Randy Moss and the Biggest Sports Divas

Adam LazarusSenior Analyst ISeptember 13, 2010

Randy Moss and the Biggest Sports Divas

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    After a somewhat long hiatus, Randy Moss' recent complaint that he doesn't feel appreciated with the Patriots (despite the near $10 million they have paid him over the past three seasons) sprung him back into the discussion for Biggest Sports Diva.

    But does he have what it takes to be the top diva of all time? Find out here.

10. Alex Rodriguez

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    An instantly recognizable nickname is a key factor in diva-making and Alex Rodriguez has been “A-Rod” virtually as long as he’s been in the majors.

    That alone doesn’t make him a diva; almost everything that has transpired since he left Seattle in 2000 does, however.

    It’s not his fault that the Rangers offered him $252 million but anyone who gets that type of payday is going to instantly earn diva points.

    Then there was that whole trade to the Red Sox that fell through and the eventual landing with the Yankees that made him a bit more unlikeable.

    Admitting to using PEDs didn’t help his image but—with Derek Jeter right beside him day in and day out—he doesn’t project low-maintenance.

    In his book, A-Rod’s former manager, Joe Torre, shared some of the tales that earned him the nickname “A-fraud” and his unreasonable demands as the Yankees star.

9. Tiger Woods

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    Tiger isn’t a diva in the traditional sense that he wants all the attention (far from it) or that he puts himself before the team: after all he plays an individual sport; he can be all the diva he wants.

    But when Tiger isn’t playing well his antics are a bit annoying.

    The club-dropping, the pouty face when he mis-hits a shot or when he looks in utter disbelief when a putt doesn’t fall.

    Tiger gets a pass on most of that because the camera is on him so much more during a tournament than it is any other player.

    But listening to his post-round debriefs—especially after a bad round—is sometimes painful.

    Yes, we know that you score when the putts fall, and you don’t score when they don’t.

8. Barry Bonds

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    Much like Tiger, we are supposed to believe that Barry Bonds hated the spotlight. Watching those interviews—especially those conducted by ESPN’s Pedro Gomez—you’d think he was at the dentist having his teeth pulled.

    Some of his antics while with the Pirates, and then all his alleged clubhouse demands (leather chairs, televisions, etc) were well documented even before the BALCO scandal.

    But in addition to learning HOW he (allegedly) used PEDs, the book "Game of Shadows" revealed even more layers of Bonds' inner diva.

    According to the book, a major part of his motivation for cheating was his jealousy over all the attention Mark McGwire received during the 1998 home run binge.

    If cheating to tarnish your legacy over jealousy isn’t divary, than nothing is.

7. Joe Namath

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    The fur coat and the sunglasses on the sidelines was part of the VISUAL image that screamed “look at me.”

    So did his movie career, his television commercials, and the talk show he hosted. But the guarantee prior to Super Bowl III was tops by far.

    Prior to Namath’s guarantee, that type of bravado was unheard of in the NFL. And this is one case where being a diva wasn’t terribly destructive, either.

    Namath guaranteeing victory over the 18-point favored Baltimore Colts was one of the greatest moments in the history of the Super Bowl…..but only because he made good on the prediction.

6. LeBron James

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    It’s hard to call someone a diva for one moment in an entire career, but LBJ’s antics this summer came straight out of the Diva 101 textbook. Throughout his entire career, James managed to stay away from major criticism of the diva type, until July.

    There was nothing wrong with holding us all in suspense about his decision: he had all the right to take his time.

    And (unless you ask a Cleveland fan) there was nothing wrong with leaving his hometown to play in Miami for more money and with his pals. But to have to hold a nationally televised hour-long special was an absurd display of self-promotion.

    And to top it all off the unintentionally hilarious catch phrase he coined that night while talking to Jim Gray—“I’m taking my talents to South Beach”—was quintessentially ego-centric.

5. Randy Moss

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    The recent “you would like to feel appreciated comment” surged Moss back into the discussion for Americas Next Top Diva.

    We tended to forget about Moss because he seemed to have fixed his image as a selfish player: his unbelievable 2007 season and the Patriots' 16-0 regular season helped people forget about his nightmarish tenure in Oakland.

    We all thought the veteran leadership in the locker room, Tom Brady’s presence and Bill Belichick’s no-nonsense attitude rubbed off on Moss. But it turned out to be fleeting.

    Regardless, long before Moss’ most recent headlines, his “obscene,” yet imaginary defiling of a goal post during the Packers-Vikings playoff game sparked debate over his diva-tude.

    But that wasn’t nearly as bad as his admitting that he “took plays off.” Only a true diva would actually admit that and, for the most part, get away with it.  

    As a repeat offender whose offenses have now spanned three decades, Moss is truly one of the NFL’s most enduring divas.  

4. Brett Favre

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    Like LeBron, Favre’s recent belly flop into the world of diva once seemed relatively out of character, even unthinkable.

    Just a few years ago, Favre was one of the most respected names in sports and enjoyed a long career that was virtually all about football and not about him.

    Nevertheless, the retirement, un-retirement, retirement, un-retirement, retirement, un-retirement of the previous three off-seasons has been maddening…(not John Madden-ing).

    If we actually believed that Favre was wavering back and forth because he couldn’t make up his mind, then he would have no spot on this list.

    But, if the claim of so many in the media—that he only did this off-season hijinks in order to get attention (or worse yet, more money)—then he is as much a diva as anyone.

3. Chad Ochocinco

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    Some people don’t find nearly as much fault with his attention grabbing episodes—the signs he held up, the twittering during a pre-season game, the skits he performed with the ball after scoring a touchdown—because they seem to be playful or just fun-loving.

    More often than not, the divas are criticized for their ego or me-first attitude. Although Chad Ochocinco’s stunts are sometimes humorous and not destructive to the team ideal, each is intended to put the spotlight on him.

    Would he have his own reality show if he didn’t make himself a star? And legally changing your name to (sort of??) match your jersey number isn’t exactly a self-effacing action, either.

2. (Three-Way Tie) Special Owners Entry: Jerry Jones, Al Davis, George Steinbrenner

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    No one can question these men’s desire to win. And each man certainly achieved that: three Super Bowl titles for both Jones and Davis, seven World Series titles for the late Mr. Steinbrenner.

    On the surface, it seemed that all of their meddling was borne out of a desire to do what they earnestly believe was best for the team.

    And in most cases it probably was. But you can’t help but wonder if they wanted the credit for the decisions they made just as much—or more—as they wanted the championship rings. If so, that is divary at the highest level of authority.

1. Terrell Owens

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    The saddest part about T.O.’s image is that his image overshadows his career. From 2000 to 2004, there is an argument to be made that Owens was the best player in the NFL.

    He blocked well, caught virtually everything thrown at him, and his ability to gain yards after the catch was unparalleled.

    And the impact he had in his first season with the Eagles in 2004  would have won him the league MVP that year had he not been injured late in the season; his gutty performance in that year’s Super Bowl (on an injured ankle) only enhanced his growing legacy.

    But he wasted all that good currency by bashing his quarterbacks in the public: first Jeff Garcia then Donovan McNabb.

    After he got to Dallas—and that bizarre trip to the hospital due to a hydrocodone overdose—Owens had no choice but to try and get along with his quarterback. But he couldn’t even do that: publicly complaining about Tony Romo’s relationship with tight end Jason Witten.

    A diva will always have trouble finding a stable home, especially in the NFL. Because T.O. has played with five different teams since 2003, he is the league’s premier diva.