Moss tops NFL's biggest crybabies

BY Alex Marvez • November 3, 2010

Randy Moss isn’t a winner. He’s a whiner.

Since he’s no longer the NFL’s best wide receiver, I guess Moss figures he may as well be tops at something else. That’s trying to drag down everyone around him.

I’m surprised the giant Nordic ship outside Minnesota Vikings headquarters didn’t capsize during the short time Moss was with the team. Although Minnesota’s offense was better after his arrival, the overall gains were mitigated by the manner in which Moss conducted himself off the field.

Some examples:

        Ironically, similar grumbling about wanting a new contract and not feeling “appreciated” helped lead to Moss’ exit from the Patriots. Moss made those comments after New England’s season opener at Gillette Stadium — the same site of his most recent tirade knocking Childress’ play-calling and lamenting how much he missed the Patriots. Moss even said he “shed a tear” because of the standing ovation he received from Patriots fans while leaving the field.

        Fitting talk from a crybaby.

        Carping yourself off two teams in half a season is as rare a gift as being able to draw constant double-coverage. Say what you will about the ample talent that Moss has, or the Vikings and their disastrous handling of this situation. It doesn’t eradicate the fact Moss is a miserable malcontent. The moaning everywhere he goes — not to mention his “I play when I want to play” effort — has forever tainted Moss’ legacy.

        Good luck to the Titans, who claimed this cancer off waivers Wednesday. They’ll need it — as well as earplugs for when Moss inevitably sounds off again.

        Moss isn’t the only one in the NFL whose kvetching has drawn headlines this season. In honor of my FOXSports.com cohort Adam Schein, let me introduce the rest of what I call my Whine Nine:

        2. Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison

        I assume Harrison is unconcerned about the NFL’s efforts to prevent head trauma because there isn’t much between his own ears.

        Harrison’s threat to retire after being fined $75,000 for a brutal helmet-leading hit on Cleveland wide receiver Mohammad Massaquoi was laughable. So was Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s subsequent decision to excuse Harrison from team headquarters for a day to “cool off.”

        The fact Tomlin was worried that a 32-year-old man couldn’t control his emotions sufficiently to practice or handle potential ribbing from teammates speaks volumes. Don’t be surprised if Harrison spouts off again, should he get fined for another illegal headshot delivered last Sunday night against New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.

        3. Houston linebacker Brian Cushing

        Some performance-enhancing drugs build muscle. In Cushing’s case, I think they’ve made his nose grow.

        Suspended for the season’s first four games, Cushing continues to assert that his failed PED test was the result of an “overtrained athlete syndrome” that causes elevated testosterone levels. Personally, I think the only thing overtrained is Cushing’s imagination. He would be best served refusing further comment on the subject, rather than continuing to make excuses that few besides Texans owner Bob McNair believe are valid.

        If he can perform at the same high level that helped him win 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, Cushing’s claims will carry much more validity with those willing to accept the possibility he didn’t cheat. Otherwise, Cushing will join David Boston and Shawne Merriman as players whose stars faded after they failed steroid tests.

        4. New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs

        A frustrated Jacobs threw his helmet into the stands in Week 2 at Indianapolis when an attempt to hit the Giants’ bench misfired. It must have been karma, because his numerous complaints about being usurped as a starter by Ahmad Bradshaw also are off the mark.

        I admire Jacobs’ competiveness, but he is failing to see the big picture. Because of his size, the 6-foot-4, 264-pound Jacobs is best suited as a complementary rusher. He always was, even though Giants coach Tom Coughlin made Jacobs his starter in 2008 and 2009. Being used in smaller doses should prolong Jacobs’ career, improve his effectiveness and curtail the injuries he has suffered the past few seasons.

        It’s also not as if Jacobs needs the snaps to prove worthy of a big-money contract. Jacobs has collected $13 million since signing a four-year, $25 million extension in the 2009 offseason. He should be thrilled he is playing on a winning team and being paid $3.65 million this season while not having to take as much of a beating. That means another big payday could be in the offing elsewhere, should the Giants decide not to pay his $4.65 million salary in 2011.

        5. Cincinnati wide receiver Terrell Owens

        Unlike last season, Owens (45 catches, 629 yards, 5 touchdowns) actually could let his play do the talking. Instead, Owens has teamed with teammate and fellow narcissist Chad Ochocinco for “The T.Ocho Show” on Versus.

        Owens, whose me-first history scared off every other team from signing him, now gets paid to spew his views. Owens recently played the race card when bemoaning the fact “Caucasian” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn’t receive as harsh an NFL suspension as Michael Vick for off-field conduct violations. The comments might have generated more news if anyone cared. Ratings-wise, “The T.Ocho Show” is bombing even worse than the Bengals (2-5).

        6. Baltimore wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh

        Playing in Ochocinco’s shadow for eight seasons kept the rest of the NFL from knowing Houshmandzadeh’s selfish nature.

        Houshmandzadeh was such a headache in Seattle that he was released just one year into a five-year, $40 million contract. Houshmandzadeh pulled the same act earlier this season after signing with Baltimore when complaining about his lack of receptions and role in the offense.

        Houshmandzadeh later apologized and hasn’t kvetched since. That’s a wise move. At this point in his career, the 33-year-old should be more concerned with team goals and doing something that Ochocinco has never done: win a playoff game.

        7. Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre

        We get it, Brett. You’re playing through pain. It’s valiant. But there’s no reason to embellish your injuries.

        Favre claimed after Sunday’s loss to New England that he played with a “broken foot.” Umm, no. Favre has two stress fractures in his left ankle that are equivalent to a sprain. Yet another reason that even Favre’s own agent has called him a “drama queen.”

        8. (tie) San Diego wide receiver Vincent Jackson/New England guard Logan Mankins

        Agents for both of the final veterans to sign their restricted free-agent tenders griped about the way their clients were treated.

        The claims have some validity. Jackson and Mankins are Pro Bowl talents who have outplayed their rookie contracts. But the holdouts only cost the duo substantial cash and tarnished their reputations as team players, while giving others the chance to prove themselves as capable replacements.

        With the Patriots (6-1) sporting the NFL’s best record, the previously unheralded Dan Connolly has played solidly in Mankins’ stead at left guard. And thanks to a collective effort, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is on pace to post an NFL-record 5,298 passing yards, even without a downfield threat like Jackson in the fold.

        The Patriots and Chargers lowered their one-year offers after Mankins and Jackson refused to sign by a mid-June NFL deadline. Jackson lost $2.7 million and Mankins $1.72 million. Way to prove a point, fellas.

        9. (tie): NFL commissioner Roger Goodell/NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith

        Enough rhetoric about the desire to reach a new labor agreement before the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in early March. It’s not like the deadline was a surprise. How about making and/or announcing some true signs of progress rather than taking swipes at the other side?

        Just remember: If there is a work stoppage, there will be enough whining from fans to make the other guys on this list seem selfless by comparison.



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