Moss-Garnett- The Race to the Bottom

04 Nov 2010

Normally, sports news involves the competition to win things: games, championships, record television rights deals. Today, though, has the distinct feeling of a race to the bottom. This is being contested between Randy Moss, who wants a team willing to put up with him in exchange for the hope he’ll try hard enough to make a few spectacular touchdown catches and Kevin Garnett, who is introducing the word cancer into his repertoire of N.B.A. trash talk.

Ray Ratto of throws in the Mike Shanahan-initiated Donovan McNabb mess and writes they’re all just varying degrees of stupid. Perhaps we should add Sidney Crosby, one of a handful of N.H.L. players that anybody has heard of, risking his neck in a fight, throw a tent over it and just call the whole day a circus.

Tent No. 1 is Moss. There is one N.F.L. team left that wants him after the Vikings became the latest to go screaming into the night. Tennessee was the only team to place a waiver claim for him, because apparently Jeff Fisher is the only coach whose head doesn’t start to pound at the sound of the receiver’s name. Don Banks of believes it’s because Fisher has the confidence that he can manage Moss’s tantrums and because he is desperately chasing the Colts in the division. The Tennessean’s David Climer counts all the pros and cons and decides the move might work out O.K., but won’t solve all the Titans’ issues. Dan Wetzel of believes the Titans and Fisher can manage the risk, but to Pete Prisco of, it still makes no sense.

Meanwhile, teams around the league discussed why they didn’t reach for Moss, with the Giants’ Tom Coughlin perhaps making the most sense said, “You have to stand for something.” Left behind in all the dust is Minnesota, whose four-week dance with Moss has left Coach Brad Childress only degrees removed from Captain Queeg,writes Alex Marvez on

Over in the N.B.A. tent, Garnett did his best to draw all your eyes to his act. As Adrian Wojnarowski writes on, Garnett has always been the league’s biggest bully, but got called on it when Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva announced via Twitter that Garnett had referred to him as a “cancer patient,” in reference to the alopecia that costs Villanueva his hair. Garnett issued a statement claiming his comment was actually that Villanueva was a “cancer to his team and the league,” although as Mitch Lawrence writes on, almost no one believes him. Even if that’s what he said, writes J.A. Adande on, it’s time to ditch the cancer metaphor in sports once and for all andDavid Whitley writes on, in another era someone would have just decked Garnett. Conversely, Dan Shaughnessy writes in the Boston Globe that in sporting circles, Villanueva is actually the bad guy because he broke the code of keeping trash talk on the court.

Well, that probably made it a good day for the Bulls’ Derrick Rose to stand up “The Good Wife,” ticking off the cast by not showing up to film a cameo for an upcoming episode.

Baseball will try to get in on this act as the offseason signing frenzy kicks off, and it’s already got a jump on things with a war of words brewing between the Yankees andDerek Jeter. After Hal Steinbrenner kicked things off predicting things will get messy,Jeter’s agent fired back by calling his client priceless. The nuttiness did pause, however, with the news that former Tigers and Reds manager Sparky Anderson has been put in hospice care as he struggles with dementia, with Mike Lopresti writing in USA Today that Anderson proved that nice guys could win.

It’s a really nice thought for a day that needs one.