Dan Shaughnessy to Everyone: Screw Off

Crusty Globe curmudgeon Dan Shaughnessy has fired his second salvo in regards to the Randy Moss deal, but he's changed his target from the Patriots franchise to the fans. He's pretty much calling us shameless uniform-only-rooting idiots with selective memories when it comes to Moss and his past transgressions.

Dan -- you sit in the press box, get to go to post-game press conferences and ask questions in the locker room, but you really don't have much greater insight into the game. Don't think that we, as fans, aren't educated enough to know what we're getting into and who we're getting behind -- multiple 24-hour sports programming channels, online newspapers and yes, bloggers, make us more and more knowledgeable each day, as you type away on your company-issued laptop, declaring war on the the system of tubes that is the Internet.

You also underestimate our sensibilities when it comes to other polarizing figures in sports:

Pacman Jones - you start off with this year's pariah-du-jour. There is absolutely no way he would be welcome in New England -- reformable or not.

Barry Bonds - why would we welcome someone who calls Boston a racist city? I admit, we have an identity blemished by the busing issue of the 70s, but ask Deval Patrick what he thinks about racism and this city.

T.O. - No way. I'm not sure where the line is between Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, but there definitely is one. As more and more reaction is coming out to the Moss trade, we're hearing comments like "he's just misunderstood -- he wants to win just as bad as the next guy" from people like former teammate Cris Carter. The Patriots (and fans) can handle a bad seed, especially at the price tag Moss has set, but T.O. is simply a vicious, self-centered cancer.

Roger Clemens - Of course he'll be welcomed back. All the girls with the "ohmygodthat'ssocute" pink Red Sox hats and all the yah-doods with their flipped collars and scalped tickets will absolutely flip if/when Clemens comes back to Boston. How many people in a sold-out Fenway Park will even remember that Clemens mailed it (because he was too fat to walk the letter over himself) in for his last four years here? Smart fans will realize that he's no better than a hired gun like Curt Schilling, rather than a prodigal son-returning. Where were you when angry fans tore down a Clemens memorial inside Fenway park during the 1999 ALCS? If the Red Sox can bring him back for the second half this year -- more power to them.

A-rod - All the ire directed toward Alex Rodriguez should be swapped with the love for Clemens. Rodriguez wanted to play here. He even offered to take a pay cut, but the players union wouldn't allow it. Right now he is the best player in the game. Why wouldn't you want him?

Johnny Damon - you write that no one cares that he helped deliver a World Series Championship to Boston. You must have been in the bathroom during the standing ovation during his first at bat as a Yankee in Fenway Park.

There are others you mention, but it looks like you ran out of bile (Laimbeer, Samuelsson and Canseco are merely footnotes in the big picture of things). You finally end your rant with the lame "Randy Moss is a Patriot. You are a Patriots fan. You can't wait for the season opener." Nice of you separate "us".

At one time, Moss might have been the #2 most vilified character in the NFL, after Owens, but he has dropped several spots since his days in Minnesota. Playing on an absolutely terrible Raiders team will do that, plus you have Pacman Jones, Chris Henry and the rest of the Bengals and even Mike Tice and Nick Saban making many more headlines than Moss since he mooned the Green Bay fans (deservedly).

You're damn right I'm a Patriots fan and you're damn right I can't wait for the season opener. The Patriots had several post-season needs, and are working on fulfilling them. Randy Moss fulfills one of those needs. We're not asking him to cure cancer -- we just want to him to play his ass off and not get into any trouble, which I'm sure is pretty close to what Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, the Krafts and the rest of the Patriots organization want as well.


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