Shared Text: WR Randy Moss Joins the San Francisco 49ers

It shouldn’t be a surprise that a disproportionate number of Harry Potter references in popular media come in the opinion columns on the editorial page and in articles by sportswriters. Unlike the beat reporters who are obliged to keep the narrative line pretty much to the facts to sustain the illusion of neutrality, columnists and sports reporters have every incentive to be colorful and brash. Literary references welcome.

Earlier this week it was Joe Posnanski and the Dementors he felt haunted Cleveland Municipal Stadium in his youth. Now it’s the advent of troublesome Randy Moss in the re-building project of San Francisco’s football team. Sports Illustrated columnist Ann Killion clearly thinks the Bay area enthusiasm about Mr. Moss’ arrival and good behavior is premature and maybe even akin to fantasy, hence her use of Hogwarts references to express her skepticism in ‘Randy Moss Off to Great Start With 49ers.’ She starts out with this note:

SANTA CLARA — Randy Moss arrived in the Bay Area in 2005 with sirens blaring and a police escort.

Seven years later he’s come back with an invisibility cloak.

Later, she adds:

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh has made him sound like a cross between Hermione Granger and Vince Lombardi.

“In the classroom he sits in the front row, he soaks up the knowledge and always gives the feedback, too,” Harbaugh said recently. “His attendance has been impeccable … he’s like a coach.”

There are no other references to books or popular culture than these invisibility cloak and Hermione throw-aways — because none are as sure to be grasped immediately or as widely as a Harry Potter reference. Right?

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