Randy Moss has found his final NFL end zone. Moss, the former first round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, has been elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.
Taken 21st overall in the 1998 draft by head coach Dennis Green, Moss instantly transformed the Vikings offense, led the NFL with 17 touchdown receptions, and was part of an offense that scored 556 points, which was an NFL record.
Moss was electrifying on the field, and there had never been a receiver to come into the league with the combination of size and speed that Moss possessed. He utterly dominated games at times, and he saved his best for the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys. In an effort to try and contain Moss, in 1999 the Packers spent their first three draft picks on defensive backs.
It largely failed. Some of Moss’ biggest games came against the Packers, including his 1998 Monday Night Football coming out party, and the 2004 NFC Wildcard playoff game, the infamous ‘Moss Moons Lambeau’ game.
But for all his talents on the field, he could be a polarizing figure off of it. He had run-ins with the law both in college and with the Vikings, and at the end of the 2004 season his distractions came to a head, and he was traded to the Oakland Raiders by owner Red McCombs, who was in the process of selling the team. I’ve said this before and I will maintain until my dying day that McCombs traded Moss out of spite due to his inability to get a new stadium, and that was his last middle finger to the Vikings fans and the state of Minnesota on his way out the door.
He had two lost seasons in Oakland before being reborn in New England, and in 2007 the Patriots, led by Moss and Tom Brady, broke the 1998 Vikings scoring record. Moss had over 1400 yards and a mind boggling 23 TD’s, as the Patriots went 16-0, but lost the Super Bowl in the final seconds to the Giants. In his first Super Bowl appearance, Moss had 62 yards receiving and a touchdown that looked to be the game winner with under three minutes to play.
In 2010, he was famously traded back to the Vikings, but age had caught up with him and QB Brett Favre. They did have one notable highlight, though, as Moss caught Favre’s 500th TD pass. However, head coach Brad Childress famously deemed Moss a ‘programmatic non-fit’ less than a month after trading for him, and released him.
Less than a month after that, Childress was fired.
In his post-NFL career, Moss has become an engaging TV personality on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, and his knowledge of the game is second to none.
I’m always gonna love Moss. I know he could be a pain in the ass off the field, but if you saw him play, he took your breath away every time he touched the ball.
Congrats, Super Freak. Welcome to Immortality. Here, enjoy some Moss highlights.