The media often reminds us all that they are the connection between the fans and the athletes and teams. While reporting is supposed to be objective, what the fan gets in terms of information is oftentimes tainted by the media person’s own notions or even agenda.
How is the fan to tell what is the truth and what is not?
As Chad Finn pointed out last night:
The national media, almost unanimously from what I can tell, came away from Patriots minicamp raving about Randy Moss. Certain members of the local press are predictably yowling that he was dogging it. So excuse me while I give Peter King credence for once.
Finn was referring to Michael Felger, among others. Yesterday in Felger’s first appearance in the Herald for some time, (He is no longer on staff there – he will do freelance work while focusing on his radio and TV career.) he wrote the following about Moss’ efforts at mini-camp last week:
You’d have thought Moss would have taken the opportunity to make an early statement, maybe run from drill to drill across the field, lead the sprints at the end of practice, blow by the slower and smaller players trying to cover him, whatever. Show a little hustle. Little things.
But it pretty much was the opposite. Moss was content to remain in the pack. He never was first in line. He certainly didn’t make defensive backs look foolish. Aside from climbing the ladder once or twice on high throws, he didn’t give any hints of his prodigious physical gifts. It’s true the entire proceedings were run at about three-quarters speed, but that didn’t stop Brady, Welker and Harrison from giving full effort. Moss’speedometer seemed stuck at around 60 percent.
Felger’s buddy, Ron Borges has also been heard on the 890 ESPN Boston airwaves spouting that Moss wasn’t trying, wasn’t sweating hard enough, and generally not hustling. (Ironic, given the suspension that Borges was handed from the Globe earlier this spring.)
What is Felger basing his assessments on? He says the proceedings were held at about 75% speed, but that Moss was only going at 60%. How exactly did he measure this?
Finn makes mention (reluctantly, it seems) of Peter King, and his article yesterday on Moss was extremely Moss and Patriots-friendly.
Kings describes in detail the efforts Moss has made in first getting to the Patriots, and then in trying to fit in and get into the best possible shape.
At 2 a.m. on April 29 coach Bill Belichick called Moss in Houston and informed him that he would have to accept a $6.25 million reduction in his $9.25 million base salary and undergo a physical in Boston within 10 hours if he wanted to be a Patriot. Moss immediately agreed to the pay cut and hired a private plane to rush him to New England. He also changed two weeks of personal plans for early May so that he could attend the Pats' off-season program, though he was not ordered to do so by Belichick. At New England's Organized Team Activities -- practices without pads that NFL teams hold each spring -- Moss felt he was lagging in conditioning drills, so when the Patriots took the last week of May off, he stayed in Foxborough for four days of aerobic work.
King also made the observation that “At his first Patriots minicamp, wideout Randy Moss looked like a new man.”
So was Randy Moss loafing it, going at 60% or did he look like a new man at camp?
How are we to tell? Who do we rely on?
To further confuse things, this afternoon Albert Breer has a fine blog post in which he makes the statement that “First, the idea that perception has changed on Moss since the trade to New England is a local thing.”
So is he saying that the New England media folks the ones that are promoting the new perception of Moss and that the national media is still skeptical? Or is it like Finn says…the national media is raving about Moss while the locals are yowling?
In any event, I’m not sure what to believe.