In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like Randy Moss, who won the weekend by letting his teammates do the heavy lifting for him. Why should he put himself out?
The Patriots beat the woeful Panthers yesterday, yet most of post-game interviews with the defeated Carolina players seemed to focus on what Moss didn't do to help his team win. He had one catch, which he immediately fumbled over to the other team. His half-hearted route running contributed to Tom Brady's lone interception. And Carolina's secondary confessed that they didn't expend a lot of energy trying to keep Moss under wraps.
We knew he was going to shut it down," Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble told me after the game. "That's what we wanted to do him. That's what we did. ... He'd just give up a lot ... Slow down, he's not going deep, not trying to run a route. You can tell, his body language."
"You get physical with him, and I don't want to say he quits, but he kind of doesn't run the routes the way they're supposed to be run," safety Chris Harris told me. "If you get a jam on him, he'll just ease up."
So Moss' (apparently deserved) reputation continues to follow him. Of course, that doesn't explain how the Panthers played the whole game on a power play and still managed to lose by 10 points. Despite this "disaster" of a year, the Patriots are still securely in first place and the playoffs are a whole new season. So why should Moss break his back on things like run blocking, holding on to the ball or running in a straight line, when it won't change the fact that he'll be playing in Indianapolis' cozy dome (or better yet, San Diego) this January.
He's supposed to bust his ass so he can spend a winter in Foxborough? No thanks.
Panthers say Moss 'shut it down' [Boston Globe]
Randy Moss chided for dogging it after subpar performance [Boston Herald]
Did Moss 'shut it down'? Panthers say he did [Shutdown Corner]
Panthers say Randy Moss gave up on Patriots; is it true? [USA Today]
The Rap on Randy Moss [NY Times]
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Here are some other big winners, who did not win quite as big....
Brandon Marshall: See? 21 catches and his team still lost. Hey Brandon, Randy's on line one. [Denver Post]
Mark Ingram: No, it doesn't bother this Michigan State fan at all that the Heisman Trophy winner is from Flint, Michigan, and was recruited by Bobby "How Does This Guy Have A Job?" Williams. These are tears of joy for the young man! [Flint Journal]
Accenture: In its own way, dumping Tiger Woods was the best advertising campaign this company has ever launched. Now if we could just figure out what the hell they do. [LA Times]
DeSean Jackson: Last night's completely defense-free game had Jackson flying pretty high. Luckily, he has Andy Reid's girth to break his fall. [700 Level]
And the Weekend Loser? This guy. Look, everybody loves "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," but wearing this costume to a sporting event is no longer clever.
At this point, you're basically the guy who dresses as Austin Powers for Halloween. In 2003. Give it a rest, people.