It's a cry for help, a display of misbehavior too pathetic to be worthy of attention other than to notice that a young man who has always been in need of help is more clearly in need than ever before.
And how do we react? We vilify him. We single him out in our most high-profile and sophisticated media outlets for more ridicule that will only further fuel the problem and bring it closer to a dangerously combustible level.
Has anyone considered helping Randy Moss?
The league will hit him with a huge fine this week for his embarrassing antics in Green Bay on Sunday, and we'll cheer the fine and rip him still more, but only after offering the obligatory disclaimer: He's a great talent.
So what? Why is his talent such an obsession? There are lots of great talents available to the NFL. Why has Moss' become so important? Is there any chance that his notoriety has now become more entertaining than his athletic skill? Is there any chance we actually like this?
This guy needs help. He's dangerous. It's now reached the point that it's difficult to watch him play. He makes rational people feel uncomfortable. They feel sorry for him. They pity him. In no way should it be considered entertaining.
There's no need to describe what he did in Green Bay on Sunday. It's what you would expect of a child in the midst of a tantrum. At least, if it was a child the adults in the room would turn their heads and ignore him, out of pity for the poor parents.
Fining Moss isn't going to help him. It won't be a suitable response to his cry for help. He needs to be taken out of play. The poor young man needs a rest before something very bad happens.
Call it a suspension, call it whatever you'd like, but what it would really be is an expression of caring for someone who is on his way to leaving the game no better off than how he entered it. Football loves to thump its chest about how it has made so many young men better, but it dare not make that claim about Moss.
He is worse today than ever before. All of the fines and wrist-slaps for insubordinations of the past have done nothing to help him improve his lot. His high school passed the problem on to Notre Dame, which passed it on to Florida State, which passed it on to Marshall, from which the NFL willingly assumed and rewarded it. Somebody please break the chain.
Who will it be? Commissioner Paul Tagliabue? And might this be the week of reckoning? The week Moss' cry for help is heard and we act as human beings who care about other human beings?
Punishing and ridiculing Moss is not the answer because it never has been the answer. More of the same will only produce more of the same.
Take him out of play. Stop the merry go round. Don't fight his anger problem with another spanking. They don't work for him. They only make matters worse.
The man needs help. He needs rest.