UPDATE: The folks from The Viking Age had a post about retiring Randy Moss' number up before we did. I should have given them the acknowledgement the first time around, and I apologize for not having done so.
In the history of the franchise, the Minnesota Vikings have retired only six numbers to keep them out of further rotation.
10 - Fran Tarkenton
53 - Mick Tingelhoff
70 - Jim Marshall
77 - Korey Stringer
80 - Cris Carter
88 - Alan Page
That’s a pretty impressive list. . .four Hall of Famers, one guy that damn well should be in the Hall, and one whose life was tragically cut short as he was entering his prime. If anybody deserves to be added to that list, it’s the man who will come up for his first shot at the Hall of Fame this next cycle, and his number just opened back up again.
Yes, it’s time to retire the #84 in honor of Randy Moss.
When the Vikings selected Moss with the 21st overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft, the talk was all about his attitude. Yes, he looked amazing on the field at Marshall University, but his off-field stories pushed him far enough down where he wasn’t even the first wide receiver off the board that year. All he did from Day 1 was go out and destroy basically every defender that opponents put in front of him.
Randy Moss didn’t just change the Minnesota Vikings, he changed the way teams play defense. He demanded a double team on every snap, and teams tried all sorts of different schemes to slow him down. . .most of them unsuccessfully. The people outside of the Vikings’ fan base constantly harped on. . .and some continue to harp on. . .some of his off-field incidents with the purple, but none of them ever seem to want to mention all of the positive things he did for the Twin Cities during his time with the Vikings. He did much of it without fanfare, because it wasn’t about him. . .it was about the youth that he was helping along the way.
On the field, however, the impact was undeniable. In his seven seasons with Minnesota, he found his way to the end zone 90 times while catching 534 passes for 9,142 yards. He probably would have collected even more stats in his first go-around with the Vikings, but owner Red McCombs. . .and I will remain thoroughly convinced of this until hell freezes over. . .sent Moss to the Oakland Raiders at the start of the 2005 offseason as a final, gigantic middle finger to a fan base that never did give him the new stadium he so desperately wanted to replace the Metrodome. He went on to the New England Patriots, where he set NFL records before his much less glorious (and short-lived) return to Minnesota in 2010.
Since Moss’ initial departure from Minnesota, three other players have worn the number 84. Aundrae Allison. . .remember him. . .wore it in 2007, Michael Jenkins wore it in 2011 and 2012, and then Cordarrelle Patterson wore it from 2013 to 2016. Frankly, now that receivers are no longer limited to numbers in the 80s, I don’t think that anyone else needs to wear the number in purple and gold again.
Do the right thing, Vikings. . .put the #84 up in the rafters, and leave it there.
What do you think about the Vikings retiring Moss’ #84?