|Ask Randy Moss|
By Jim Caple
Hey, kids! Now you can receive football tips and advice from the best receiver in the NFL! Just write to "Ask Randy," in care of this website ... and then wait until Randy gets around to responding!
Bloomington, Minn. Don't beat yourself up, Bobby. Coaches and jealous sportswriters often demand players give 110 percent, but this is impossible. By definition, 100 percent is all a player can give. There is not an additional 10 percent. To say differently is nothing but an ignorant cliché. In fact, it is also virtually impossible to give 100 percent. Few occasions require complete, maximum effort (don't even consider a game with a mere regional broadcast) and even then most players usually hold back something in reserve "just in case." There have been only four documented cases of players giving 100 percent since 1978. Researchers have proven that 90 percent effort is actually what appears to be 110 percent to the untrained eye, and even that is very rare. Studies show that when compensated adequately, most NFL players are capable of 60-70 percent on a 16-game, season-long basis, averaging about 66 percent with occasional bursts to 82 percent and as high as 89 or 90 percent once a season. Although I once hit 86 percent when they tested me at the scouting combine, I generally favor the 50-50 plan -- 50 percent effort, 50 percent of the time. This leaves me well-rested for when I'm needed.
Dear Randy, My dad says you got lazy and arrogant after signing that $75 million contract, and that you're letting down your teammates, and that you couldn't begin to carry Jerry Rice's jockstrap. What do you say for yourself? DeWayne A.,
Fort Wayne, Mich.
Dear Randy, My coach is kind of old school, and he won't let us celebrate in the end zone. He says to act like we've been there before. He also says that after Sept. 11, excessive celebration is silly and offensive. But I see you celebrating all the time, even when the Vikings have a losing record and are getting their butts kicked. Who is right? Kyle S.
Cleveland People like your coach just don't get it. Scoring touchdowns is the most important thing you can do in football, and if we don't celebrate in the end zone as usual, then the terrorists win. In fact, we need to be more demonstrative than ever these days. United we stand, remember. That's what people fail to understand when they see me "loafing" on the field. Far from loafing, I'm thinking hard about my next end-zone celebration. What is the best way to show my support for our armed forces overseas? Should I salute? Should I march, strut or duck walk? Or just wiggle my butt and bark like a dog? And when I point, where should I point? At the sky? At an opponent? At a fan? At the camera? As you can imagine, this takes a lot of concentration and a lot of preparation, so I might not be able to give "my all" on every play. I have to prioritize. So the next time your coach bitches about my "excessive celebrations," set him straight. Tell him I'm showing my patriotism, and then ask him what he's done lately to fight terrorism.
Dear Randy, My parents say I can go to a Vikings game. Which game will you feel like playing? Todd R.
St. Paul, Minn. Sorry, I don't decide that until the networks announce which games they're broadcasting nationally. But I will say that I generally like playing in "Monday Night Football" games because those always get big ratings.
Dear Randy, When my mom heard you say that you only play when you want to, she went nuts and made me tear down your poster hanging in my room and throw away your jersey and get rid of your shoes and throw out your action figure and give away your bobblehead doll. She says fans tolerate a lot from modern athletes -- sexual assault, domestic violence, drug selling, drunk driving, fathering multiple illegitimate children, failing to pay child support, adultery, bigamy, solicitation, sexual deviancy, smut peddling, drug addiction, tax evasion, exhibitionism, corruption, deception, spitting, halitosis and overall, mind-numbing greed -- but the one thing we won't tolerate is not trying your hardest. Especially right after you sign a $75 million contract extension with an $18 million signing bonus. She says you are a disgrace to your team, your sport and your country. She has been a little on edge lately, though. She got laid off in October and can't find a job, and says she would love the opportunity to be able to play or work or do anything to earn some money so she can pay the heating bills and the rent and buy groceries. Anyway, I'm just writing to say that you're still my hero and would you please sign my football card of you? Mom says she can't afford Christmas presents for us, so your autograph would sort of be like my Christmas. Thanks! And I bet you guys still make the playoffs! Casey W.
Minneapolis Sorry, I don't feel like answering letters right now. Jim Caple is a senior writer for Page 2.