Moss and the media

Randy Moss doesn't talk to reporters. This makes reporters mad. They then write nasty things about Randy Moss. Their chief criticism? That Randy Moss only talks to the media when he wants to, which is seldom. They go on to criticize his play, which is a stretch, since he is the best player in the NFL, but they do so anyway and imply that they wouldn't criticize him so much if he would just answer their questions.

I read an essay by a retired athlete once who wrote that, although he was college educated and had an opinion on many of the issues of the day, he was warned early on that if he opened his mouth he would be labeled "controversial," and the media hound him for the rest of his career. So, the team actually trained him and the rest of his teamates (in a seminar) how to give cliche answers that wouldn't sound too interesting and wouldn't draw attention.

Well, Randy Moss is too proud to go in front of the cameras and repeat stupid cliches. He is an original. He says just what he thinks. And it has gotten him in trouble. So, instead of being in constant trouble, he has just shut his mouth. Makes perfect sense. So much better than attending a training seminar on how to be boring. It makes me respect Moss.

I also respect Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton, who never spoke to the media. Second-hand accounts say he was a complete card and practical joker, a devotee of classical music, a voracious reader, all in all an interesting person. He knew, however, that if that side of him was exposed to the media, they would eat him up. They resented him for it and portrayed him as moody, brooding, silent, difficult.

So, when we see dumb athletes saying dumb things on TV, we should remember that the smart ones are too smart to talk. If they talk, they are too smart to sound smart.