After seven breathtaking and exasperating seasons, Randy Moss is no longer a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings have officially shipped Moss to the Oakland Raiders for LB Napoleon Harris, the Raiders' 1st round (seventh overall) and seventh round draft picks.
I believe we can not fairly judge this deal until we see what Harris produces on the field. In addition, the Vikings have a more prominent draft position as well as approximately $30 million of salary cap space. Obviously, that is a discussion for another day.
While we will all miss Moss' big play ability, we will strain our rotator cuffs waving goodbye to the shenanigans on and off the field.
-1999 Divisional playoffs: Squirts an on-field official with water after a disputed call in the 49-37 loss to the St Louis Rams.
-2000 NFC Championship Game: Approximately two hours before the matchup with the NY Giants for the right to go to the Super Bowl, Randy was as focused as a magnifying glass on frying ants, right? Nah. How could Moss possibly concentrate on a game of such magnitude when he can't have his buddies come on the field? Randy proceeds to berate security personnel for not allowing his pals to trespass. Moss is so preoccupied with the snub that he doesn't bother to put forth much effort in the game. The Vikes are edged, 41-0.
-2001 season: After a tough, hard fought 48-17 loss in Philadelphia, Randy was in a rather surly mood. After boarding the team bus, Moss verbally abused a corporate sponsor who unknowingly sat in the seat normally reserved for Randy (an incident which invoked an absurd Randy Moss-Rosa Parks comparison by Minneapolis "journalist" Larry Fitzgerald).
The infamous declaration of "I play when I want to play" is first uttered. This is in response to an inquiry of why he performs so well on Monday Night Football. Moss backs up that statement six nights later (The Sunday Night game on ESPN) with a half-hearted effort in a home loss to the Chicago Bears. What's most shameful was he knew to how much scrutiny he would be subjected after his asinine comments were blasted across Sports Nation. No Matter. He still dogged it in prime time.
-2002 season: The year of "Moss vs the meter maid". Moss took an illegal right turn in downtown Minneapolis then refuses to stop when directed by the officer. While I feel that was overblown, what could not be overlooked is the trace of marijuana found in his ashtray.
-2004 season: Walks off the field with two seconds remaining in regular season finale loss in Washington. Is privately accosted by teammate Matt Birk in the locker room afterwards, an incident where Moss later bristled and stated he didn't care what Birk said.
But the final coup d'etat was his comments regarding the mock "mooning" he performed after his game clinching TD in the playoff game at Green Bay. While the end zone "celebration" itself was certainly overblown by the moral authority that is Fox Network (see such family fun shows as "Temptation Island"), what could not be ignored was Moss' defiance regarding the incident. His insinuation that his next celebration would be even more vulgar had to be the final straw. If you continually say on one hand that you have Super Bowl aspirations yet perpetually undermine what the team attempts to put together on the field, we as fans received mixed signals.
One caveat while playing in Oakland, Randy: If you decide to leave a little early, watch out for the flying batteries.