the third year of a $27 million contract.

Maybe Brad Childress should start interviewing himself.

Tagged: Vikings, Patriots, Brett Favre, Randy Moss, Wes Welker

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