Karl Taro Greenfield wrote an interesting, incisive and insightful piece about Randy Moss for the cover story of this week's SI.
What a sad life Moss seems to lead:
It has been Moss's experience that if he keeps his house spotless, his routine unsullied, if he keeps to himself, then there "ain't going to be no misunderstandings." That's also why he lives alone. When Randy meets the world, he has noticed, those interactions have tended to be messy.
In this era of supersized housing, Moss's primary residence could be taken as a philosophical statement. This is only one of four houses he owns, but this is the one he calls home. It would be a humble abode for a moderately successful dentist; for an NFL superstar with a $75 million contract, it is downright Gandhian. The three-bedroom tan stucco structure, about 1,700 square feet in a tract housing development built around a golf course and inhabited primarily by retirees, is at the end of a narrow lane on which Moss's Hummer and BMW, not to mention the Lamborghini, stand out amid the more utilitarian means of transportation deployed by his neighbors.
His living room is shrouded by shadows, blinds drawn. There is a drum set under a white tarp -- Moss says he hasn't played in four years -- and a brown leather sofa; ceramic figures of a panther, a giraffe, a tiger and a cheetah stalk the mantel. It has the feel of a playroom long abandoned by a boy now grown up. The rest of the house is similarly underappointed.
But why does the highest-paid receiver in football live in such simple surroundings, amid retirees in checked pants steering golf carts past his cul de sac on their way to the 1st tee? "This community had three things going for it," he says. "One, it's gated. Two, I can fish. And three, old people don't bother me and I don't bother them. If there are too many kids or families around, they're going to be on me. The only thing the old people worry about is my vehicle's stereo system, but that's why I don't play it too loud. Old people, they sleep all day, as long as I don't wake 'em up."
Throughout the story, Moss seems stubbornly happy in his seclusion (even if those who should matter to him aren't--"He's a good father when he's around," says the mother of his four children), but I couldn't help but find him a nearly tragic figure in this piece, which I'm not sure was the author's intent or not.
All the money in the world. Fame. And yet, his life seems utterly empty.
You read something like that and think, it doesn't have to be that way.
But how do you know?