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Thursday, September 26, 2002
Updated: September 27, 6:44 PM ET
A rolling Moss gathers no stones

By Jason Whitlock
Page 2 columnist

No one tells Randy Moss what to do.

Randy Moss
Randy Moss only knows one direction, the Randy Moss way.
Not Denny Green, the former Vikings coach who smugly thought he was the smartest man on the planet for overlooking Moss' checkered history and drafting Moss when more than half of the league took the Roberto Duran pledge of allegiance: "No Moss."

Not Red McCombs, the Vikings owner who handed Moss an $18 million signing bonus and the financial security to ignore common sense.

Not Cris Carter, the future Hall of Fame wide receiver who sideline-tantrumed his way out of the league trying to get Moss to play up to his ability.

Not Daunte Culpepper, the bubble-butted Vikings quarterback who can't read a defense or Moss' ever-changing moods.

Not Mike Tice, the tough-talking, back-stabbing Denny Green replacement who will live and die by the Randy Ratio, which monitors the number of distractions Randy creates versus the number of touchdowns.

And certainly not a 27-year-old, female traffic "cop" who didn't have the good common sense to recognize that you don't cross a self-absorbed, do-rag-wearing millionaire athlete in a Lexus with a blunt in the ashtray. I mean, really, have we learned nothing from Allen Iverson?

Moss' latest off-the-field embarrassment -- he was arrested Tuesday and charged with a couple of misdemeanors after reportedly ignoring the instructions of a traffic "cop" and subsequently knocking her to the ground with his Lexus -- has kicked off a great sporting debate:

What should the Vikings do with their 25-year-old, troubled, locker-room-cancerous star? Should they suspend him for Sunday night's contest against the Seattle Seahawks? Should they try to trade him?

Randy Moss
Moss leaves jail Wednesday on his way back to business for the Vikings.
The reality is the questions are pointless. There's not a damn thing the 0-3 Vikings can do to Randy Moss. They're stuck with him. And it's absolutely useless to try to discipline him. No one tells Randy Moss what to do, and we should all give Three T (tough-talking Tice) credit for recognizing this obvious fact.

"The sign of a good captain is not how he brings the ship to port when the waters are calm,'' Three T said Wednesday, shortly after Moss' release from jail, "it's how he navigates the ship home when the waters are rough."

Once Three T, the good captain, learned that felony charges wouldn't be pursued against Moss, the coach announced that his star would play Sunday night. Moss will be fined pocket change. The league might inquire about the sticky-ickee-ickee that was found in Moss' ashtray. The NFL allegedly frowns on its players smoking weed.

But other than that, it's back to business for Moss. I'm sure sports fans across the country will see this as another example of our sports stars getting away with O.J. Moss pushed a woman down the street for a block with his car, knocked her to the ground, refused to submit to a drug and alcohol test and nothing is going to happen to him.

Don't seem right, does it?

It's not. But it is.

The Vikings would be stupid to suspend Moss. A suspension would in no way impact Moss' attitude or behavior. Moss doesn't care about winning. Randy Moss cares about money, and the Vikings already gave him enough to get by for the next few years. In fact, a suspension would probably only worsen Moss' attitude. He would sit at home, watch the Vikings lose to Seattle and become even more self-assured that the Vikings are nothing without him. If Minnesota won without him, he would pout.

Randy Moss
Minnesota losing with Moss is a better option than losing or winning while he sits at home serving a suspension.
Suspending Moss would not send a message to the rest of the Vikings that no one is above the team. Moss' teammates already know Moss is above the rest of the team. They've watched the game films and countless times witnessed their $75 million star loaf without any repercussions.

As for trading Moss, any NFL head coach or general manager willing to take on Moss' attitude and contract should be fired. No one can tell Randy Moss what to do, not in any NFL city.

Dallas owner-GM-head coach-ball boy Jerry Jones might be dumb enough to try it. And maybe that would be a fitting payback for the Herschel Walker trade that handed the Cowboys three Super Bowls. Beyond another lapse in Jones' judgment, Moss seems untradeable.

The smartest thing the Vikings can do right now is take the advice my grandmother gave my parents back when I was a hyperactive child and in constant trouble at school. "Just put it in the Lord's hands. Give it to God. That's the only thing you can do when a child is S.O.S."

Stuck on stupid.

Jason Whitlock is a regular columnist for the Kansas City Star (kcstar.com), the host of a morning-drive talk show, "Jason Whitlock's Neighborhood" on Sports Radio 810 WHB (810whb.com) and a regular contributor on ESPN The Magazine's Sunday morning edition of The Sports Reporters. He can be reached at ballstate0@aol.com.