Archive for the ‘Sports’ category

randy moss

November 15, 2006

Randy Moss – commenting on why he has been under-performing lately –
“Maybe because I’m unhappy, and I’m not too much excited about what’s going on, so my concentration and focus level tends to go down when I’m in a bad mood,” Moss said. “So all I can say is if you put me in a good situation and make me happy, man, you get good results.”

The general response that I’ve read from sport writers is that Randy is lazy and a disgrace for the game. Considering that he is known to maintain minimal contact with the media, I figure I am in as good a position as any to comment on his comments.

To put it simply, I can see where he’s coming from.

There is a certain expectation for all professional athletes to “give 110%” in all circumstances. This is patently bogus. Take a quarterback diving before he gets hit or a receiver stepping out of bounds instead of fighting for an extra half yard. These are all accepted and logical moves. The benefit of avoiding injury, or a hard hit, outweighs the potential gains. So in the cost/benefit analysis for Randy Moss, it makes sense to – as he says – “take certain plays off.”

But choosing between physical pain/injury vs. a gain in yards is obviously a no-brainer, and Moss seems to be choosing between effort and non-effort, which seems sacrilegious. However, athletes routinely distribute their effort differently during the course of a game and a season. It is the hallmark of great athletes to “step it up” during the clutch, implying less focus/energy in preceding portions of the game. Physiologically, maybe giving 110% is akin to a rush of adrenaline, which heightens focus, strength and general athletic performance. Since I doubt a rush of adrenaline could last the entire length of a football game, it would be best suited for a player conserve energy until it was needed.

This phenomena isn’t even a conscious decision. People get used to everything. Something amazing, no matter how special, if it occurs everyday, becomes normal, even being a professional athlete. Sex, thanksgiving turkey, high-speed internet – all ridiculously mind bending at first, become common place if they are continuously available. Even Micheal Jordan got bored of winning championships, prompting 3? retirements.

Moss’s comments speaks of the underlying need of all humans to have a purpose. While the purpose in any sports game is clear (to score more points than the opposition) this usually is not enough. Take Pat Riley, who is a hall of fame (I think) coach. His highest praise seems to be his motivational skills – telling his players that they are fighting for respect or historical recognition, more than his play calling or ability to substitute players correctly. Are his players lazy or disrespectful for needing his motivational tactics? No, this is the job of coaches in the professional ranks – to inspire.

It is therefore no surprise that Art Shell, coach of Randy Moss, replied to the comments by saying that this is Moss’s problem that he needs to address. Shell must speak to Moss, learn of his needs and tailor them to the overall success of the team. It may be that Moss’s needs are for personal success, be it over the teams. In that case Moss may have to be be traded. But I believe, (with total optimistic naivety) that Moss’s wants can be met along with the success of his team’s. He wants to score touchdowns, so does the team. At any rate, it is Shell’s responsibility to initiate the communication and not to expect all of his players to simply give 110.