Favre Doesn't Address Allegations After Game
LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:
We turn to a competition in New Jersey. Last night, wide receiver Randy Moss was back with the Minnesota Vikings, rejoining the NFL team where he began his career. But Moss and the Vikings came up short against the New York Jets, 29-20.
NPR's Mike Pesca was there. He filed this report.
MIKE PESCA: Randy Moss's last quarterback said he was probably the greatest downfield receiver in football history. And that guy, Tom Brady, won three Super Bowls. Mosss current quarterback spoke of harboring visions of touchdown passes to number 84 for a decade. And that guy's thrown for about 40 miles over his NFL career.
That guy is, of course, the Vikings quarterback, Brett Favre, who described his newest target as flammable.
Mr. BRETT FAVRE (Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings): And we needed a spark at that time. Talk about a spark - he can light a flame.
PESCA: But nothing was catching fire in the drenched New Jersey night. Lightning delayed the game for over 40 minutes, and no one seemed to tell the Vikings offense that play had resumed. The Jets defense, which about three weeks ago contained Moss pretty well when he was a member of the Patriots, was doing the same in the first half.
(Soundbite of P.A. system)
Unidentified Man #1: Pass intended for Moss is incomplete.
PESCA: But in the second half, footballs began raining down; one dropped right into the hands of Moss. The 37-yard touchdown strike put the Vikings on the board and jump-started Favre, who threw two more touchdowns. In the end, though, the Jets intercepted Favre, and returned it for a score to seal the win.
After the game, Moss said he didnt want to do interviews, and then at first shouted down a reporter from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, who wanted to ask him about his return to the team that drafted him.
Unidentified Man #2 (Reporter): It's your first game back in six years.
Mr. RANDY MOSS (Wide Receiver, Minnesota Vikings): Do you have a problem with it?
Unidentified Man #2: Yes. A lot of people are going to have it.
Mr. MOSS: Ask a question, and I won't answer it. How 'bout that?
Unidentified Man #2: Why aren't you doing interviews?
Mr. MOSS: (Bleep). What did I just tell you? I'm not doing any interviews.
PESCA: Later, a reporter for ESPN used the get-more-flies-with-honey technique.
Unidentified Man #3 (Reporter): Tell us about the TD pass. Come on, Randy.
PESCA: Combined with a little pleading.
Unidentified Man #3: Come on.
PESCA: He got Moss to talk.
Mr. MOSS: You know, it's been a long week. I'm kind of worn out, man. It's just, you know, it's frustrating. I put a lot in this, you know. I played the Jets twice in the last month and it had me - it had my nerves going. So I studied hard this week to try to get them, and all the plays I didn't get - but some of them, I knew. So I'm not saying we ad-libbed out there, but it was a tough week for me.
PESCA: A few minutes later, Favre was struggling with how to answer unwanted questions of his own. He stepped away from pressure when asked about allegations that he had propositioned and sent lewd photos of himself to a female sideline reporter when both were employed by the Jets.
Question: Were the allegations a distraction? Answer: Im here to talk about football. Question: Are the allegations true or false? Answer: Football, please. Question: Were you at least embarrassed by the allegations? Answer...
Mr. FAVRE: I'm embarrassed we lost this football game.
PESCA: So here you have the Vikings, a team which acquired a supposed locker room distraction in Randy Moss to compliment their gifted quarterback. But it's the alleged actions of the quarterback that are drawing scrutiny from the league. They have two of the game's greatest players at QB and receiver, one of the two best running backs in the NFL - and oh, by the way, their defense is better than their offense. Yet their record is 1-3.
This was supposed to be a storybook ending for Brett Favre. It's turning into the kind of creepy Grimms fairy tale that has to be sanitized before you tell it to the kids. Of course, a big winning streak can change the narrative. For that to happen, Vikings new and old have got to start rewriting the story pretty soon.
Mike Pesca, NPR News, New York.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.