Few more thoughts:
- My initial reaction to this whole thing was that Childress decided to take an extreme action against Moss not only because of his growing disdain for Moss, but also out of frustration for his team’s record, the criticism he gets regularly in general and especially for the criticism he gets for not controlling his team/Favre. Seemed like a classic case of someone who is stressed from multiple issues building up and merging together – which can lead to one huge stress event (in this case, the unilateral decision to jettison Moss). Seemed really stupid and as much as I think Moss behaves like an idiot (it’s hard to force your way out of NE, they usually decide to abruptly cut/trade veterans when THEY are ready…see Richard Seymour), I figured this was mostly just another boneheaded move by Childress.
- Then I found out a bit more – that Moss had publicly berated a caterer at the Vikings’ facility for the food they brought in – apparently one of those shame moments when you feel so badly/embarrassed for the beratee, if you will, that you want to puke (or just punch the berater, as it were). The accounts of some of his teammates made it sound like he was totally out of control saying rude things. That’s not “Randy just being Randy, hahaha”… – that’s totally uncalled for and there is no place for that kind of thing anywhere. And I don’t know this for sure but it was implied that Moss did this to someone from a restaurant where players/possibly Childress knew folks. Sounds like it was personal for Childress. Upon reading that, I’ll admit, a part of me thought for a moment: I guess I don’t blame Childress.
- Then I thought more about the Vikes giving up a 3rd round pick and lots of cash. Then I thought about the fact that even when he doesn’t try, Randy is still valuable because he’s been opening things up nicely for Harvin (who is now injured, by the way). Then I thought about how Childress went solo with this effort, not consulting Wilf – which is a terrible idea. Then I thought about how the Vikes had to know that even though Moss is apparently older now, he had a recent falling out in NE, so he was still at risk for troubling behavior. Then I thought of that line in Airplane: “they knew what they were getting into, I say, let them crash”.
- Then ultimately, I circled back to my original conclusion: Childress acted hastily here. He should have brought what may have been a fairly solid case against Moss, to Wilf. He could have cited Moss’ post-game comments, his clear lack of effort and his berating of some poor restaurant employee. Wilf probably would have listened and they may have even disciplined Moss (maybe, Moss had a behavior clause in his contract that he violated…if he didn’t have this in his contract…umm, why not?). But I’ll say it again, I think a not-so-small factor in all of this also may have been Childress’ bruised ego. He’s been blasted repeatedly for not standing up to Favre. He’s often criticized generally when things go wrong (because he deserves it and he generally sucks). And there has been a growing feeling all year that he just doesn’t have control of his team. So what does a bad manager/coach do in a situation when cynical defensiveness no longer seems to work? Get offensive and misdirect anger. I think that’s what happened here and it’s the kind of thing that usually gets a guy fired (especially with a future head coach waiting in the wings like Leslie Frazier).