Friday, August 5, 2011

Is Randy Moss gone for good? Don't bet on it

       Randy Moss is no longer in pro football. The supremely gifted wide receiver has decided to call it a career. Really? Hmmmmm. I’m not buying it.
       Fact is, I’d be shocked if he stayed retired. Sure, he’s 34, but he’s not like most 34-year olds who have played in the league for 13 seasons. He’s not beat up; his legs are what they always were. Has he slowed a step or two? Don’t think so. Randy’s still got the handy hands and the beep-beep speed to beguile and bedazzle defenders. At some point during this season, GMs will come calling if they aren’t calling already. Game-changing deep threats are hardly a dime a dozen.
       While this blog is devoted to my soon-to-be released memoir November Ever After, providing perspective on Randy Moss might seem out of place. That’s hardly the case.
       Randy Moss represents the zenith of Marshall University football. Those players who came before Moss are the connecting links between the Thundering Herd’s past and its glory years of the ‘90s. And this is especially true for those football athletes from the late ‘60s/early ‘70s. The group from that era was the genesis of what was to come in later years. Had it not been for the recruiting scandal of ’69 and the tragic plane crash the following year, there’s no doubt that the Thundering Herd would have made its mark on college football way before the 1990s.
       For all of Moss’s off-the-field issues, nobody (whether you like him or not) can deny his value and talent as one of the best who ever played the game. Here’s my favorite Randy Moss moment:
       Super Bowl XLII/Giants vs. Patriots: Moss scored on a pass from Tom Brady for what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown with just under three minutes left to play in the game. But the Giants stormed back and regained the lead at 17-14 on Eli Manning’s TD pass to Plaxico Burris.
       The Patriots get the ball back and they’re in hurry-up mode. An incomplete pass and a sack put New England in bad position. The Pats are pinned deep in their own territory. It’s third-and-20 with 19 seconds showing on the game clock. Now, it’s a no-brainer as to who Brady will look for. Sure enough, Brady rolls out to escape the rush and he launches a 75-yard throw downfield.
       The Giants were prepared. Two defenders, who were already playing 25 yards off the ball, double team Moss. He appears to be covered, but suddenly, he finds an extra gear and gets two steps ahead of the coverage. Giants cornerback Corey Webster gets his hands up in time to knock the ball away. But the only reason he’s able to do so, was that Brady’s pass was under-thrown. Looking back at the tape, it appeared that Moss could have made the catch had the ball been thrown far enough for him to run it down.
       The point I’m making is this: Everybody in the stadium knew that Moss was going deep. The Giants were in a semi-prevent defense with two guys assigned to Moss. And yet, Moss still managed to get open – with time running out and a Super Bowl championship on the line. Really can’t fault Brady. I ‘m not sure if any NFL quarterback could have thrown a pass far enough that would have given Moss a chance to make a play.
       Like any athlete, the Marshall legend has his supporters and detractors. Below is a comment posted to Randy Moss’s official website right after he announced his retirement (posted by Niners Need Moss)
       Okay, so you're not going to get on a team that has a shot at the Super Bowl. BIG DEAL. Come on Randy! We (the Niners) could surely use you. And think of all the good you'd be doing for a team that needs some veteran leadership to get back on its feet? Two years with us and you'll be accredited as a founding father of a new dynasty. That's a great cap to a career that seriously needs a great cap. It's not your time to retire Randy. Retire now and it's a sad end to a troubled saga. Stay, and help a team that needs you. Become a mentor, THEN your legacy will be assured as greatness.

1 comment:

  1. Something to ponder for one of the Herd's greatest and truly an NFL wonder as well!

    The author's upcoming book will expand your appreciation of the Marshall story.