Moss' misdeed costs him $10,000

Published: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 12:37 a.m.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Randy Moss trudged out to his truck in the subzero cold, with a huge, black hooded sweat shirt covering almost his entire face. All that was showing was a carefree smile.
In his usual flippant manner, Moss showed no remorse for his latest misdeed.
Minnesota's controversial wide receiver was fined $10,000 Thursday by the NFL for pretending to pull down his pants and moon the Green Bay crowd during a playoff win last weekend.
"Ain't nothing but 10 grand. What's 10 grand, to me?" said Moss, whose salary this season is $5.75 million. He then jokingly suggested he might perform a more vulgar celebration next time.
Peter Hadhazy, the league's director of game operations, penalized Moss for unsportsmanlike conduct in a letter released by the NFL.
"Your actions were based on poor judgment, did not reflect well on you or the Vikings, and were insulting to many," Hadhazy wrote. "They have resulted in widespread criticism and needlessly detracted from Minnesota's dramatic playoff victory. Fans should look to you and your teammates to see how to compete and win in football. But when you lose your focus on playing and engage in sideshows as you did on Sunday, you forfeit much of this."
Moss also briefly bumped the goalpost with his backside before hugging teammates in the end zone following a fourth-quarter touchdown catch that clinched the Vikings' 31-17 victory over the Packers.
League rules mandate discipline for "obscene gestures or other actions construed as being in poor taste." A fine for the first offense under those guidelines is $5,000.
The NFL said Moss was fined more than the minimum because this isn't the first time he has been disciplined for unsportsmanlike conduct. He paid a $25,000 penalty in 1999 for squirting an official with a water bottle.
Moss wasn't the only player fined on Thursday. The NFL also fined New York Jets linebacker Eric Barton $7,500 for hitting San Diego quarterback Drew Brees in the head during last weekend's playoff game.
Moss, whose 9,142 career yards receiving are the most ever by any player over his first seven seasons, has drawn more than his share of punishments and negative publicity.
The league fined him $5,000 for his role in a scuffle with the Chicago Bears during a September game, and he was charged the same amount in November 2003 for spiking a ball at the foot of Detroit Lions cornerback Dre' Bly.
In December 2002, he was fined $1,200 by a judge after being charged with bumping a traffic control officer with his car in downtown Minneapolis.
For verbally abusing corporate sponsors on the team bus following a loss in November 2001, Moss was fined $15,000 by the Vikings and required to receive anger management counseling.
And just last week, he was rebuked by teammates for leaving the field before the end of a loss to the Washington Redskins.
Moss' agent, Dante DiTrapano, said the fine was unnecessary and that he plans to appeal.
"If you can't have freedom of expression on the football field, come on," DiTrapano said.
DiTrapano argued that there was a story behind the dance Moss did in the end zone. The pantomimed pants-pulling was a response to Green Bay fans' tradition of mooning the visiting team's bus in the parking lot. And the rump bump against the goalpost, DiTrapano said, was a tribute to an old friend of Moss' who was at Lambeau Field for the game. Donnie Jones, who played at Dupont High School in West Virginia a few years before Moss did, used to celebrate like that after touchdowns.
"Like everything else, I think it's blown out of proportion," DiTrapano said. "It's not fair, but we're used to it. It just rolls right off of us."
n RELIEF: The NFL and its teams, players and fans have raised and committed more than $4 million for tsunami relief efforts, the league said Thursday.
That amount includes $1 million coming directly from the NFL and $1.5 million from Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen's charitable foundation, the league said in a news release.
New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft and the team's charitable foundation have raised $500,000 for the disaster relief. The Atlanta Falcons and owner Arthur Blank have raised $370,000.
San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos made a personal contribution of $150,000 to the relief efforts in Asia.
The NFL said it is encouraging league employees to donate money and is offering to match their donations up to $1,000.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is donating his playoff paycheck, worth $18,000, to the tsunami victims relief effort.
Pro Bowl quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning filmed a public service announcement for the United Nation's World Food Program.
The NFL also announced that half of the proceeds from The Soupier Bowl of Caring, a national hunger relief program chaired this year by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver and his wife, Delores, will go to tsunami relief efforts. The program raised $4 million last year.
More than 150,000 people in 11 countries were killed by the Dec. 26 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
  • STEELERS: Linebacker Kendrell Bell missed practice again Thursday with the flu and was downgraded to questionable for Pittsburgh's playoff game against the Jets.
    "Kendrell's flu is pretty significant," coach Bill Cowher said. "We'll see where he is in two days."
    Linebacker Joey Porter returned after sitting out Wednesday's practice, also with the flu. Bell is the only Steelers player who is not listed as probable or better.
    Bell has missed all but three games with a sore shoulder and groin injury, and hasn't played since Nov. 21 in Cincinnati. On Tuesday, Bell said he wasn't sure if the groin injury would allow him to play.
    Bell has been replaced by Larry Foote, who started all 16 regular-season games. Foote would have started Saturday even if Bell was healthy.
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