Terrell Owens won’t be attending the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony next month. But Randy Moss will be there. And if Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe also attends, it could get interesting. Or awkward. Or both.
Moss on Thursday evening tweeted this message at Sharpe: “DO U HAVE A PROB WIT ME? everytime u mention me its ALWAYS negative!! I’m trying to live in peace but it seems since u have a national spotlight ur always bashing. what do u get outta tht?? I dont have ur # and I’m not here 4 the trolls but if u do PLS lmk!!!”
(In non-Twitterspeak: “Do you have a problem with me? Every time you mention me, it’s always negative. I’m trying to live in peace, but it seems since you have a national spotlight, you’re always bashing. What do you get out of that? I don’t have your number, and I’m not here for the trolls but if you do, please let me know.”)
Said Sharpe in response: “IF* you want to discuss ‘ANYTHING’ with me? You can easily get my contact info since we know some of the same ppl.”
It’s unclear what prompted Moss to engage Sharpe publicly. But Sharpe has had plenty of things to say about Moss in the past; earlier this year, Sharpe pointed to Randy’s off-field issues when discussing whether he’ll become a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
And, yes, Moss had some off-field issues. At the NFL level, he was arrested for bumping a traffic control officer with his car. At the college level, he was kicked out of Florida State after admitting to smoking marijuana while serving a 30-day work-release prison term. At the high school level, Moss faced criminal charges after a fight left a fellow student seriously injured, and Notre Dame thereafter yanked his scholarship.
Of course, that all pales in comparison to the situation faced by fellow 2018 first-ballot Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, a player Sharpe once cartoonishly defended only months after Lewis had been charged with double murder and eventually pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.
“Why can’t we just — you all just can’t move on?” Sharpe told the media regarding Lewis in the days prior to Super Bowl XXXV. “Just give him his credit. He’s been exonerated of all charges — all charges.
“Listen, if they thought they had something on this man, you don’t plea with a man that you think committed double murder. I can assure you. Did they do that with Rae Carruth? Did they plea anything? You don’t plea to a man with that. And all he had to do was, what? $100 court cost — in court costs. That’s all he had to pay. They plead this man because you know why? They know they didn’t have a case. They knew they had made a mistake, but they could not come out and say it publicly that they’d made a mistake. They made a terrible judgment in error. That’s what they did.
“[N]ot one time have you mentioned anything about the Giants in the Super Bowl or the Ravens in the Super Bowl,” Sharpe said. “Well, Ray, what was it like when you were in jail? Ray, what was it like? What the hell do you think it was like? The man was fighting for his life.”
Of course, two men had fought for, and lost, their lives during an encounter with Lewis and others in Atlanta a year earlier. And with everyone involved in the encounter committed to saying nothing, it becomes very difficult to prove that any one of them did it.
Moss may find himself justifiably focusing on the contrast between Sharpe’s criticism of Moss and Sharpe’s over-the-top defense of Lewis as the Hall of Fame enshrinement approaches. And it probably would be wise for ESPN and NFL Network to keep a camera or two trained on Moss, Lewis, and Sharpe when they interact in Canton.