Far from a perfect day
Moss faces media storm, but too early for judgments
Posted: Wednesday January 16, 2008 4:00PM; Updated: Wednesday January 16, 2008 4:10PM
FOXBORO, Mass. -- So much for a perfect world.
For a team that has lived a nirvana-like existence this season -- at least since the Spygate drama died down -- the sight and sound of Randy Moss standing in front of his locker Wednesday morning holding court on his alleged battery of a South Florida woman represents the Patriots' most unwelcome piece of news in months.
Since the day Moss arrived in Foxboro last spring and began a career renaissance that turned historic, this was the kind of headline that so many of his doubters and critics had braced for. It was Moss in trouble. Moss on the defensive. Moss creating a distraction for the team that has long forbidden such things, rendering them as rare as a detailed Patriots' injury report.
The shorthand, of course, is that the old Randy Moss and some of his issues had finally caught up with the new Randy Moss, the one whose remarkable transformation into exemplary teammate and model citizen had played out before our very eyes these past eight-plus months. Some people were no doubt already getting their I-told-you-so's locked and loaded.
But the shorthand is many times wrong, and if the Duke lacrosse case and the shooting death of Sean Taylor have taught us anything, it's that a rush to judgment in matters such as these are a fool's path. Moss repeatedly reminded us of that with a sense of candor and passion seldom, if ever, seen or heard in New England's locker room in the Bill Belichick era.
"You all are going to make judgments,'' Moss said to the media. "You all are going to say whatever you all want. But make sure, and very sure, before you rush to judgment, that you know what you're talking about before you say it. Find out all the facts before you start criticizing me or judging me.''
It's good advice, and everything about this story at the moment sounds like a classic case of he-said, she-said, with the key fact being no criminal charges have been filed in the matter. Moss claims that there was no battery, only an unspecified "accident'' in which the woman involved -- a friend of his for 11 years -- got hurt. He said she's seeking a financial settlement in the "six-figures,'' which he went on to label as "extortion.''
"If she's hurt and needs money, that's on her,'' Moss said. "But for something friendly, an accident to occur, I mean it happens. Stuff happens.''