Tied with Terrell Owens as the 2nd-highest scoring WR of all-time, 13-year vet Randy Moss announced his retirement Monday, ending an often spectacular career a tumultuous 2010 season that featured ineffective stints in New England, Minnesota and Tennessee. Moss, “probably belongs in the Hall of Fame” opines Time’s Sean Gregory, somewhat grudgingly, perhaps putting more emphasis on Moss’ claims of taking plays off and/or mooning the mob at Lambeau than considering his dominant performances early in his (first) tenure in Minnesota, and his wildly successful collaborations with Tom Brady after being considered all but washed up by much of the league. Slightly more enthusiastic in his eulogy is the Christian Science Monitor’s Mark Sappenfield, who writes of Moss, “when he was motivated, he was a receiver who, for all intents and purposes, could not be covered.”
A two-time West Virginia high school player of the year in basketball, Moss combined the speed of a sprinter with the height and leap of a basketball player and the sure hands of a Hall of Fame receiver. The result was a player for whom no ball could be thrown too far.
In 2007, when Moss set the record for touchdown receptions in a season (23), Patriots quarterback Tom Brady might as well have walked into the huddle of a backyard barbecue football game, winked at Moss, and said “go deep.” The complex geometry of pro-football defenses were solved by Moss’s sheer athleticism – leaving hapless defenders scrabbling at his elbows.