As first reported by NFL Network's Michael Lombardi, the Minnesota Vikings unexpectedly cut Randy Moss Monday, just 26 days after reacquiring the talented-but-temperamental wide receiver from the New England Patriots. It's generally believed the move was prompted by Moss's dadaist press conference following the Vikings' loss to the Patriots Sunday, in which Moss asked himself questions ("If it's going to be an interview, I'm going to conduct"), openly pined for a return to New England, and blasted the Minnesota coaching staff for not asking him about the Patriots' strategic tendencies. (This last slight in particular did not go over well with head coach Brad Childress, whose dictatorial ways since taking over the club in 2006 prompted one prominent Vikings blog to bestow upon him the Mussolini-inspired nickname il Duce.)
But as it turns out, Moss's departure might have had more to do with his picky-eating habits than his public vivisection of his new coach. Yahoo!'s Michael Silver provides the details from a team luncheon last week.
As is the team’s custom on Fridays, a local food establishment was invited to the training facility to serve a catered, post-practice meal in the locker room. In this case, a St. Paul restaurant that is a favorite of former Vikings center Matt Birk, As the proprietors helped serve chicken, ribs, pasta and other dishes to Vikings players, Moss paced up and down the serving line and loudly expressed his displeasure with the offerings.
According to one player who witnessed the scene, Moss yelled, “What the [expletive]? Who ordered this crap? I wouldn’t feed this to my dog!”
Said the witness: “It was brutal. The truth is, he deserved to be cut after that. It was such an uncomfortable moment. You know that feeling where you just can tell someone feels so small? That’s what it was like being there.
“This wasn’t a chain – it was a mom-and-pop restaurant, and you could tell it was their best stuff. They had a special carving station set up, and there were players and other support staff lining up to eat it. And [Moss] is at his locker saying, ‘You know, I used to have to eat that crap – but now I’ve got money.’ You just felt so sad for them. I had never seen anyone treated like that.
“And by the way, the food was actually really good.”
Joe Buck must never learn of this story.