Punctuation to blame in Chris Houston's Randy Moss "smack talk"
By: Kim O'Hara | Posted: September 11, 2012
Where would we be without Twitter? And, more importantly, where would NFL players be? In a medium that often causes more trouble than good for athletes (looking at you, Rashard Mendenhall..), Denver Lions cornerback Chris Houston has taken to the social media site to defend himself after a local writer inadvertently twisted his words.
Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News created quite the frenzy when he tweeted:
Chris Houston talked a little smack about Randy Moss today. Called him a "possession receiver" and doesn't think he can "take the top off."
Media outlets picked up the story and ran with it; Houston’s smack talk was featured on major sites such as NFL.com and NBCSports.com. The story was especially juicy, since the Moss’s 49ers will host Houston and the Lions this Sunday night. But was it a story at all? Houston posted a series of tweets last night explaining what he actually said about Moss and venting about the irresponsibility of media:
Media sure do change your words to make a game and sale tickets smh. No way I could tlk [sic] negative about Moss he's a legend HOF WR!
Everything I said about the game coming up they turned my words around. I won't talk to media like that no more wow!
Everybody and the [sic] momma know Moss can take the top off a defense so why would I say he can't smh. Every cb in the league know that!
I said moss can take the top off of defenses and he can be a possession WR to move the chains simple and plain. How did they twist my words?
The answer to that last question seems to be quite simple, as Katzenstein tweeted an apology shortly thereafter:
Apologies to @Chris23Houston. An honest case of mishearing 'can't' instead of 'can.' Didn't realize my tweets would be used for nat'l story.
It’s fascinating how one little contraction changed the entire scope of what Houston said. Remove the apostrophe and the “t” and he’s offering sincere respect to a historically great receiver. Turn the “can” to a “can’t” and he’s flippantly dismissing a future Hall of Famer. I like that Houston defended himself here, as his quote would have likely wound up pinned to any number of surfaces in the Niners locker room this week, but it seemed that Houston was sincerely concerned about being respectful toward Moss. In a league full of brash jawing on and off the field, it’s nice to see a young corner offering sincere praise to the guy he’ll battle with this Sunday. But man, would I love to hear just how respectful he stays once the whistle blows and the game begins.
Kim O'Hara is the Assocate Editor of TheFootballGirl.com. She is an avid fan of sports in general, but the NFL in particular. She has also been a contributor to ESPN the Magazine. Follow her on Twitter, where she tries to avoid contraction-based national scandal: @arahomik
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