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Moral Police Wrong About Randy


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from CNNSI:

She was immersed in a Nancy Drew mystery, her little eight-year-old head propped up on a pillow as she blazed through another book on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Nuzzled up next to the girl was a very tired sportswriter who'd been up most of the night documenting Chad Pennington's show of virility in San Diego and was now straining to stay awake for the end of an entertaining playoff game between the Vikings and Packers at Lambeau Field.

Suddenly, my daughter, Natalie, emerged from her trance and asked, "Daddy, what happened? What's disgusting?"

Uh oh, I thought as I assessed the situation: After scoring the dagger touchdown in Minnesota's 31-17 upset of the Pack, Randy Moss had added new meaning to the term end-zone celebration, pretending to pull down his uniform pants and rubbing his backside against the goal post. Now Joe Buck had declared an end to civilization and the guys in the FOX truck clearly were dead-set against showing a replay.

All the commotion in the announcer's booth had piqued the interest of my previously oblivious little girl. It was time for one of those split-second parenting decisions that would carry lasting ramifications.

"Just a football player being silly," I said. Then I reached for the TiVo remote and played back Moss's mock moon, over and over again. By the fifth time, we were laughing so hard that my wife and our two other children entered the bedroom to see what was so funny.

My wife wasn't particularly amused, nor, I'm sure, are many of the people who are still reading this column, particularly you Packers fans. But as I sit here pondering which of five nominees will be voted the Levitra Play of the Year, I'm amazed that another glaring display of hypocrisy has seeped into our new national pastime.

The point of this anecdote is not that I want my children to be like Randy Moss -- though if one of my sons could pull off that fabulous 'fro, I'd be all for it -- or that I wouldn't blow a gasket if Natalie celebrated one of her soccer goals in anything resembling that manner.

What I do believe is that the people who are freaking out about this need a reality check. Every day in Iraq, and across the globe, people are getting killed. There are tragic mudslides in California, and Asia and Africa just endured one of the most devastating natural disasters of the past century. And we're supposed to be up in arms about a rear end? Besides, even on Sunday afternoons, there are so many mixed messages being thrown at us through our television sets. Over the past year, here is what American viewers have learned:

? Not OK: Janet Jackson's breast, obscured nipple notwithstanding. The stunt on the Super Bowl halftime show led to record fines by the FCC whose zealous chairman, Michael Powell, drove Howard Stern to Sirius Satellite Radio (beginning in January of '06).

? OK: That cuddly Viagra ad, omnipresent during Sunday telecasts, in which the guy with the receding hairline gets those devil's horns as he prepares to get it on with his ecstatic wife.

? Not OK: Nicollette Sheridan's towel drop (minus any nudity) during the Monday Night Football lead-in skit with Terrell Owens.

? OK: Sexy promos on ABC for Alias which, in Wednesday's season premiere, began with a shot of Jennifer Garner boarding a train in a teddy.

? Not OK: Mickey Rooney's decidedly unsexy, 84-year-old derriere. An ad for Airborne, a natural cold remedy, in which the actor's rear is exposed as he rises from a sauna was banished from FOX's Super Bowl telecast -- no ifs, ands or butts about it.

? OK: Violence, of all kinds, in omnipresent promos on FOX and CBS.

I'm a fan of Buck's, and no, I don't agree with Vikings owner Red McCombs, who said that Buck should be barred from broadcasting Sunday's Minnesota-Philly game. But Buck's reaction to Moss antics -- and that of so many others --strikes me as the Levitra Over-Play of the Year. Who, exactly, does J-Buck think is signing his paychecks? He works for Rupert Murdoch! He's employed by FOX, the network that brought you Temptation Island and Who's Your Daddy? and Trading Spouses and so much other wholesome fare. This irony may be lost on some of those FOX News Channel viewers who decry the moral decay brought on by those insidious Hollywood programmers, but Buck and friends are smart enough to understand the absurdity of it all.

Give credit to ESPN executive vice president Mark Shapiro who, a day after the network refused to replay the incident in its postgame coverage, admitted, "We got caught up in the reaction to this post-Janet Jackson conservative decision-making era." Perhaps Shapiro remembered what happened to Playmakers when the NFL-fueled Morality Machine got cranked up and rolling.

For the second time in as many incidents, it took a public intervention from the NFL's nicest man, Colts coach Tony Dungy, to provide some necessary perspective. After the Desperate Housewives fiasco, it was Dungy who broached the racial implications of the Owens/Sheridan pairing. While I personally wasn't offended by the skit, it was important to understand that so many African-Americans whom I respect, such as Dungy and SI's Jeff Chadiha, viewed it through a different prism.

Monday, Dungy informed the listeners of Fox Sports Radio's Morning Extravaganza of the probable motivation behind Moss' mock moon: Apparently, it is a longstanding postgame tradition among certain, ahem, Packer Backers to drop trou and show their backsides as a visual gift to visiting teams when their buses pull out of Lambeau. "As soon as I saw it I smiled, because I knew that's what he was responding to," Dungy told me Thursday at the Colts' facility. If Moss was indeed goofing on those Heartland Heathens, his celebration was even funnier than most of us had realized.

Yet Moss was fined $10,000, not only because the NFL doesn't do anatomy, but also because the No Fun League frowns upon self-expression. Be it a Sharpie, cell phone or an impersonation of a dog lifting a leg to pee on a fallen quarterback, the league will show its would-be showmen who's boss, and the fabric of our free society will be safe for another Sunday.

Silver on CNNSI

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when I first heard the news, I was shocked. I didn't get a chance to see the play live so when I heard it I thought Moss had actually mooned someone. When I saw the highlight I thought, "what that's it, he didn't really pull down his pants what's the big deal." This whole thing was about nothing.

I do agree that Buck shouldn't be in the booth, bit because he started the reaction but because he is a horrible announcer.

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when I first heard the news, I was shocked. I didn't get a chance to see the play live so when I heard it I thought Moss had actually mooned someone. When I saw the highlight I thought, "what that's it, he didn't really pull down his pants what's the big deal." This whole thing was about nothing.

I do agree that Buck shouldn't be in the booth, bit because he started the reaction but because he is a horrible announcer.

yeah slama lama ding dong boy is still riding daddys coat tials ^_^

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i have no idea why Moss fake moon-gate is sucha big deal. to me a president lying to get us in to a disasterous mess over seas is far more pornographic than moss fake mooning.

dude we could start a whole new topic on that

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Moss was apparently responding to more than just the Packer fans' habit of mooning the other team...

http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/s...gs/10649328.htm

"Randy Moss comes out (on the field) and his hair ? they (some Vikings players) blew out their Afros ? and there were some racial comments (from fans directed at Moss) along the lines of "(Hey) Buckwheat' and other things," Collinsworth said. "It was pretty crude going both ways."

Amazing how this part of the story has gotten buried...

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After living in Wisconsin for 4 years, this does not surprise me. And I lived near the border to Illinois. I met plenty of those in the "Northwoods" to know that that kind of attitude is not looked down upon.

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I believe the situation has now come full circle, as Freddie Mitchell mimicked pulling his pants up, then kept them up using his People's Champ belt, upon making the first TD reception in the Eagle victory over the Vikings.

Fine him... he pretended to be nude.

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i have no idea why Moss fake moon-gate is sucha big deal. to me a president lying to get us in to a disasterous mess over seas is far more pornographic than moss fake mooning.

Give it a rest..... Why can't some people just let sports discussions remain sports discussions?

Moss is a freakin idiot....

The press overreacted....

The Vikings have been eliminated.....

Life goes on.....

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