The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Others to Point Fingers at Instead of Randy Moss

Randy Moss is being widely lambasted today throughout the football world for his antics after his second touchdown reception in yesterday’s game. For those of you who missed it, check out this story for the particulars.

While you work yourself up into a lather over Moss’s actions here, keep in mind the other participants of this story which are receiving less publicity.

Joe Buck, the Fox announcer who was the most vocal about Moss’s antics yesterday is also the same announcer who films the humorous “Leon” commercials for Budweiser. Leon is, of course, a flamboyant, me-first superstar athlete stereotype in the flesh, who brings many of Randy Moss’s traits with him to the commercials. Apparently Buck doesn’t see the similarities, or he’s being paid by Fox (at the time) to express his outrage towards things that he is paid to make light of at other times.

Fox, by condoning the statements of Buck and their other talking heads, is also being hypocritical here. The same network that brought us such programming as “My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss” and “Who’s My Daddy?” apparently draws the line at over the top end zone celebrations.

But neither Joe Buck nor Fox is as culpable in all of this as the NFL itself. Ironically the NFL will likely end up punishing Moss here when in reality it should punishing itself. The NFL is the same league that brings us scantily clad cheerleaders each week (you’d likely find more fully clothed young women at your local topless club). The NFL also allows for endless promotion of offensive programming during the broadcasts of their games, solely because the networks that pay for the privileges pay them so richly.

The NFL’s act of being shocked and offended after the fact is simply played out. After last year’s Super Bowl, the NFL acted horrified. After Joe Horn used a cell phone to call his mother after scoring a touchdown during the 2003 regular season, the league was similarly horrified. If the NFL really cared, they would take action that would ensure that nothing they would deem offensive would happen again (something extreme like threatening anyone who does anything on the playing field that the league finds offensive with a lifetime suspension).

That will never happen though. The NFL doesn’t want it to. The NFL – as much as its executives feign outrage and disgust at the acts carried out by its players – loves this sort of attention. Folks are talking about the NFL today and the playoffs. What else could the league hope for? Apparently the league believes the old adage that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Just don’t fool yourself into thinking that the NFL has a moral conscious and that it really wants to do anything like cleaning up the on field antics of the likes of Moss.


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