I originally started writing this during the hall of fame but never finished it. Since today is Moss’s birthday I figured what better time to finish than now.
Randy Moss was rightfully inducted into the hall of fame this past weekend on the first ballot. Randy Moss had an incredible career in the NFL is arguably the most talented player to have played the game of football. It is always so hard to rank how great a football player is because football is such a team sport but there is nobody who had the same impact as Randy Moss. During his rookie season the Vikings set the record at the time for the highest scoring offense in NFL history, and Randy Moss led the team with 17 touchdowns. That record would go on to be broken by the New England Patriots in 2007 who also boasted Randy Moss as their leading scorer with an NFL record 23 touchdown receptions. At the time Randy was the highest scorer on the two highest scoring teams in NFL history. He also has caught touchdown passes from an NFL record 13 different quarterbacks. Only one of those quarterbacks is currently in the hall of fame (Brett Favre) although Tom Brady will certainly be enshrined once his career is over.
Randy Moss has long been my favorite NFL player. When the Gambling Guy was just the Gambling Boy watching Fox NFL Sunday at home, I remember seeing a promo video for Randy Moss during his rookie season. I was newly a fan of football as I was still young but I was enamored by the ability of Randy Moss. Although I was young, I watched my fair share of NFL films and I had never seen anyone be so great, all the while making it look so effortless. Randy was so smooth and had so much swag. This was before the word ‘swag’ had been made popular, but Randy exuded swag like no other. He would talk trash and then back it right up. One of my favorite clips of Randy is when he is on the sideline with Cris Carter and Duante Culpepper during week 5 of the 2000 season and they are discussing what they will do on their next series. At the end Randy looks in the camera and says “NFL Films Touchdown put it on“. He then goes on to catch a 50 yard touchdown, his third of the game. He comes back to the sideline and says back to the camera “I told you and I told you! Touchdown!”. Anything Randy says sounds so cool with his West Virginia country accent. Here is a quick list of my favorite moss quotes:
“The don’t play the playstation like us” (love this because anyone who played Madden during that time knew you always pick tails)
“When you rich you don’t write checks … Straight cash homie” (this whole clip is gold)
There was nothing Randy Moss could not do. His game had no weaknesses. He could line up anywhere on the field. Although he was not regularly used in the situation, he could return kicks and punts and had one punt return for a TD. He even had a college award for best returner named after him. It has been said countless times, but he has everything you could want from a wide receiver. Tall, fast, jumps high, locates the ball at the highest point, big hands, strong hands, and on top of all of his physical attributes he was one of the smartest players in the game as well. The Patriots are known for running a complex offense and Bill Belichick always praised how smart of a player Randy was. There was no concept that he could not grasp and when grouped with Tom Brady they dominated their opponents. It is truly a once in a lifetime sight to see two of the greatest players in the sport with the same competitive drive working together. The 2007 season will never be forgotten. At some points it looked like Tom and Randy were just bullying the rest of the league. It saddens me still that they did not win a championship, but their dominant performances will never be forgotten. It is also unfortunate that they had one season of them playing together taken away by Tom Brady’s ACL injury in September of 2008. Although that season with Matt Cassell provided one of the best and most underrated touchdown passes ever.
This one goes under the radar because the Patriots lost the game in overtime but with the game on the line Cassell finds Moss in the front corner and Randy makes an amazing effort to catch the ball and get both feet down.
One of Moss’s most memorable catches and probably one of the best catches of all time came in another loss against the Jets. This was during a time when Randy Moss was feuding with Darrelle Revis. Revis called Moss a ‘slouch’ so Moss made a statement saying “The slouch is coming out today”. Just before halftime Tom Brady found Moss behind Revis deep down the middle of the field and rather than gather the ball in with two hands, Randy snags the ball out of the air with one hand.
He makes the seemingly impossible look effortless. There are a number of one handed catches in the history of the NFL that are great. This will always be my favorite however because it did not come from necessity. Randy just wanted to look good and make Revis look bad in the process. This was in peak ‘Revis Island’ years as well.
At this point in his career Randy Moss was unequivocally the greatest wide receiver of all time. That still stands today. But after taking a year off he came back for a year with the 49ers and helped bring them to a Super Bowl appearance. On the way there he got a chance to burn the Patriots as well. Showing that he was never washed up.
I am positive that Randy Moss could suit up and be a number 1 receiver for at least half the NFL teams right now. Even in 2019, adding Randy Moss to your team would make your NFL offense explosive. I often wonder what his numbers would look like if he played his entire career with Tom Brady. He was able to make every quarterback look good. All they needed was to throw it in his general direction. It was a pleasure to watch his career throughout the years. There will never be another Randy Moss