Randy Moss And T.O. — Judging The Character Of These Characters

By Dr. Boyce Watkins
Updated: October 14, 2007

NEW YORK — I recall hearing a lot of self-righteous individuals dogging, dissing and dismissing the two most controversial receivers in the NFL, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. “We would never play with these guys”, stated many a self-righteous owner, fan, player, or whatever.
Everyone seemed to want to cite this and that about their character, how they are not good human beings, that they are cancers to their teams and a lot of other stuff that didn’t make any sense. Well, cancers don’t make your team one of the best in the league, and that is exactly what these guys have done.
When evaluating the character of Owens and Moss, I see three things: they both work hard, they are winners, and they are also two of the best receivers in NFL history. You don’t get that good by being the lazy bums they’ve been depicted to be.
I applaud Jerry Jones and Bill Belichick for seeing past the silliness.

//<![CDATA[   u003c/span>Obviously they are nable to separate the studs from the duds and see through the mob mentality that nmany fans have when it comes to black athletes who behave too “brother-like” for ntheir collective taste.u003cspan>  u003c/span>Not that nevery black man behaves the same way, but as a brother myself, I understood TO a nlot more than most middle age, Caucasian sports writers.u003cspan>  u003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman” sizeu003d”3″> u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman” sizeu003d”3″>The same way the public convinced us that dog fighting is the worst crime nin the history of the world (although many of Vick’s critics have no problem nshooting and stuffing innocent animals over the fire place), there were nindividuals convincing us that Terrell Owens should be treated like a convicted nsex offender.u003cspan>  u003c/span>The truth was that nOwens has not done anything worthy of the hatred he received two years ago.u003cspan>  u003c/span>He was just being himself, which napparently isn’t good enough for some people.

u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman” sizeu003d”3″> u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman” sizeu003d”3″>The fact is that angering mainstream America has nbecome a crime.u003cspan>  u003c/span>It’s not a ncoincidence that the most hated athlete in America is nalmost always a black man. u003cspan> u003c/span>When nthey step out of certain pre-defined cultural boundaries and expectations, they nare punished like field slaves.u003cspan>  nu003c/span>Michael Vick is the latest athlete to be made into an example, as he is nsurely going to lose everything. u003cspan> u003c/span>Owens and Moss also received their share nof public disdain. u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman” sizeu003d”3″> u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont sizeu003d”3″>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>Smart owners, fans and coaches want winners.u003cspan>  u003c/span>That’s what should matter most on the nfootball field, unless you’re talking about serious criminals.”,1] ); //–> //]]> Obviously they are able to separate the studs from the duds and see through the mob mentality that many fans have when it comes to black athletes who behave too “brother-like” for their collective taste. Not that every black man behaves the same way, but as a brother myself, I understood T.O. a lot more than most middle age, Caucasian sports writers.

The same way the public convinced us that dogfighting is the worst crime in the history of the world (although many of Vick’s critics have no problem shooting and stuffing innocent animals over the fireplace), there were individuals convincing us that Terrell Owens should be treated like a convicted sex offender. The truth was that Owens has not done anything worthy of the hatred he received two years ago. He was just being himself, which apparently isn’t good enough for some people.
The fact is that angering mainstream America has become a crime. It’s not a coincidence that the most hated athlete in America is almost always a black man. When they step out of certain pre-defined cultural boundaries and expectations, they are punished like field slaves. Michael Vick is the latest athlete to be made into an example, as he is surely going to lose everything. Owens and Moss also received their share of public disdain.
Smart owners, fans and coaches want winners. That’s what should matter most on the football field, unless you’re talking about serious criminals.

//<![CDATA[   u003c/span>Owens and Moss are not criminals, they nare just weird. u003cspan> u003c/span>Self-righteous nsnobs find their teams sitting at home, as the Jets did when they passed up on nWarren Sapp (caught smoking marijuana in college), and instead chose the nallegedly “clean cut” tight end from Penn State (what’s his name again? Oh, it ndoesn’t matter anyway). u003cspan> u003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman” sizeu003d”3″> u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman” sizeu003d”3″>The teams who arrogantly claimed they would never consider acquiring nTerrell Owens will be sitting at home when the Cowboys are advancing in the nplayoffs. u003cspan> u003c/span>The teams who passed up non Randy Moss in the draft soon found him catching touch down passes over the nheads of their defensive backs. u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman” sizeu003d”3″> u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont sizeu003d”3″>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>I am happy for these guys, and I stand by them.u003cspan>  u003c/span>They are flamboyant, a little nutts and nsometimes even spoiled.u003cspan>  u003c/span>But damnit, nthey know how to win, their character is reflected in their work ethic, and nthere is no replacing their talent. u003cspan> u003c/span>The haters and judgers can talk all they nwant, but these guys are getting it done.u003cspan>  nu003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/font>u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont sizeu003d”3″>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan>u003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/font> u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont sizeu003d”3″>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan>u003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/font> u003c/p>nu003cp styleu003d”margin:0in 0in 0pt”>u003cfont sizeu003d”3″>u003cfont faceu003d”Times New Roman”>u003cspan>u003cem>Dr. Boyce Watkins is na Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of "What if George Bush nwere a Black Man?"  He does regular commentary in national media, including nCNN, BET and ESPN.

u003c/em>u003c/span>u003c/font>u003c/font>u003c/p>u003c/font>u003c/div>u003c/div>n”,0] ); //–> //]]> Owens and Moss are not criminals, they are just weird.

Self-righteous snobs find their teams sitting at home, as the Jets did when they passed up on Warren Sapp (caught smoking marijuana in college), and instead chose the allegedly “clean cut” tight end from Penn State (what’s his name again? Oh, it doesn’t matter anyway).
The teams who arrogantly claimed they would never consider acquiring Terrell Owens will be sitting at home when the Cowboys are advancing in the playoffs. The teams who passed up on Randy Moss in the draft soon found him catching touchdown passes over the heads of their defensive backs.
I am happy for these guys, and I stand by them. They are flamboyant, a little nutts and sometimes even spoiled. But dammit, they know how to win, their character is reflected in their work ethic, and there is no replacing their talent. The haters and judgers can talk all they want, but these guys are getting it done.