Wise guys are still calling it one of the worst NFL trades of all time. The Oakland Raiders have been ruthlessly taunted as football ignoramuses for dealing All-Pro receiver Randy Moss to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick.
The taunting stopped this weekend. As Moss made only one catch for 16 yards Sunday against the Panthers -- a catch which he then immediately fumbled to the Panthers -- the Patriots fans who booed him perhaps realized that New England has not won a championship since trading for Moss. You'll recall they managed to win a few before trading for him.
Tom Brady has surely noticed this. If you saw his infamous sideline harangue at Moss Sunday for dogging it, or if you would enjoy watching it again at the 1:34 mark of this video, you'll notice Moss just staring off like a pouty ten-year-old with no interest in listening. And you'll recognize that as the "underachiever, and proud of it" expression he wore on his face through most of his two seasons with the Raiders.
Opponents have surely noticed this as well. After the game, Panthers' cornerback Chris Gamble gleefully went off on Moss' weak game.
"We knew he was going to shut it down," Gamble told The Boston Globe. "That's what we wanted to do to him. That's what we did. ... He'd just give up a lot. ... Slow down, he's not going deep, not trying to run a route. You can tell, his body language. ... Once you get into him in the beginning of the game, he shuts it down a little bit."
Peter King calls Moss "totally useless in the lineup" and "a bum" in his Sports Illustrated column. Elsewhere in King's weekly zillion-word opus on the proceedings of the NFL, the league's hardest-working writer notes "Moss is a total head case."
The Raiders, having cut the fourth round pick John Bowie earlier this season, now have nothing to show for the Randy Moss trade. But maybe they're the team that made out better. They don't have any more of that salary on the books, and they don't have any more headaches.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks Randy Moss just needs to get back to mooning the crowd.