Only one wide receiver in NFL history has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Even if your knowledge of the game is on par with league commissioner Roger Goodell, who recently claimed that he was no football expert, you know that the aforementioned player is Jerry Rice, who is considered by many to be not only the best wide receiver ever in NFL history, but perhaps its greatest overall player, regardless of position, as well.
In 2018, another player will join Rice as the only pass catcher to go in on the first ballot – the incomparable Randy Moss.
Moss was inducted in the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor at halftime of yesterday’s Monday Night Football game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Watch the full halftime ceremony from Monday night as Randy Moss formally entered the Vikings Ring of Honor. For more Vikings videos, visit http://www.vikings.com.
After being taken with the No. 21 selection in the 1998 NFL Draft, he played eight of his 14 seasons with the Vikings, finishing behind only Cris Carter on the franchises all-time record list with 9,316 receiving yards, 92 touchdowns, and 587 receptions.
Moss snagged an overall 1,741 career receptions, and his 15,292 receiving yards and 156 touchdowns have only been surpassed in NFL history by Rice. He holds NFL records for most receiving touchdowns in single season with 23 and the most in rookie season, with 17.
There are very few athletes that have been so dazzling that they compel you to watch them simply because of their style, flavor, grace, dominance and excellence. There’s a beauty to what they accomplish within the realm of athletic performance that makes you shake your head, knowing that what’s being witnessed will likely never be seen in the quite the same way again.
For my money, Moss is in that pantheon right alongside the likes of Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Serena Williams and Pel.
I’ll never forget his rookie season with the Vikings, where he scored those 17 touchdowns as the most explosive weapon for one of the most explosive offenses in the history of the NFL, leading them to a 15-1 regular season.
The only first-year players during my lifetime to have that type of impact on the league were Dan Marino, Eric Dickerson, Joe Thomas, Bubba Baker, Jevon Kearse, Ndamukong Suh, Derrick Thomas, Ronnie Lott, Mark Carrier and Lawrence Taylor.
In advance of entering the Ring of Honor later tonight, Randy Moss got emotional while receiving his purple jacket at a luncheon dedicated to him on Monday afternoon.
Moss blazed out of the gate in his first pro game, catching four passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns. On the game’s biggest stage – Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers in only his fifth game – he caught five balls for 190 yards and two touchdowns. His scoring grabs covered 52 and 44 yards, and he also had two other receptions that went for over 40 yards. Had it not been a holding penalty that negated another score, he would have also had a 75-yard touchdown on his resume that night.
The greatest performance I ever saw by a wide receiver took place on Thanksgiving day in 1998 courtesy of Moss, when the 21-year-old rookie gave the Cowboys some serious work.
Randy Moss remembers meeting Deion Sanders for the first time in Texas in this edition of #RandyRemembers.
Still mad that Dallas owner Jerry Jones reneged on his promise to pick him during a pre-draft visit to Deion Sanders’ house, he vowed that his whole goal was to come in here and wreck this whole league.
But against the Cowboys on that 1998 Turkey Day, the verb “Mossed” began creeping into the national lexicon. He only caught three passes that day. But all three of them were touchdowns. And, oh yeah, he totaled a mind-bogging 163 receiving yards. ON THREE DAMN CATCHES!!!
Randy Moss remembers his epic Thanksgiving Day performance in Dallas. SUBSCRIBE to get the latest FOX Sports content on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FOXSports Connect with FOX Sports online: Visit the FOX Sports WEBSITE: http://www.foxsports.com Like FOX Sports on FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/foxsports Follow FOX Sports on TWITTER: https://twitter.com/FOXSports About FOX Sports: FOXSports.com is a leading sports website that delivers breaking news, real-time stats, commentary, and fantasy games to millions of sports fans.
It was at that very moment when I realized that I’d never miss a Randy Moss game if I could help it, because I’d just witnessed not simply the best rookie I’d ever laid my eyes on, but the most wondrous and gifted athlete to ever play in the NFL.
I can still hear the venerable voice of announcer John Madden ringing in my head: “Randy Moss is amazing!!!”
Every Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of that performance. And practically during every NFL game I’ve seen since, I’m reminded that we’ll never again see anyone do the things that Randy Moss could do.
Congrats to the man for entering the Vikings Ring of Honor. It was beyond well-deserved.
The Hall of Fame is next, where he’ll join Rice as only the second wide receiver ever to go in on his first go-round.
It’s only fitting for a guy who wrecked the entire league since his first go-round as a rookie, and set a pass-catching standard of aesthetic wonder that will never be duplicated again.