It's a good thing that Vanderbilt University has a world-class medical school and good radiological facilities, because there's a new cancer in Nashville.
Symptoms of this cancer include loss of motivation, lack of effort, and paying with "straight cash, homie". The carrier of this cancer is Randy Moss, the man whose arrival means that Chris Johnson is no longer the most obnoxious or most talented player on the team. This cancer will rip through the locker room, leaving no teammate, staff member, or local restaurant owner unharmed.
Moss was incredibly fun to watch with the New England Patriots, but now that his act is coming to Tennessee, where I lived for nine years and still have family, I'm about to see this disaster up close, and it won't be pretty. For years Titans fans have wanted Jeff Fisher to pick up a big-name receiver. Now they're about to learn the meaning of the axiom "be careful what you wish for". The Titans have seen first hand what a headache Moss is. Guess the answer to this question from Garret L. Kolb's Spoiled Sports, a book of trivia questions about players who act selfishly:
In a 2003 game against the Tennessee Titans, what wide receiver proved that he plays when he wants to play, by walking or jogging off the line of scrimmage twenty-one times, or for 39 percent of the plays when he was in the huddle?
A. Terrell Owens
B. Chad Johnson
C. Randy Moss
D. Sam Horn
Of course the answer was C. Option D was actually a baseball player, while options A and B actually play hard and care about winning. That's what makes Moss worse than the T. Ocho show in Cincinnati: Owens and Ochocinco care about winning. In fact, almost all of their complaints have come as a direct result of their teams performing poorly. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco are just annoying at times; Moss is guilty of a worse sports sin: not being a team player. It's been clearly established that Moss just isn't happy unless he's running a go route. Despite this knowledge, a team known for running the ball just as much as anyone in the league decided to sign him. It makes no sense.
Randy Moss is like Hugo Chavez or Kim Jung Il: their bizarre nature makes them entertaining from afar, but you don't want Randy Moss on your team any more than you want Hugo Chavez or Kim Jung Il running your country. Moss is a distraction and a headache wherever he goes, and his absolute bizarreness makes him a lot more fun to watch playing for somebody else's team. Titans tight end Bo Scaife told Pat Kirwan abd Jason Horowitz on Sirius NFL's Movin' the Chains that when he found out about Moss coming to the Titans, his reaction was to say "Thank Jesus!". Even if Jesus were a Titans fan, the more appropriate reaction would still be "What did I do wrong, Jesus?!"
The Moss-Titans marriage sounds enticing on paper. Vince Young struggles moving the chains with short passes, but he throws a very nice deep ball. With Kenny Britt out for four to six weeks with a hamstring injury, it seems like a good addition. But again, that's only on paper. Moss is the first person you want to add when you're building a franchise in Madden, but the last person you want to add when you're building a franchise in real life. In Jerry Rice's autobiography, Rice says that Randy Moss could have become the best receiver to ever play the game if he had actually applied himself. It's true. Even at the age of 34, Moss can still burn any cornerback in the league when he actually decides to run hard, and his hands are some of the best in the league. Because of his abilities, his selective effort is even more infuriating, because he will truly put in zero effort when he's not in the mood to work.
What's going to be the explanation for when Chris Johnson is running to the outside and gets blown up behind the line of scrimmage by an unblocked cornerback? "I play when I wanna play." When Vince Young gets picked off because he was throwing to Moss on a route that Moss didn't finish? "I play when I wanna play." When a lob to the endzone falls incomplete because Moss didn't feel like executing the "jump" part of a jump ball? "I play when I wanna play." And if Moss decides that offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger isn't sending enough passes his way? "I know how hard these guys work in New England and the only thing that I really tried to do was take what the best coach in football history has brought upon me, or the knowledge that he's given me about the game of football, and I tried to sprinkle it off to the guys the best way I know how." Sadly, that's a real quote. Perhaps the Titans are the best fit for Moss after all; an iceberg's effect on the Titanic bears close resemblance to Moss's effect on team chemistry. Now the question is whether Iceberg Moss will sink the Titans this season, or if Jeff Fisher can captain the ship well enough to keep the ship safe for long enough to get rid of Moss after the season's end. - Hank Koebler, IV
Hank is a sports journalist attending the University of Missouri's school of journalism.
If you would like to ask Dr. Roto a question, call (646) 915-9367 on Friday nights at 10:00pm EST and ask your question live on the that weeks Fantasy Football 411 Podcast.
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