I've done this sportswriting thing at the Star Tribune for 34 years. In that time, I've covered everything from the Summer Olympics, Ryder Cups, the Masters, Final Fours, NBA and NHL finals and the World Series to Wimbledon and a six-week assignment traveling 2,400 miles across the Southern Ocean to Antarctica.
A mere 35 seconds of it all — and three uttered words — on a subzero winter's afternoon in January 2005 remain about as memorable as any.
That's when our Vikings beat writer at the time, Kevin Seifert, asked me rather sheepishly if I'd go stand out in the cold as a Thursday turned to dusk just in case Randy Moss had anything to say about the $10,000 fine he had just received from the NFL for pretending to moon the Green Bay crowd during a playoff game the previous Sunday.
Kevin had so done every other day that week, casing out the parking lot, chasing news as players left for the day. But it was a Thursday, and deadline for a package of Sunday stories loomed and so he asked me — a very occasional helper out at Winter Park — if I'd do the often fruitless leg work.
So out I went with several other media members to await Moss' departure for the day. He finally appeared, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt that covered everything but a grin when he was asked by a KARE-TV Ch. 11 producer if he had written the NFL a check yet.
"When you're rich, you don't write checks," he said.
So if you don't write checks, how do you pay these guys, he was asked?
It was then that Moss uttered the immortal words that would have broken Twitter if it had existed then.
"Straight cash, homie."
And it wasn't even his best quote of the short exchange.
Before he ducked into his vehicle and drove away, he said $10,000 didn't mean, well, anything to him.
"Ain't nothing but 10 grand. What's 10 grand to me?" he asked.
Then he said next time he might shake something other than his behind.
And off he drove.
When I returned to the warmth of the Winter Park media work room, Kevin asked me how it went and if my time out in the plunging temperature had been in vain. As did some of Moss' words that day, my reply required an editor's touch, but paraphrased:
This story originally appeared in the August 3, 2018 Star Tribune at the time Randy Moss was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.