YouTube Upload: Appreciating Randy Moss

I freaking love Randy Moss, always have. In the fall of 1998 I went away to school and became best friends with a kid from Wayzata, Minnesota who bled Vikings purple and gold. Watching him watch Moss lead the league in receiving touchdowns as a rookie is one of my fondest football memories before adulthood.

Many Irish fans know the backstory with Moss who was the crown jewel of Notre Dame’s 1995 recruiting class, which when it signed in February of that year, was the consensus No. 1 haul in the country and the first truly powerful class for the Irish since 1990.

Then, Moss was involved in a high school fight in March that seriously injured a student and his official application arrived to Notre Dame more than 3 months late. By late June, maybe the second best athlete to LeBron James throughout my time on earth was denied admission to Notre Dame. Some say this mentally broke Lou Holtz who would deal with spinal surgery that fall and be gone from South Bend just 18 months after Moss was denied entry to the school.

It’s always been tempting to wonder how Moss would’ve changed the future in the late 1990’s for Notre Dame. Then again, to be entirely honest the Irish offense was at such a weird place that the Moss fan in me wonders if he would’ve been hilariously underutilized. Corey Mayes had a great senior season (48 receptions, 881 yards) but a damn fullback finished second on the team in receiving.

At any rate, Moss’ brief two years at (then) I-AA Marshall were fun as hell and watching his highlights with Chad Pennington are some of my biggest late 90’s SportsCenter memories.

174 receptions, 3,529 yards, 20.3 per catch, 54 touchdowns

That was utter devastation at any level of college football and he fell in the NFL Draft in 1998.

Is Moss somehow still underrated? Is he the greatest receiver ever? His stats page may not reach the total heights of Jerry Rice but it’s still a ton of fun to look back on, especially given he played most of his career with some pretty bad quarterbacks. One of the seasons he didn’t play with a terrible quarterback he set the record for most touchdowns in a season and his team went 16-0. So, yeah.

At least, Moss truly lived up to his “Freak” nickname and changed the game. Case in point, the leading NFL receivers in yardage in the season before Moss showed up were Rob Moore, Tim Brown, Yancy Thigpen, Jimmy Smith, and Irving Fryar. None of these guys were under the age of 28 and the next season Moss was the best receiver in the game at 21 years old–kind of a big deal. The whole wideout position has never been the same since.

I just wanted to appreciate Randy Moss today. If he’s not a first ballot Hall of Famer next year the NFL should cease operations and Canton shutter its doors. His 30 for 30 “Rand University” from 2014 was one of the more well done films in the series and offered a lot of insight into some of his troubled background but I love him just the way he is anyway.

Especially since he’s still all about Notre Dame. Looking back a few years ago on his college career he said:

“If I could do it over again, Notre Dame would’ve probably still been there. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. That was my team.”

By |2018-05-09T22:26:04+00:00August 8th, 2017|Football|14 Comments

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Brendan Rmihalko35The Guys Get ShirtsjuiceboxBill Rubin Recent comment authors
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Russell Knox
Russell Knox

I get appreciating his talent, but he always seemed kind of douchy to me. He epitomized the “me guys” in my opinion. I’m not denying his talent in any way.

Lil Sebastian
Lil Sebastian

“It’s always been tempting to wonder how Moss would’ve changed the future in the late 1990’s for Notre Dame.”

I bet Ron Powlus has thought about this daily for the last 20 years.

The Guys Get Shirts
The Guys Get Shirts

Your handle is outstanding.

Lil Sebastian
Lil Sebastian

It’s important to support all of our alums.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Straight cash, homie.

Bill Rubin
Bill Rubin

Coach Holtz was once asked who the best player he ever recruited was, he said….”without a doubt, Randy Moss.”

juicebox
juicebox

People always talk about Moss’s speed and athleticism, but he may have the best hands of any WR ever. He has a handful of the most impressive catches I have ever seen in the NFL, certainly more than any other single WR. I am sure Rice had great hands, but he also admitted to using stickum, and when I think of Rice it was more a ridiculously good route runner and hard worker who you simply couldn’t cover.

The only thing that ever held Moss back from being far and away the best receiver ever, is that he didn’t try when his team wasn’t good. Whereas Rice would go put in the same effort no matter what.

mihalko35
mihalko35

He caught that thing like a nerf ball

The Guys Get Shirts
The Guys Get Shirts

“Then again, to be entirely honest the Irish offense was at such a weird place that the Moss fan in me wonders if he would’ve been hilariously underutilized.”

Incontrovertible evidence that your inner Moss fan is correct: David Givens.

Brendan R

I absolutely share your “what might have been” thoughts, but it’s worth remembering that he was only playing for Marshall because he got booted from Florida State for weed. I doubt he would’ve lasted more than a year at Notre Dame, especially with how the admin handled things back then. [Kyle McAlarney nods sadly.]

Also, the rumor I remember from back then was that the “fight” wasn’t really a fight but a one-sided beatdown, in which he essentially put a racist in the hospital for using the n-word to his friend. If that’s true, I would’ve given him a freaking medal and expedited admission. No doubt many of the ND students who marched into South Bend way back when and busted up a Ku Klux Klan rally would’ve agreed.

Brendan R

Oh, and one more thing – he and Jason “White Chocolate” Williams went to high school together and were on the same basketball team. No doubt they enjoyed crushing their enemies and hearing the lamentations of their women and children.