By Jason McIntyre
Special to Page 3
As soon as Randy Moss jogged to the goal post, and pretended to pull down his pants and moon the Lambeau Field crowd (after scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown against the Green Bay Packers), you just knew another end zone celebration firestorm would erupt.
Joe Horn and his hidden cell phone. Terrell Owens whipping out his Sharpie. And now ... Moss and his butt. This stunt ranks right up there with the best of them.
That's right, the best.
I was laughing so hard at Moss, my roommate quit doing the dishes and ran into the room to watch the replay. He laughed, too. That's when we were subjected to the unfunny announcers overreacting to Moss's fake moon job by calling it "classless."
Using the goalpost as pretend toilet paper didn't even register to me (I thought it was a '70s dance move to match his afro) until I checked out Sportsjournalists.com. Naturally, Moss was getting ripped apart by journalists -- much like Green Bay's secondary.
Sometimes, when watching sports, we forget that it's a form of entertainment. Well, we buy a ticket to go see a movie ("Closer" great flick, a must-see) just as we buy a ticket to Colts-Patriots AFC semifinal rematch (don't believe the Colts' hype -- go with the Patriots). In an effort to be entertained, we cough up some dough, perhaps purchase some popcorn, and sit back and enjoy. Sure, movies are scripted but sometimes it looks like the Jets' offense is, too.
The sports world produces characters who can essentially be divided into two groups -- those who celebrate with flair (Owens, Horn, Moss) and those who act like they've been there before (Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin, the late Walter Payton). Both are dramatic in their own way.
Personally, I enjoy the stunts and the guys who try to make us chuckle, especially in a sports world that has become increasingly corrupt with serious scandal (Ohio State's problems, BALCO). The No Fun League needs these characters.
Remember back in 1996, when mouthy Shannon Sharpe picked up a sideline telephone back during a 1996 game while his Denver Broncos were pulverizing the New England Patriots, he shouted the most legendary insult of all time: "President, call in the National Guard! Send as many men as you can spare! Because we are killing the Patriots! They need emergency help!"
That was great stuff. But these days, it'd probably be considered "out of line."
Have you heard the obscenities fans yell at players? (Oh, and don't act like you've never done it.) The way I see it, the Moss celebration was a safe, yet effective, way for him to retaliate.
Moss summed up his antics thusly: "It was a big game, late in the second half, that's what I felt like doing."
So, the next time you're playing in a pressure-packed NFL game, with 60,000 fans screaming not-so-nicely for their home team to shut you down, and you shut them up with an awesome play, there's a good chance we'll let you off the hook when you celebrate -- as long as it's original, funny, and you aren't liable to get arrested for it.
Jason McIntyre covers sports and entertainment in New York City. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.