By now, you've undoubtedly heard about Randy Moss and his pantomimed moon. With the NFL playoffs in full swing, the outspoken Minnesota Vikings wide receiver scored a touchdown late in the game, sealing the victory against the Green Bay Packers. Instead of spiking the ball, getting jiggy with it or pulling a Sharpie from his sock, Moss instead chose to give the Green Bay faithful a taste of their own medicine. See, it's tradition at Lambeau Field for the Packers fans to drop trou and display their dairy-fed asses toward the visiting team's bus, so that sight is the last thing the departing players see.
Having stared at one too many cheese-laden posteriors, Randy Moss thought he would return the favor by acting like he was shooting a moon at the stands. Joe Buck, commentator for Fox Sports (the network televising the game), overreacted by calling the spectacle "disgusting" and apologized for it airing on Fox. Huh? The network that shows Who's Your Daddy is suddenly taking a moral position? About this? The irony of the situation is that Moss' backside wasn't even the most tasteless and offensive spectacle on television that afternoon. That distinction belongs to the once-powerful NBC Sports crew. NBC used to televise NFL football, but lost it to Fox years ago. Thus, on a Sunday afternoon that featured NFL playoffs on Fox, NBC decided to bring out the big guns: Loggins on Ice.
If there are three words that should strike fear in your heart, you just read them. Because that's "Loggins" as in "Kenny." I saw this sporting event listed in the program guide for DirecTV and nearly pissed myself. I didn't wait for a commercial break from the NFL playoff game I was watching I couldn't hit the buttons fast enough to get to NBC. Once there, I beheld the bearded wonder himself. The king of '80s soundtracks was appropriately belting out "Playing With the Boys" as Brian Boitano pranced his way around the ice rink. Kenny and his band were playing at one end, with the figure skaters doing their turns and jumps mere feet away. No, really.
Have you ever felt like you're frozen in time? Sucked into a vortex? Unable to turn away from something so powerfully bad that you become a part of it? That was me on my couch. My wife snuck a sideways glance at me and crept out of our living room, taking our 18-month-old son to safer territory. I could not resist the tractor-beam-like power of the Log. I couldn't wait to hear "Danger Zone," "Meet Me Halfway" or (God help me) that Pooh Corner song he does. He delivered, all the while sporting that intense look of constipation. Skater after skater would play to the crowd, leaping and spinning as Kenny went through his seemingly endless catalog of hits. Try as I might, I simply couldn't turn back to the football game. My wife attempted an intervention by asking if I needed another beer and I realized that I hadn't even touched the one I had plucked from the refrigerator half an hour ago. She even tried to engage me in conversation, at which time I shushed her and whispered in the creepiest voice imaginable, "I'm waiting to see if he's going to do 'Footloose!'"
Sure enough, those oh-so-familiar opening guitar notes rang through my surround-sound. "Beeewneeynewwneeenewww BUM BUM!" I sang along. I shit you not, I sang along as the entire lineup of figure skaters worked their ice-rink magic simultaneously. From Boitano to Caryn Kadavy (I hadn't heard of her either), every skater seemed to be having the time of his or her life. It reminded me of a young Kevin Bacon and Chris Penn, rebelling against the anti-dancing dogma of John Lithgow and shaking their butts without a care in the world. Christ on a bike, am I actually waxing nostalgic about Footloose? I am!
The only unsavory element of Loggins on Ice was having to tolerate the effeminate Boitano skating to the patently masculine theme to Caddyshack ("I'm Alright"). The dearly-departed Messrs. Knight and Dangerfield were certainly spinning in their respective graves.
This seemingly mismatched tandem of Kenny Loggins and figure skating gives me hope for future televised sporting events on NBC. You'd have to bribe me to get me to sit through a quarter of a WNBA game, but trot out Public Enemy to play while the girls are going through their layup drills and I am so there. Televised bowling has about as much appeal as watching your grandparents' homemade porno tapes, but how many of you could resist Green Day ripping through their pop-punk anthems while overweight guys hurl their balls?
OK, back to the Mossy ass for a moment. Have the networks become so gun-shy in the wake of Janet's wardrobe malfunction that they would pitch a fit over a pantomimed mooning? Apparently so. I've seen my share of gross-looking bare asses, but is a fully dressed gluteus maximus something that could truly be considered "disgusting," as Joe Buck called Randy Moss'? To quote EPMD, you gots to chill! The NFL has already earned the moniker "No Fun League," going so far as to fine players for pretending to slash their throat with their index finger when putting a game away. This is a league that turns a blind eye to drug, alcohol, steroid and spousal abuse, yet when a player tries to have some fun with a visiting crowd (and a none-too-delicate crowd at that) he's treated like a pedophile at a PTA meeting? Part of the fun of football is that spontaneous celebration after crossing the goal line. Some choose to simply toss the ball to the referee upon scoring, some drop to one knee and thank the deity of their choice, and Randy Moss on a chilly January day chose to disgust Joe Buck by pretending to hang a moon. Let's hear it for the boy.