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Do Athletes Take Days Off?

About a week back in the NFL the New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss was accused of taking a game off by opposing players of the Carolina Panthers that matched up against him.  They claimed that Moss wasn’t hustling some plays or attempting to make catches to his full ability.  They claimed that Moss was lazy and didn’t care about the games result.

And does this happen in sports?

Sure everyone has played hookie before or gone to work or school with other things on their mind, but would an athlete take a day off on game day?  That would be the same thing as intentionally failing a test.  Or showing up to that board meeting in board shorts.

I am sure it does in fact happen in professional sports, but do the elite players take days off too?

I am sure it would depend on the star athlete.  I could see Ronaldo of Brazil taking a second half breather if he ate one too many chilidogs before the game, but I don’t think a Lionel Messi ever would.  And speaking of Messi his name comes up for this a lot too.  Would Messi ever not play at his hardest level?  Some say he hasn’t this year.

But when it comes to guys like Messi and Moss they get put on a pedestal.  Many believe that a bad result means it was a lack of effort on their part when in reality it just means they had an off-day.  If it happens for an entire year then they might have a point, but for now these are stars that can bust a game open on any one play. 

And that’s good enough to say, “I’d love to have either one on my team.” 

Well depending on the sport of course.