Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Randy Moss

So apparently the media is all up-in-arms over Randy Moss mooning some cheeseheads. I mean, when I saw it, I really didn't care that much, but then that stupid TV announcer (I can't remember why I wasn't listening to it on KFAN), was screaming, "I can't believe this! This is the worst thing ever that's ever been on television!" and all sorts of other garbage.

Fortunately, I've found an article that puts into words how I feel about said football "controversy":
At first, color analyst Cris Collinsworth stifled a guffaw saying, "Moss is giving the fans a moon!" But then play-by-play analyst - and statue of rectitude - Joe Buck exploded in outrage, bleating, "That's a DISGUSTING act by Randy Moss, and it's unfortunate we had it on our air live!"

Joe Buck of course has never felt the need to apologize for appearing in the Budweiser "Leon" commercials that parody - with a lovely helping of racism and homophobia - a pretty, lazy, and egomaniacal wide receiver thinly disguised as Moss (although "Leon" would never have caught that pass on a gimpy ankle like Moss did). For Buck, capitalizing on Moss's outrageous personality for the purpose of selling beer is just business as usual.

Fox sports' studio host James Brown continued the hypocrisy waltz by declining to show Moss's heinie hijinks on replay, but taking the time to call Moss "classless, ignorant and embarrassing." This from someone who fronts for a networking featuring shows like "Who's Your Daddy?" - a reality program where a young woman in skimpy attire has to guess which of twenty men is her natural father.

ESPN also adhered to the blackout on Moss's moon shot, merely alluding to a "tasteless, crass" display while sparing us the footage. As NFL writer Peter King put it, "FOX and, later, ESPN, must have had some sort of pact with the United States Human Decency Dept. (a.k.a., "The NFL'') and never showed a replay that I saw."

The "Decency Department" is mum of course about the endless wave of television commercials during NFL games that make Moss' touchdown tushie dance look like a trip to Sesame Street. Announcers fret about Moss's influence on young people yet say nothing about the ideas pounded into kids' heads by NFL sponsors--that the key to sex is driving the right truck, drinking the right beer, eating the right nacho chip, taking the right erection pill and of course having the money to afford it all. In this context, the criticisms of Moss are like a Greek Chorus led by Caligula.
Exactly! I can't fathom why sports is some sort of 'hallowed ground' which is somehow different from the rest of television. Actually, that's not true - I can fathom why this is such a big deal: we've gotta have something to talk about until the matchup next week, right?

Fox Sports Channel (or whatever it's called) and ESPN have both taken a lesson from the Fox News Channel. The main lesson is that real analysis is boring. There are only a few diehard NFL fans who care matchup analysis - about how Team X is going to exploit the Cover 2 defense employed by Team Y, which side of the defensive line is weaker against the run, or which linebacker gets confused by screen passes. If you want to be a true sports channel and pander to those few fans, go right ahead, but the real money is obviously in bringing home as large an audience as possible. Personally, I think sports are interesting because of the matchups between the two teams, but apparently I'm in the minority here. Or outside of the lowest common denominator at least.

A quick aside: remember those Charles Barkley commercials where he said, "I am not a role model"? It's even more true today, and it goes for EVERYTHING that's on television. How can you run that show with the Hilton girl and her friend, and then complain about the "crazy antics" of Randy Moss? Paris Hilton wasn't even a celebrity until a b-grade sex tape of her leaked onto the internet!

The point is that the multi-billion dollar sports industry hearts Randy for what he did. He gave them a week's worth of material in a few short seconds. The commentators get to talk about something other than football - they get to talk about the personality that is Moss, and draw in viewers that would otherwise not even think about football until the weekend.

For some reason, I feel I need to wrap this up with my favorite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people."

1 comment:

sowmy said...

hmmm, too late to post a comment on this with the vikes out of playoffs now!!, but just bumped into this post now..I can't agree more.. I too heard the commentator bluffing that Randy's mooning was the worst thing on television. Now that was unbelievably stupid.
The article is nice and reflects my viewpoints too...