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Moss Fined $10,000 For Antics

By Leonard Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 14, 2005; Page D01

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss was fined $10,000 by the NFL yesterday for what the league deemed "unsportsmanlike conduct" when he pretended to pull down his pants and moon the crowd after scoring a touchdown in last Sunday's 31-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

Moss reacted with a string of obscenities when asked by reporters at the Vikings' training complex in Eden Prairie, Minn., if he was upset by the fine. "No, it ain't [expletive]," he said after practice. "It ain't nothing but 10 grand. What's 10 grand to me? It ain't [expletive]. Next time I might shake [expletive]."

Vikings receiver Randy Moss is going to pay $10,000 for his fake mooning of the Green Bay crowd after a fourth-quarter touchdown. (Allen Fredrickson - Reuters)

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The NFL's announcement came three days before Minnesota plays on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in the second round of the NFL playoffs.

Moss caught the game-clinching score in the Vikings' win in Green Bay last weekend, then ran to the goal post, turned his back to the fans in the end zone and pretended to drop his pants. He then rubbed the goal post with his rear end before hugging several teammates and walking back to the bench.

The fine was levied by Peter Hadhazy, the NFL's director of game operations, who also sent a letter to Moss.

"Your actions were based on poor judgment, did not reflect well on you or the Vikings and were insulting to many," the letter read. "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."

In an unusual step, the league also said that Art Shell, the NFL's director of football operations, had telephoned Vikings Coach Mike Tice earlier in the week to "make clear the league's expectations for player conduct."

League rules mandate disciplinary action for "obscene gestures or other acts construed as being in poor taste." The first offense is usually $5,000, but Moss has had other incidents, including being fined $25,000 in 1999 for squirting a game official with water.

Several of his teammates said Moss had been taunted by Packers fans behind the Minnesota bench throughout the game. Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy said Green Bay fans also are known for mooning the opposing team's bus as it leaves the stadium, and he was not surprised by Moss's actions.

Fox broadcaster Joe Buck described Moss's celebration as "disgusting" on the air, and the network did not replay it during the game.

On Wednesday, Minnesota owner Red McCombs asked that Fox remove Buck from the broadcast of this Sunday's playoff game. Fox has said Buck will be handling the broadcast of the 1 p.m. game.

Moss missed a second straight day of practice yesterday to rest his sprained right ankle but was still listed as probable to play Sunday. A team spokesman said last night that said Tice had no comment on the fine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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