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Tinuccis likely to get the last laugh in Moss flap ...


I’ve never considered myself a Randy Moss apologist, but I also didn’t get as upset with his churlish, often childish behavior, until now. Messing with restaurant folk doesn’t sit well with me.

I suppose it will take some time for the whole story to emerge, and much of it will be dictated by what happens when the next team rolls the dice with the talented wide receiver. I think it would be pretty cool if it turns out the Moss outburst at the post-practice meal played a major role in his being waived, but I would be surprised if that were the case.

Just in the time between when I first wrote this, Moss was claimed on waivers by the Tennessee Titans.

Reportedly dissing a meal of chicken, pasta, ribs and other dishes provided by Tinucci’s Restaurant and Catering (photo), with the co-owner, Gus Tunucci, having his number called by the Vikings for their post-practice dinner. Randy reportedly exclaimed something to the effect of, “I wouldn’t serve this to my dog.”

See, this clearly shows yet another area of appalling Randy Moss ignorance, possibly because of his exalted multimillionaire status and dining with the upper crust. But surely he must have taken a meal or two with the rest of us in the great unwashed over the years, and had he been paying attention he would have known that there’s no such thing as a locally owned restaurant with an owner named Gus serving bad meals. It’s just a rule in the restaurant business.

What quickly tickled me about all this was the realization that Randy’s rude dissing of Gus’ dishes will almost certainly end up being a major bonanza for Tinucci’s. Years ago the word-of-mouth would have been spectacular, maybe even to the point of inventive patrons showing up in doggy costumes to see if they could get their pasta and ribs comped; these days, Google and Yahoo will handsomely reward the restaurant with enough business to keep Gus smiling until well past the Super Bowl. Even if Moss somehow magically winds up in it.

I also kind of liked it that the other Minnesota media lightning rod, Brett Favre, reportedly registered a look of disgust at the incivility of the impromptu Moss restaurant review. Say what you will about Brett, but he at least seems to have retained some passing familiarity with his roots and us common folk, or at least he’s more adept at portraying same than Randy might be. That’s not setting the bar real high.

By the time this entry gets into my Sports Collectors Digest column, the irascible Mr. Moss may already have scored a touchdown or two for the Titans, but he still may want to be careful how far he pushes the boorish envelope.

When Barry Bonds became a persona non grata a couple of years ago as he quietly faded into an enforced retirement, I was all but certain that his then-still-considerable batting skills would ultimately outweigh considerations of moral outrage and he would be picked up by another ball club. He wasn’t.

So there does actually seem to be a point at which dealing with all the baggage can get so onerous and obnoxious that nobody will want to give him a ticket to try again.

Are we there yet?