No Moss

Randy Moss - Sports Illustrated May 16, 2005

Back in 1998 there was a new kid that was taking the league by storm.   He was an explosive playmaker at 6’4 and 210 pounds.  He was stronger, smarter and faster than any other wide receiver in the league.  The second he caught the ball it turned in to a track meet to the end zone, catch him if you can.  He would make catches over 3 defenders in the end zone with regularity.  His name was Randy Moss.

He made you want to sing and dance in the streets when you watched him play.  There was a never pass thrown his way where you wouldn’t think, touchdown.  I used to wear his white Nike jersey with pride.  There was little difference between seeing him in a video game and in real life.  Good thing he was the cover boy for 2K sports NFL 2K, NFL 2K1 and NFL 2K2.

The Dallas Cowboys could have drafted him a few slots earlier with their draft pick and wanted to but their experience with Michael Irvin’s behavior made them take a pass.  The sad thing is Moss really wanted to play for the Cowboys.  Irvin even apologized for this.  Moss took this very personally as he proved in every single meeting he ever had against the Cowboys.

In his rookie year he proved how personally he took the Cowboy’s snub.  I remember sitting in philosophy class, junior year of high school, with my purple Beanie Baby of Moss and Blue Deion Sanders Beanie Baby diagramming how it would play out.  Then the game came, Moss bitch slapped the Cowboys in ways I didn’t think possible.  He only had three catches but all of his catches he caught in full stride for 50+ yard touchdowns.  The final score was Vikings 46 and Dallas 36.  The state line for Moss was 3 catches for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns.

For the Minnesota Vikings Randy Moss could do no wrong even when he did wrong.  He once drove over a meter maid with his Lexus.  And when asked about a fine he just received for shaking his ass in a playoff game he said, “when you’re rich you don’t write checks”.  So the reporter asked him, “so how do you pay these guys”.  Moss responded with my favorite economic term of all time, “straight cash homey, what is 10 grand to me?  Next time I might shake my —-.”

Then he got traded to the Raiders, and I literally singed and danced everywhere I went.  In a span of two days the Raiders got Randy Moss and the Golden State Warriors got Baron Davis.  I told everybody I knew Randy Moss was coming to town to save the Raiders and Baron Davis was coming to save the Warriors.  I guess I was half right. 

Sport Illustrated gave Moss this lovely cover.  My subscription had just ended so I renewed and got made sure to get this Moss cover.  There was a rap song mentioning him being a Raider.  So of course I drafted him first in my fantasy football draft. 

What happened next has forever left me with hurt feelings regarding Moss.  In his first season with the Raiders he got 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns in a very nondescript fashion.  For some reason I was still excited hoping he would get them get next year.  I drafted him first again.  Then the next season Moss didn’t even pretend to care.  He had 553 yards and 3 touchdowns in a suicidal fashion. 

I thought am I being hard on Moss?  Maybe he just lost it.  Then he got traded to the New England Patriots.

That first season in New England he was better than ever getting 1,493 yards setting a NFL record 23 touchdowns receiving.  All of a sudden he can play again.  I was really hurt, how come he couldn’t do that for the Raiders? 

Some might say that the Raiders had a lot of adversity and still do.  But just last season when Tom Brady went down Moss had 1,008 yards, 11 touchdowns and an excellent attitude.  He was willing to do whatever it took to help the team win.  He wasn’t going to jump ship or turn on the team.  He was a good teammate.

So where does this leave me now?  Who is my favorite wide receiver?  You might have seen me on NFL Sleeper Team enjoying his new cereal.  He is TO my favorite football player, period.  He never came to my town, got my hopes up, slapped me in the face and then kicked my dog all the way from New England.

Farhan Latif writes exclusively for CloudFantasy.  Email him here.


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