Thursday, January 13, 2005
Star implies he won't stop at pretend moon
ESPN.com news services
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Randy Moss trudged out to his truck
in the subzero cold, with a huge, black hooded sweat shirt covering
almost his entire face. All that was showing was a carefree smile.
In his usual flippant manner, Moss showed no remorse for his
Ain't nothing but 10 grand. What's 10 grand, to me? ”
— Randy Moss
Minnesota's controversial wide receiver was fined $10,000
Thursday by the NFL for pretending to pull down his pants and moon
the Green Bay crowd during a playoff win last weekend.
"Ain't nothing but 10 grand. What's 10 grand, to me?" said
Moss, whose salary this season is $5.75 million. He then jokingly
suggested he might perform a more vulgar celebration next time.
KARE-TV of Minneapolis recorded the exchange between Moss and reporters outside the Vikings' practice facility.
Reporter: "Write the check yet, Randy?"
Moss: "When you're rich you don't write checks."
Reporter: "If you don't write checks, how do you pay these guys?"
Moss: "Straight cash, homey."
Reporter: "Randy, are you upset about the fine?"
Moss: "No, cause it ain't [expletive]. Ain't nothing but 10 grand. What's 10 grand to me? Ain't [expletive] Next time I might shake my [expletive]."
Peter Hadhazy, the league's director of game operations,
penalized Moss for unsportsmanlike conduct for the end-zone antics in a letter released by
"Your actions were based on poor judgment, did not reflect well
on you or the Vikings, and were insulting to many," Hadhazy wrote.
"They have resulted in widespread criticism and needlessly
detracted from Minnesota's dramatic playoff victory. Fans should
look to you and your teammates to see how to compete and win in
football. But when you lose your focus on playing and engage in
sideshows as you did on Sunday, you forfeit much of this."
Moss also briefly bumped the goalpost with his backside before
hugging teammates in the end zone following a fourth-quarter
touchdown catch that clinched the Vikings' 31-17 victory over the
League rules mandate discipline for "obscene gestures or other
actions construed as being in poor taste." A fine for the first
offense under those guidelines is $5,000.
The NFL said Moss was fined more than the minimum because this
isn't the first time he has been disciplined for unsportsmanlike
conduct. He paid a $25,000 penalty in 1999 for squirting an
official with a water bottle.
Moss wasn't the only player fined Thursday. The NFL also
fined New York Jets linebacker Eric Barton $7,500 for hitting San
Diego quarterback Drew Brees in the head during last weekend's
Moss, whose 9,142 career yards receiving are the most ever by
any player over his first seven seasons, has drawn more than his
share of punishments and negative publicity.
Moss' agent defended the celebration, claiming it's been "blown out of proportion."
The league fined him $5,000 for his role in a scuffle with the
Chicago Bears during a September game, and he was charged the same
amount in November 2003 for spiking a ball at the foot of Detroit
Lions cornerback Dre' Bly.
In December 2002, he was fined $1,200 by a judge after being
charged with bumping a traffic control officer with his car in
For verbally abusing corporate sponsors on the team bus
following a loss in November 2001, Moss was fined $15,000 by the
Vikings and required to receive anger management counseling.
And just last week, he was rebuked by teammates for leaving the
field before the end of a loss to the Washington Redskins.
Moss' agent, Dante DiTrapano, said the fine was unnecessary and
that he plans to appeal.
"If you can't have freedom of expression on the football field,
come on," DiTrapano said.
DiTrapano argued that there was a story behind the dance Moss
did in the end zone. The pantomimed pants-pulling was a response to
Green Bay fans' tradition of mooning the visiting team's bus in the
parking lot. And the rump bump against the goalpost, DiTrapano
said, was a tribute to an old friend of Moss' who was at Lambeau
Field for the game. Donnie Jones, who played at Dupont High School
in West Virginia a few years before Moss did, used to celebrate
like that after touchdowns.
"Like everything else, I think it's blown out of proportion,"
DiTrapano said. "It's not fair, but we're used to it. It just
rolls right off of us."
Last month, Denver quarterback Jake Plummer was fined $5,000 for
an obscene gesture.
Moss, who had four receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's game, didn't practice with the Vikings on Wednesday because of a sprained right ankle but is listed as probable for Sunday's playoff game at Philadelphia.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.